I stay at Kuriya Yasohachi once a year in February for snow crabs and the onsen.
This is a smaller ryokan which is definitely not for big bus tour groups and their service is very personal. It is quiet and classy, typical Japanese onsen ryokan.
I always reserve a room with private onsen which is facing a beautiful bamboo forest and a river.
I love taking onsen at the room looking over the snow covered view but also their public onsen is very nice. It is not a huge onsen but the atmosphere is calm and relaxing. Hot spring is very smooth and its temperature is perfect.
And snow crabs!!!
Oh my god. They are so good. They serve two fresh brand tagged whole snow crabs per person.
The shell of the crabs are all shining gold from their freshness. First, they serve them as sashimi, which is called Hana-saki-sashimi, meaning blooming flower sashimi because the meat of the crab is see though pink and they just look like blooming flowers. Then they grill them on "hibachi", cook nabe and risotto all in front of you. They serve crab sunomono (marinated with vinegar) with eggs from female crabs, too.
All are decorated beautifully on Kutani dishes and Wajima-nuri bowls.
The whole presentation is a course of art.
This place is absolutely must go! in the winter/crab season.More