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“Disappointed. The hotel is run down, old and non equipped. Do not believe on their pictures!”
Review of Tsuruya

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Ranked #11 of 32 Hotels / Ryokan in Aso
Reviewed 4 February 2017

We, 2 couples, were very disappointed with our stay at the Aso Tsuruya Hotel! First, the pictures at web show a trendy, newly decorated, contemporary hotel. We were not able to see anywhere looked like the pictures! The truth is the hotel is old, run down, messy, dirty, very cold in temperature and not well equipped. It's misleading if the hotel has a new wing (I assume) but is hiding the truth of the old wing by not describing or showing the real pictures but selling together. Second, the hotel is not offering what a hotel should require. It's very cold everywhere, including lobby and our rooms. The room's little gas smelly heater stopped by itself in middle of night and we were sleeping at 12C whole night. The hotel sent 2 hot water bed warmers to my brother's room! There is another old heater at ceiling that is not quite functioning but very noisy the whole night. Obviously, we all could not sleep well. The toilet room and bathroom are very cold. They put a warm light at private bathroom but it was still too cold to take bath at around 0C when outside was -4C. We could not take bath unless we went for public bath but I particularly ensured I bought a room with private bath. We were like wild camping, shovelling all the time, as the hotel is not equipped at all. The hot water tab has no hot or warm water. Although we booked 3 days 2 nights, we had no choice but to leave the next day and to buy another normal hotel since we would get sick if we stay longer at this non-equipped (especially in cold weather) so-called hotel but an old house trying to convert to a hotel. We have stayed at a number of hotels in Japan, but this one is far below our expectation especially the price is not cheap in Kyushu area.

Stayed: January 2017
Thank Jlo888888888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
料理旅館つるや, 支配人 at Tsuruya, responded to this reviewResponded 13 February 2017

Thank you for staying with us. We were happy to accommodate you.
Our property is not the western typed hotel. Its called RYOKAN that is based on the Japanese typical building. Its 5 minutes away from ASO shrine and there are many guests stay at our property from over the world to learn the history and Japanese cultures and enjoy the nature in ASO.
We try our best to provide the comfortable and pleasant rooms to all the guests by keep renovating and reconstructing the rooms and property.

You arrived at the back gate as the car navigation might show the back gate on the screen as Main gate.
The staff didn't have perfect English skill and couldn't explain enough.
We normally ask the guests to go around and get in from the main gate or let the guests check in at the lounge.
Did you happen to come into building from the back gate and already took off the shoes when our staff come to you?
The staff for the check in is working at our property for long enough to know that we don't ask the guests to come to the lobby from the back gate.
You told us that the room we took you to is different to the one you booked. Actually, The room was the one you booked. When we asked more details, We realized that you were requesting to stay at the detached room.
We informed you that you will need to pay extra fee to change the room type and we asked Booking.com customer services to explain to you again to avoid miscommunication. The staff from booking.com customer services explained to you that you need to pay the extra charges and the cancellation fee will apply if you cancelled on the day.
What we hear from the staff was you understood that and decided to stay in the original room.

About the room :
We have air conditioner in the room and set for heat 25 degree. The guests are able to change the degree up to 30 by themselves. The air conditioner was working on the day you stayed at our property as usual. We had a hot carpet and a fan heater as well. In your brother room, had KOTATSU (that is table with heater and blanket to warm up legs) and YUTANPO (that is a bottle with hot water in to warm the bed and keep warm all night)
The fan heater, it stops after 3 hours for the safety reason when the guest leave on. We apologize that we didn't explain enough for this.
The noises for air-conditioner, We don't mind the sound, however there are different kinds of the guests. We will try our best to improve the air conditioner system by discussing with the specialist.
We don't understand that you weren't able to use the hot water as if you leave the tap open, you should be able to get the hot water and we couldn't help with it if you could let us know at the time.
We apologize for not having enough soap in the bottle. We couldn't bring it to you right away if you could let us know.
We can see that you were pretty not happy with our property and us as you left the messages and reviews on other medias.
We appreciate your reviews and will improve our property and services to provide the great services to all the guests.

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2 - 6 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2016

I stayed two nights in a room with private bath. The room and bath were great, the ryokan is in a quiet area near Aso Jinja (which unfortunately is destroyed now). Breakfast was very delicious and staff overly friendly! Unfortunately, I was there just the two nights during the Kumamoto earthquake. It was a scary experience but the staff was very well organized and the guests were swiftly evacuated from the ryokan. We spent the night on the parking lot in a car (safe zone) and in the morning the staff made us a simple breakfast with all the means they had. They only charged for one night instead of two, which I found very considerate but I wondered if I shouldn't have paid a second night... because the ryokan and its staff must have had more costs because of the earthquake. I hope that the re-building after the earth quake will go well in this area!

