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“great atmosphere” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hida Gasshoen

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Hida Gasshoen
2.5 of 5
Ryokan
  |   3-829-1 Nishinoisshikimachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-0031 , Japan   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #113 of 173 Hotels / Ryokan in Takayama
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“great atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2009

Wow, I saw the previous review was pretty harsh. I guess difference experience for different folks.
We got to Takayama around 1pm and called the place to arrange pickup at 6pm. At first we wanted pick up at 7pm but they said it was too late so we compromised at 6pm. We went to Hida no Sato village and then checked out Takayama and had dinner and went to meet the van at the station. He drove us to Hida Gassho en and the staff welcomed us in the traditional room with fire pit and served us meccha green tea. It was bitter, but made quite an impression on us because we just came from the Hida village. cool place to stay. The smoke smell and atmosphere is very Japanese and we loved it.

The staff showed us to our room next and we have no complaint. The room is a pretty good size 8 tatami room and has kotatsu table and a little sink/balcony area. After a little break we went to the furo (bath), we had it reserved for one hour of private use. I really liked the bath. This is a traditional style Japanese bath and the shower is in the same room as the sunken tub. The shower floor has tatami mats on them, I didn't know you can do that with tatami mats. The tub was a large stone tub and was covered with silver heat conserving panels. We took a shower, sitting on the stools so didn't splash all over and then took a soak. The water was very very hot and we could only stay a short while. The bath worked out really well for us because we had private use, clean and the tub was really hot. I don't know why the previous poster had problem with tub, probably went late or maybe the next morning.

We opted for traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan for 1000Y each. We had breakfast in the large Japanese style dining room. The fire pit had a few wood in and was used for our miso soup. The wood smoke and tatami fragrance heighten the Japanese mood. We had grilled fish, enoki mushroom and fresh miso grilled on hoba leaf, seaweed, various pickled veggies and a smooth miso soup. This was a very nice Japanese breakfast for us because we've been having rice balls and stuff like takoyaki for breakfast the last few days.
All in all, this was a wonderful one night stay for us. We had a great relaxing evening and night here. While we were there, one of the staff speaks English very well. The staffs were all great. I think there are 2 gassho buildings. One is the check in/welcome room, dining room, and kitchen. The rooms are in another gassho building and the two are connected through another corridor/building.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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22 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
California
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2009

Of all the ryokans we stayed in this trip, this inn received the highest rating, yet is clearly the lowest quality one in every way. I think the main reason is that this is one of those inns that cater to the foreigners. They can get away with a lot of things that they would not be able to do with the discerning Japanese clientele.

The people work at the inn are very nice. A couple people can speak some English. They were very efficient with email communications and were very nice in promising to come to the train station to meet up. We sent a reminder email the day before we arrived with our train schedule. Yet when we got off the train amidst the pouring rain, nobody from the inn was around. We called the inn and realized that they did not even bother to come. After the call, a van was sent to receive us, but no explanations as to the no show.

The outside of the inn is everything we expected, nice garden setting and grass roof. But the room was tiny and aged even by Japanese standard. Last year we stayed in a temple on Goyasan, and even there was much better than this inn. The worst is that the bath was not clean. The water was luke warm, and looked as if it has not been cleaned for days. There was no towel and absolutely no facility (mirror, hair-dryer, lotion). The shower was 2 steps away from the bath, and there was no barrier of any sort that could prevent the dirty shower water from getting into the bath. This sloppiness and lack of hygiene is rare for any Japanese inns.

They charge 5000 yen a person for dinner with very few courses. The cooking was way below one expected from a ryokan type of kaiseki cuisine, and the presentation was mediocre to say the least. In a later ryokan that caters mostly to Japanese, with 3000 yen a person, we got 2-3 times the amount of food prepared with much higher quality and presentation.

In a word, this is an extremely over-priced facility. We were lucky to have the comparison of several better ryokans in our trips and realized that this one is catering to the foreigners who do not have much experience with good ryokans. I doubt they could get away with the low standard bath and food with the more experienced Japanese clientele.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brooklyn, ny
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2009

Like finding a fabulous b&b, only more fun and less comfortable. This beautiful place includes a real gassho-zukuri house where you are first welcomed with tea by the working irori (hearth) in the dining room. Then you're led to your Japanese-style tatami mat room with shoji doors, a sink, and balcony. If you choose to eat breakfast and dinner onsite (highly recommended!), multi-course traditional meals using local ingredients and dishes, with at least one part prepared in the irori (e.g., soup, grilled fish), are in the communal large or smaller dining rooms. The staff are friendly and accommodating, and we most enjoyed our conversations with the owner's wife, who usually hosted the meals. Baths are traditional (separate shower and ofuro) and communal. The overall facility, both inside and outside, is very peaceful and beautiful. A small communal sitting area included a laptop with free 24-hour access to high speed internet. Some drawbacks: our room was cozy but very cold, despite the space heater, and the futons were not very comfortable. Highly recommended to those seeking a different experience. Facility is not close to the Takayama Stn but pickup and dropoff can be arranged for certain hours.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2009

This was the fifth hotel out of ten we stayed at during our trip to Japan. Our budget was 10000 Yen per night. Things did not start well when our host forgot to pick us up from the station. Being a 30 minute walk from the train station, we weren't keen to lug our bags to the ryokan. Luckily the helpful staff at the TIC called the host who turned up 15 minutes later. The ryokan is located close to one of the main attractions in Takayama, the folk village (an interesting collection of relocated old buildings of various ages, from the area), but the majority of the attractions are in town. The ryokan itself is an interesting building, complete with a traditional stove/hearth were we enjoyed an excellent breakfast the next day. The guestroom was warm and comfortable and our hosts were clearly proud of the heritage of their building and their traditions/customs and to this end the stay felt like the authentic ryokan experience we wanted. A word of warning however about their advertised, free shuttle service. The implication is that it is available any time as long as notice is given. This is not the case. It's only available until check out time. We decided to find the local bus to get us back to the station, but one of the lovely staff chased us down as we left and arranged for us a lift back in their shuttle.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2008

This is one the best hotel experiences I have had in Japan! I have stayed @ top-notch $500/night ryokans and this inn definitely is equivalent in quality! They will pick you up @ Takayama JR station and make you feel very welcome. I mean, how many people can say they have stayed at an Edo period Grass Hut in Japan? A great experience overall. And the food there was one of the best. I also stayed @ a hotspring ryokan in Hakone and a 5-Star ryokan in Kyoto and I still prefer this hotel. At night, they light up the garden and it's really romantic. I would definitely stay here again and recommend the city of Takayama and this inn in particular to everyone! It's only a 10 minute walk to the Takayama Hida Folk Village which is definitely a part of rustic Japan not to be missed. I am a frequent TripAdvisor user and I want to make sure people really know about this great hotel!

  • Liked — The ambiance and food
  • Disliked — The location is a bit far but they provide transport!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Hida Gasshoen

Address: 3-829-1 Nishinoisshikimachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-0031 , Japan
Location: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Takayama
Hotel Style:
Ranked #113 of 173 Hotels / Ryokan in Takayama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hida Gasshoen 2.5*
Number of rooms: 25
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