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“A Taste of Japan” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tonosawa Ichinoyu Shinkan

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Tonosawa Ichinoyu Shinkan
  |   54-1 Tounosawa, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0315, Japan (Tounosawa Onsen)   |  
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10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A Taste of Japan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

Our family of 2 adults and 2 children had a brief one night stop at this guesthouse on our train trip between Tokyo and Kyoto. It was the perfect stop and a welcome break from our visit to the bigger cities. The guesthouse is well located and looks beautiful surrounded by mist in the morning. It is quite a hike up the hill from the village so we took a taxi from the train station, which was relatively cheap and much easier.

The futons were not the most comfortable but we wanted to sample a more authentic Japanese stay so enjoyed the change from a traditional western room. The baths were great and very quiet. Dinner just kept coming and gave us a chance to sample many dishes we may not have ordinarily ordered. Breakfast wasn't quite my style but this was due to the fact that I am not a great fan of Japanese food, rather than the fault of the hotel.

The hotel was perefectly located and although not 5 star in terms of the level of luxury, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay as it gave us a chance to sample a more traditional Japanese guesthouse.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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42 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Mexico City, Mexico
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2010

Take a combination of heavy sliding doors, thin walls and wooden floors, and you have the perfect recipe for a noisy hotel. That is what you get at Ichinoyu Shinkan.

We spent two nights here in October 2010. The first night we were kept awake until after midnight by people moving around above - the noise only stopped when we asked the reception to help. The next morning we asked to move to the top floor, and thought it should be fine when told that all the other guests were leaving - but no, the staff said all the rooms had already been "allocated" for the next night, so we had to stay put. And we endured another bad night's sleep - except this time the noise began at 4am, and carried on until breakfast. And I don't mean vague sounds in the distance - when the people next door shut their metal bedroom door, it sounded like a wooden mallet being slammed on the wall next to my head.

And it is such a shame, because (as other reviews point out) there is a lot to like about the hotel. The rooms are comfortable, nice and clean. The outdoor bath was real fun, we lazed about in it for hours. Food was pretty good - dinner really nice, and breakfast okay. Best of all is the location - on a hill above Hakone Yumoto station, a very quiet neighborhood with hardly any traffic. The local train station of Tonosawa is fantastic - reached by a lovely walk along a hillside path, with giant green and black spiders hanging in the trees, a raging river in the valley below, and a lovely little shrine on one platform (!) - this is one of the few train stations I have seen where there is no road access.

The staff were mixed. There was a young man who tried to be helpful, and the lady in the restaurant was nice. But as other reviewers have noted, the main gentleman at the reception was very brusque and offhand - unlike anybody else we met in Japan. (He wouldn't let us check out 15 minutes late, for example, despite the awful sleep we'd had, and got very uptight when we asked for a bit of flexibility).

So my rating is based on the fact that, if you can't sleep at night, a hotel isn't much use. Do visit the Hakone region, which is beautiful and a lot of fun. Do stay near Tonosawa if you can, as it has real charm (there are other hotels nearby). But avoid Ichinoyu Shinkan, unless you have experience of sleeping through thunderstorms and earthquakes.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2010

We took the bus from the main station and we ended up having to walk up such windy stairs with our luggage, it was like climbing a mountain with extra weight at a 50 degree angle! Both my boyfriend and I are physically fit, I run about 5x a week at about 5 miles each time, but it was absolutely dreadful going up the stairs! If you do decide to stay here, take the train, it's only one flight of stairs up (not 4 sets of steep stairs). But other than that, if you decide to check out the botanical gardens next door, you can also hitch a free ride from the bus there to a train station. The hotel itself was impeccably clean. We stayed in a room with its own onsen which I loved. The vending machine dispenses beer and a couple other alcoholic drinks. So we bought a couple and laid out in the onsen before dinner and before bedtime. The tatami mats are very comfortable and the room itself is very spacious. The area itself is very charming if you're looking for something with a rustic appeal, but there are no shops closeby and I would definitely recommend getting the meal included with the stay. The food was incredible and service was also nice. Don't be late! They'll call you within 5 minutes of your designated show-up time to check up on you to see if you're still going to arrive.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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Nowy Sacz, Poland
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2010

Loved the hotel, except the futons!
The location is quiet, up a steep hill, the some, from Hakone station, but short ride in a taxi. short walk from the nearest station on the loop, but trains arrive packed full. |So maybe worth a taxi back to the main starting point
The hotel is small, rooms lovely (save for those futons!) and the hot bath on the terrace sets you up in the morning, refreshes after a day out and about or unwind before bed.
Food was excellent, Stayed two nights, so had both variations, we thorough;y enjoyed both and breakfast was good too.
We'd go back like a shot - in fact, we're aiming to include this hotel on our next visit to Japan

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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East Coast
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2010

I arrived later than I had planned (took a taxi from Hakone Yumoto station), but the staff still had dinner ready for me even though I was 30 minutes past the time posted. I was tickled to see it was shabu shabu, and the meal in general was very tasty. Breakfast was less tasty, but that's because I wasn't in love with the extremely aromatic fish that was the main dish. Still, there was a little veggie/tofu hot pot, which was good.