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sofke8868b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
turuya2014, オーナー at Tsuruya, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2016

Stay at this palace the other day, and thank you very much truly.
And please permit the thing to which I couldn't give my service sufficiently for a big earthquake at all.
I pile up that I received wonderful evaluation and thank you.
Your family returned safely, and it was really good. Children's, a pretty smiling face isn't forgot wonderfully.
Thank you very much.

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Reviewed 17 January 2016

The hotel is in a quiet town with a small shrine nearby, a few good restaurants/cafes and lots of geology (volcano stuff) in the surrounding area.

The service at the Ryokan was excellent and the breakfast in another private room was a great experience but just so much food. The room itself was fairly spacious and very comfortable. We had both an indoor shower and a large outdoor bath with was surprisingly nice in the middle of Winter.

The hotel is in walking distance from the train station but it is a reasonable walk (~15 to 20 minutes). If coming by train (which is one of the most scenic routes I've ever been on) be aware that to see anything in the area except the shrine you really need to get a taxi/drive.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ricor29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2015

We stayed at Tsuruya in early December. The ryokan is very quiet and seemed old but in a nice way. The girl who came to take care of us can speak english very well. She told us that this house is over 100 years old! She took us to the sitting area where she served us real japanese green tea and big red beans dessert which turned out to be very delicious. My mom's knee is not so good so the ryokan managed to set the room for her downstairs so that she didn't have to climb up the stairs. They also set the futon on a big table so my mom can sleep on it as well cos it's difficult for her to get up from the floor.
Our room was on second floor. It's a very big room with balcony. There's a nice and newly renovated bathroom and toilet in the room. There's a desk with electric blanket in the center of the room. As the other reviewer also wrote, the room is quite cold, so this electric blanket turned out to be our favorite space during our stay. It would be nicer if the weather is not too cold so that we can enjoy sitting in the balcony and drinking some sake :)
Dinner was served in a private room on the first floor. The portion of food is very good. We've been to some other ryokans which served too much. The ryokan staff called us long distance when we booked the room to mention to us that they're afraid the plan we chose might offer too small portion of a meal. But we gave it a try anyway.
Onsen is for private use only. We booked it when checking in with no extra cost and the staff will come to pick you up from your room when it's about time. There's nothing fancy about the onsen. But it will give u comfort and warmth when it's very cold outside.
Breakfast was served in the 'Mellow Monk' which looked like a nice modern bar. There's plenty of food to fill your stomach. It's japanese style breakfast and every pieces of food showed that they have put a lot of attention and effort to prepare for you.
Highly recommend for those who wants to stay in real japanese style without paying extravaganza amount of money.

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sweetheart19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2014

Did a day trip to Takachiho gorge from Fukuoka, as we were driving, we decided to stay the night at Aso Town before sunset as driving at night in mountainous area is not recommended and then drive to Yufuin the next day.

We arrived just in time before sunset but no one was around at the reception area. I had to walk into the premises to hunt for someone. Finally saw someone near the kitchen area and they quickly got someone to assist us with the luggage and check in process. We were served a nice big cup of green tea to warm our bodies and chose our dinner time preference.

The room I booked was for the main terrace with balcony, it comes with a bathroom and a small tub to soak in. There was a heater in the room was it was not strong enough.. even though there's a electric blanket below the carpet, we still felt chilly... didnt even get chance to sit at the nice cosy balcony as it was too COLD!

Dinner was very prompt at 7pm and we were ushered to a private room. And was served very delicious Kaiseki style jap dinner!
The next morning we were served breakfast at same room and breakfast was so sumptuous that we didnt had to eat lunch after.

Overall this nice family owned ryokan was a very reasonably priced and includes dinner and breakfast too. Wifi only available in the lounge bar, as our room was right beside it we can rcv the WIFI without going there :)

The only down side is the public areas/walkways/reception area has no heater! so when you step out of the room you can feel the chill along the corridor when we walked over to the restaurant area for our dinner.

Staff has limited english but we didnt have big issue with that.

The next day we drove over to Aso Shrine which was just a street away from the ryokan.
It's a nice old shrine to explore before we headed to Yufuin.

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Cariejhow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tsuruya

Address: 1873 Ichinomiya-machi Oaza Miyaji, Aso 869-2612, Kumamoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kyushu-Okinawa > Kumamoto Prefecture > Aso
Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 32 Hotels / Ryokan in Aso
Price Range: $241 - $541 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
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