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“Couldn't fault it ...but for 1 thing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kozantei Ubuya

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Kozantei Ubuya
3.0 of 5 Onsen Hotel   |   10 Asagawa, Minamitsuru-gun, Fujikawaguchiko-machi 401-0303, Yamanashi Prefecture (Kawaguchiko Onsen)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“Couldn't fault it ...but for 1 thing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

Well worth every Yen you will spend here. We statyed in room 504 at the top of the building and were astonished at the size of our room. The service was first class. The Onsen was first class. The food was first class. The view was better than first class, it was ridiculously good. The only negative was the rushed nature of the dinner meals. The waiting staff disappear by 9pm so if you start eating at 7.45pm which is what we did the first night due to a late arrival they basically force feed you 7-8 courses before 9 pm. At one point we had 3 course backed up on the table. We had to tell the waiter to slow down. It fell on deaf ears.We booked an earlier dinner time of 6.30pm the next night but still got the feeling they were rushing us..The food is excellent but the quality was undone by the nature of this ''rushed'' feeling. That aside I would strongly recommend you try this hotel but clear the credit card before you do. One piece of advice...go for the room you can afford. All rooms face the lake so a room half the size of ours would have suffice as you still get the same view.

Room Tip: All rooms face the lake so a room half the size of ours would have suffice as you still get the same...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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212 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

In Japan for the first time, we wanted to have a Ryokan experience, as we felt our trip would not be complete without it. After a long search on the internet, we chose Kozantei Ubuya.

LOCATION

The ryokan is located at the edge of Lake Kawaguchi, and overlooks the lake. At first, we were a bit surprised because we expected a more secluded location, when in reality, the ryokan sits directly on a main road, which you have to cross if you want to get to the lake. All rooms have a view of the lake, and on good days, a spectacular view on Mt Fuji. We were afraid the room would be noisy, but as it is not directly on the street, there was no traffic noise a all. The small town itself is within walking distance (10-15 min leasurely stroll). It is quite quaint and essentially dedicated to Mt Fuji, with some souvenirs. You can rent pink swan pedalos to go across the lake, which is a really fun experience to have. Obviously, the location's main interest is Mt Fuji, and the unique view it provides when reflecting on the quiet waters of the lake. In this regard, the Ryokan has a location which is second to none.

AMBIENCE

The style of the hotel is modern japanese, with a lot of blond woods, big windows and small japanese gardens. There are many different areas in the hotel, which are nice to discover. On the first floor, there is a cosy (although big) salon were you can enjoy a tea or a complimentary drink, while gazing at Mt. Fuji. In the evening, the atmosphere is even warmer, with lots of candelight. Next to this salon, there are a few massage chairs where you can cuddle and admire the view, while having your back massaged by these high tech seats. Next to it, you can also find a library. Still on the first floor, there is a large dining room, which is shared between stand alone tables and little private rooms with a wall of glass so you can still see the view. When you take half board like we did, you get a private dining room. Downstairs, there is a small gift shop with a nice choice of souvenirs. On the other side of the hotel, there is a public onsen, which is divided between 4 floors (2 for women, 2 for men), with open air and indoor baths. The onzen opening hours are very extensive, some of them actually being open all night. In summary, the atmosphere is airy and comfortable, which is further reinforced by the fact that most guests walk around in summer kimonos or traditional indoors japanese wear.

ROOM

We chose a room with a private onsen overlooking the Mt. Fuji. I have to say this is probably one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever stayed in. First of all, it is absolutely huge, with a big sitting room with a low table and comfortable chairs and even a rocking chair. Obviously, the floor is made of tatamis. Separated from the sitting room by japanese screens, you have a large bedroom. We chose western style bedding, and we had 2 large and extremely comfortable beds. Not really romantic when you travel with your significant other, but apparently, this is a japanese habit. The rest of the appartment (who can still call this a room?) is composed of a large entry hall, a lovely bathroom with 2 sinks, a huge rain shower, and of course the private stone onsen on the balcony (where there is also a lounge chair). There are 2 flat TV screens, japanese tea making facilities, a fridge, a sound system complete with relaxing music and Shiseido bathroom amenities. In this room, you really feel like every detail has been planned to ensure your comfort. The decoration style is similar to the rest of the hotels, blond wood and cream tones, with a very zen like atmosphere. One nice point to note is that you get an elegant summer kimono, as well as a traditional indoor japanese wear and some traditional coats to walk around the ryokan. We enjoyed it very much and came down to dinner in our kimonos, which is a nice addition to the general experience.