I had a Japanese style twin room with a private bath, and I was fortunate enough that they would reserve it for one person instead of charging for double occupancy, like many other ryokan do. The bathroom was only a toilet and sink, so you still have to go down to the public bath to shower. I suppose you could use the bucket that's next to the bath on the balcony if you preferred...

Even though the room was Japanese-style, the beds were really just low Western beds. The room was big and spacious, and since I was on the third floor, it had a high peaked ceiling. Totally unexpected in Japan, but a nice surprise.

One downside is that there is no elevator, so make sure you're able to climb stairs with luggage before booking here. I probably could have asked the guy at the desk to carry my luggage, but he didn't look much stronger than me.

I didn't really poke around Hakone since the weather was rainy and dreary, so I can't say much for the area. I would like to go back someday, and I will probably stay here again. It was expensive, even for just one person, but it was my splurge for the trip.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2010

B/c it was my sister's first trip to Japan, so I wanted her to try the onsen experience, which I have come to love so much after living in Japan for about 1 year. I booked the hotel for one night through the ichinoyu website and specially chose the room with private open air bath, so that my sister does not have to feel weird about being naked in front of strangers in the public bath. The room was spacious and probably the best one we've stayed at during our trip. The breakfast was excellent too. We both enjoyed the kaiseki very much. And like most reviewers have already expressed their feelings. The only bad thing about this hotel is the staff. The manager guy, who checked us in, spoke okay English, probably good for Japanese standard, but was very rude. When I spoke to him in Japanese, and I consider my Japanese to be pretty good, he would reply in broken English with really weird gesture and expression. Before we checked out of the hotel, I asked him if it is possible to hold me luggage until the time for me to go to Hakone Yumoto station, he said okay, but say that it would cost me if I want to send the luggage to the station. I assumed that he understood me, and said that I will not send it to the station, b/c I will come back and get it and bring it to the station in English. But he did not understand that part and raised his voice, saying that I need to fill out the form to pay for the transportation of the luggage in Japanese, and he was very rude, did not even use formal language, which was the norm when a staff was to speak to a guest. I answered him Japanese that I do not want to send my luggage to the station, I myself will come back and take it to the station. That's when I shut him up. It was probably not that big of a deal, but having been in Japan for so long and have only encountered nice people. My encounter with him, especially when he is in the service business, was really bothered me. I have traveled all over Japan and have stayed at many hotels and ryokans, and I must say I have never been treated so bad. If you have not lived in Japan or do not understand Japanese, you would probably be okay, b/c you have lower expectation for service. But b/c Japanese people in general always take great pride and care in servicing guests and customers, I concluded that I would not stay at this place again b/c of the staff.

Tips: From Hakone Yumoto station, you can board the free bus to the Begonia Garden, which is across from the hotel. The bus is very 15 mins. so it is very convenient to get to and from the hotel, so you don't have to climb a very high hill to the hotel from the station.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2009

I stayed at this quaint Japanese inn on July 4th for one night. I picked this inn due to its proximity to Hakone-Yumato and the private onsen bath in the room. I was not disappointed. The experience, service, food, and location were excellent. I took a cab from the train station (Hakone-Yumato) which took all of 5 minutes for 710Yen. The next day I actually walked back to the train station (downhill walk). I arrived at about noon time and they graciously checked us in and held our bags since rooms were not available until 3PM. Did plenty of sightseeing till the room was ready. I picked a room with the private bath and low western style beds. The room on the 2nd floor was clean, neat and convenient. I had a nice view of the mountainside which from the bath at night was terrific. The bath was clean and roomy for two. It was hot but you could add cold water till comfortable. The beds were pretty comfortable. The rooms were air-conditioned and comfortable. Dinner and breakfast was served in a large dining room. service was terrific and they couldn't do enough to please us. Dinner was "Kaiseki" style with several small dishes and a delicious pork dish. (pork cutlets wrapped in vegetables). After dinner went for a short walk around the neighborhood which was very quiet and seemed pretty safe. Breakfast was a traditional Japanese breakfast. I had no idea what I was eating half the time but everything was very good and finished everything off. I did not use the public bath since the private one was sufficient. The only negative comment would be that check-out time at 10am is too early. I would definitely stay here again and would highly recommend this inn for a leisurely stay.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Tonosawa Ichinoyu Shinkan

Address: 54-1 Tounosawa, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0315, Japan
Location: Japan > Kanto > Kanagawa Prefecture > Ashigarashimo-gun > Hakone-machi > Tounosawa Onsen
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#59 Top resorts Hotel in Hakone-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ichinoyu Shinakn is located in a quiet neighborhood surrounded by beautiful mountain view. There are 15 rooms with private out door bath.Please enjoy high quality "Tonosawa" hot spring any time you want. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tonosawa Ichinoyu Shinkan Hotel Hakone-Machi

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