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“Great onsen experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Seifuso

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  |   2327 Kawayo, Aso-gun, Minamiaso-mura 869-1404, Kumamoto Prefecture (Tochinoki Onsen)   |  
Hotel amenities
4.0 of 5 stars 64 Reviews
Kathmandu, Nepal
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great onsen experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

One of my best onsen experience in Japan. The famous mixed bath is superb! Slightly cloudy, onsen water is gushing out of the bottom of ground and it has womens' only time in the evening if you are shy.
The bath house is old but well taken care of cleanliness. The access can be challenging but worth trying even you are not particularly planning to go to Kumamoto/Aso area.
The Japanese restaurant was another highlight of the stay. You get ingredients to be grilled on your own table. The waitresses are kind and helpful showing what to do.
I will definitely would go here when my foreign friends visit Japan!

Room Tip: The corner room at the end of corridor in the mail building ensures your privacy since no one passes...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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64 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
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  • Japanese first
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English first
Taku, Japan
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2011

We actually visited this ryokan based on the hilariously intriguing 'Engrish' on the English version of its website and it turned out to be just as interesting as the Engrish suggested....

The room we stayed in was small and basic, but comfortable enough; we were only staying one night. Futons were comfortable and warm, there was a TV, green tea, yukatas, kotatsu and separate heater.
The 'highlight' of this ryokan and apparently reason it is 'famous' is its "Water of Sparrow" onsen. The name apparently comes from the sound of the bubbles coming up from underground in the onsen. While this was very pleasant, the smell was not. The bubbles are sulfur, so the whole place has quite a pungent sulfur smell. If you can get over this, the water was lovely, although not too hot. High mineral content evident in the cloudy water. Also, this bath is mixed bathing, so bear that in mind.
**NOTE that if I had read about the sulfur smell prior to booking, I may have thought twice about booking here, but I'm glad I did not! You should not let it stop you experiencing this unique place at least once!!

The ryokan also has smaller segregated outdoor baths and indoor baths, as well as two small 'private' baths where couples/families can go together. These baths have the same cloudy water, but not the sulfur smell. I found the water (quality and feeling) very pleasant.
Dinner and breakfast were served in a large hall-like building. For dinner we had a 'grill your own' style meal with 7 skewers each; this did not seem like much in advance but was plenty of food and was very nice, as well as being a reasonable price. Many other tables had nabe (cook your food in a pot), which also looked lovely. Breakfast was a buffet style of mainly traditional Japanese food plus some bacon, an egg and some toast, which you again cooked yourself over a grill.

The location was lovely - a short drive up into the mountain in Minami Aso and very much out of the way and secluded. Very close really to the Aso summit if you are planning on going there. Service was pleasant but not really any English so you may need some Japanese. The place was basically full, and there were quite a few people in the mixed onsen particularly, but I did not find the number of people to be a problem as another reviewer mentioned.

In all, a traditional ryokan experience with some unique twists. As mentioned earlier, if I had read about the sulfur, I probably would have missed out on this novel experience. This was not my favourite ryokan in Japan but I would go back there and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Seifuso

Address: 2327 Kawayo, Aso-gun, Minamiaso-mura 869-1404, Kumamoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kyushu-Okinawa > Kumamoto Prefecture > Aso-gun > Minamiaso-mura > Tochinoki Onsen
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels / Ryokan in Minamiaso-mura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 30
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Also Known As:
Seifuso Kumamoto Prefecture/Aso-Gun, Japan

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