FOOD

As we chose a half board package, I will quickly comment on the food. Overall, it was a delicious, traditional japanese meal, with exquisitely presented dishes. It gives you a good overview of local japanese cuisine, and makes you discover new tastes. Some of them were not particularly to our liking, but all were well balanced and tasteful. They also had a very interesting way of organizing the menu, by taste or mode of cooking, such as vinegary, tempura, grilled, steamed, etc. Ingredients, and particularly fish, were unbelievably fresh. One word of caution though, there is a lot of raw fish on the menu, if you don't like it, it might be a good idea to let them know in advance. One drawback is the fact that meals are served at a fixed time, which you don't really get to choose. We were offered 6pm or 6.50pm, and that's it. Same goes for breakfast. This might be a japanese custom, as this is not the first hotel it has happened during our trip, but I have to say that it can be surprising at first. For breakfast, you get offered a choice of western or japanese. There again, you receive a large variety of small dishes in a lovely presentation.

SERVICE

While staying at the ryokan, we received an excellent, charming yet discreet service. Our luggage was brought to and from our room, and a nice lady accompanied us to show us our room, and even prepared us a cup of green tea to make us feel welcome. In the dining room, service was friendly and attentive. Check in and check out were extremely fast and efficient.

VALUE

Staying at Kozantei Ubuya is an outreagously expensive experience, but if it fits within your budget, I would most definitely recommend it.

IN SUM

A stay in a ryokan such as this one is a unique way to experience the traditional japanese way of life, and to taste a gourmet menu without the hassle of not speaking japanese. In my opinion, a must for a Japan newcomer.

Room Tip: Private onsen rooms are amazing!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2012

We spent 3 days and 2 nights here and came back home with the happiest moment of our Japanese trip in May 2012. Our room #312 was perfect with a view of Fujisan. We woke up and there he was standing and greeting us every morning across Kawaguchiko Lake (except only one cloudy day). Onsen indoor and outdoor were clean and with perfect view of Mt.Fuji as well. Keiseiki dish was superb. Also I loved the green tea served when we checked-in.

I love everything about the hotel. A bit pricey but if you can afford it I definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights in a western/japanese suite with private onsen on balcony. The views are spectacular and my husband who loves photography was ecstatic! Our room was stunning, loved the 2 little bathrooms which then opened out into the hot tub - it meant a outdoor shower was possible too. We appreciated the fridge and tea making facilities.

Dinner and breakfast were amazing. Staff were all lovely, and made an effort to speak English to us.

The only thing I didn't like was that the bar did not open till 9pm. We were told 8pm at check in. After dinner we attempted to order a drink, but were told none till 9pm. It was strange not to be able to order a pre or post dinner drink and make use of the lovely lounge. Why so late, 10pm is my bedtime! We just bought a couple of beers from the hotel shop and enjoyed them in our room and didn't bother with the bar after that.

The onsen were fabulous, this was my first onsen experience and I was so glad I did it. There are so many types of bath indoor and outdoor and a sauna and I loved drinking some of the local volcanic water from the water fountain. The whole hotel has a really relaxing spa like feel.

We stayed here 2 nights and would have loved to stay longer. We dream of returning, it's a very special place. Plenty to do in the area too, we were lucky enough to see the moss flox festival. Kawagutchi really isn't that difficult to get to, we navigated fine (being from the UK and first time in Japan!), taking the trains from Shinjuku. Only half the trip covered by the JR pass, but not a problem at all.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
New York, NY
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2012

I highly recommend this ryokan if you are looking for an opportunity to experience a traditional Japanese lifestyle. The staff is very hospitable and does a fantastic job making your stay comfortable.

It is easily accessible as there are buses that take you right into Gateway Fujiyama –just call when you arrive and they will pick you up at the station. The staff welcomes you with macha tea and sweets while you check in and accompany you to your room to explain the details of the ryokan.

They will give you a set of “yukata” (like a kimono-or cotton jacket and pants) to wear your entire stay. You have a choice between western style beds or Japanese futons on tatami mats and the same choice with western style dinner or traditional Japanese cuisine. Try the tatami mats and kaiseki cuisine for a comfortable sleep and delicious dinner!

Our room (Room 515) was large, with two rooms sectioned off with sliding rice paper doors; a bath with a traditional soaking tub, toilet, and the main room had the most incredible view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi!

Lake Kawaguchi is the oldest of the 5 lakes (50-60 thousand years old) that surround Mt. Fuji and was formed by volcanic debris spewed from Mt. Fuji. The natural hot spring baths at the ryokan come from the volcanic outlets. The baths were truly amazing and relaxing with superior views of Mt. Fuji. I had heard stories that Mt. Fuji is usually in the clouds, but I was here in early April and both days were clear with perfect views of Fuji-san.

Lake Kawaguchi is the only lake where you can get the “mirror reflection” of Mt. Fuji. The women’s baths are located on the 4th and 5th floor- the 5th floor having an outdoor bath providing a unique feeling of the cool air while your body is immersed in a hot bath. Again, amazing views of Mt. Fuji. For an extra treat- there were Japanese monkeys on the mountainside right outside the onsen!

I have to say that staying here was one of the special highlights of my trip to Japan. It is well worth indulging in at least one special night!

As it can be a little intimidating if you are unfamiliar with the etiquette and procedures of a ryokan and the hot spring baths-you can get so much great information from the website http://www.japan-guide.com. Going to this site and also reading the Trip Advisor reviews about Kozantei Ubuya helped so much!

I had such a terrific, memorable time and will definitely be back soon!

Room Tip: Definitely get a room that overlooks the lake for a view of Mt. Fuji.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
singapore
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

We had a wonderful stay at this modern ryokan. The room was excellent with a seating area that has wonderful view of the Lake Kawaguichi and Mt Fuji. They also have a lounge for free wifii access and free flow of coffee/tea and beautiful views of the lake and Mt Fuji. The onsen were modern with jacuzzi and complete with a sauna. We ordered a special dinner of sukiyaki beef and this was personally cooked at our table by the chef. As it was our anniversay, we had the private room with the cherry blossom view. Very good kaiseki cuisine!!
The service was first rate - they arranged for our baggage to be transferred from the ryokan we stayed the night before so that we have a stressfree day of sightseeing and just check in to the ryokan at 3 pm. Expensive but worth it. Would definitely return.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

We stayed here because my boyfriend (now fiance) booked us a suite at this hotel in order to propose to me. The staff ( in customary Japanese fashion) were truly wonderful to us, making sure we had a special experience, with our wonderful Kaiseki meal and complimentary bottle of wine. Our suite was truly amazing, as other reviewers have also mentioned, the onsen in the balcony of the suite is truly amazing. We went early morning to evening soaking and contemplating the beauty of Mount Fuji. We plan to come here again on our 5 year anniversary!

Room Tip: Splurge for the suite with your own onsen.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kozantei Ubuya

Address: 10 Asagawa, Minamitsuru-gun, Fujikawaguchiko-machi 401-0303, Yamanashi Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Yamanashi Prefecture > Minamitsuru-gun > Fujikawaguchiko-machi > Kawaguchiko Onsen
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Fujikawaguchiko-machi
#1 Romantic Hotel in Fujikawaguchiko-machi
#1 Onsen Hotel in Fujikawaguchiko-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Kozantei Ubuya 3*
Number of rooms: 52
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Also Known As:
Kozantei Ubuya Hotel Fujikawaguchiko-Machi
Kozantei Ubuya Japan/Fujikawaguchiko-Machi

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