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“Nice place in Nikko for lunch” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Nikko Kanaya Hotel

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Nikko Kanaya Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1300, Kami-Hatsuishi-machi, Nikko 321-1401, Tochigi Prefecture   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 148 Hotels / Ryokan in Nikko
4.0 of 5 stars 150 Reviews
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Nice place in Nikko for lunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I were footsore from seeing all the amazing sights in Nikko and were hungry for lunch. We saw a sign for local gourmet cuisine near the sacred bridge and decided to give it a try. After climbing the hill to the hotel, we were pleasantly surprised by this elegant old European style hotel. The photos from the last 150 years on the wall near the dining hall are worth the visit alone. The food was excellent, the setting formal but easy going about our casual dress. The food was great, and the lunch special a good value for a multi course meal with fresh, local ingredients. The service was impeccable - kind, friendly, attentive.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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150 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Bando-shi, Ibaraki, Japan
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

                The Nikko Kanaya Hotel
                                   Mizuki Takimoto

This hotel was opened in 1834, and is located on the hills in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture. The nearest stations are Toubu Nikko and JR Nikko. This hotel is very famous as a classic one, and the Japanese Emperor stayed there. Although it was summer when I visited there, the temperature was not so high, and I felt a little cold in the morning. So I was very comfortable, and had a leisurely walk around the hotel.

This hotel has 7 types of rooms, and visitors can taste the different atmosphere even if they stay in the same type. The room I stayed in was deluxe type that is representative of Nikko Kanaya. It was great and fresh for me because I sensed that I was not in Japan but old Europe as soon as I stepped in there. Also, furniture, pictures and ceiling are Western style. Then, there are a few smaller rooms in the 7types. This type is popular among people who are traveling alone. In the main restaurant, we can eat Taisho Croquette and traditional French food of Kanaya. I ate Taisho Croquette there. It was so delicious, and the taste was not so strong. So I think it might fit the Japanese taste. Also, people can take a wedding in this hotel. That will be done solemnly at the Nikko Toushougu.

The rooms are spacious and people can indulge themselves in an exclusive sense. The main building, new buildings and annex was authorized by Modern Industry Inheritance. Not only inside the rooms, but also the corridors were decorated with the pictures, ornaments, and so on. The attitude of the staff was so great, because whenever I passed the front of them, they bowed to me, and smiled. In addition, all of them have their calling cards which had printed several views of Kanaya on the reverse. This attempt was a start to communicate with visitors, as it makes their stay more nice and unforgettable. Also, they corresponded to what I requested very smoothly. Then, the classic atmosphere in the main restaurant exaggerates the dishes. My feeling was maximum, and I had a good time with nice food.

This hotel is a classic and, it is an antique. I enjoyed my fill of history. The detailed part like a doorknob or windows were decorated closely, so I spent time feeling as if I was in medieval Europe. You might not feel these things at other hotels. Then, this hotel is surrounded by a lot of trees and nature, so you can see different appearances of Kanaya according to the season you will visit. The recommendation of the staff is autumn. If you visit in this season, you can enjoy the collaboration with Western white buildings and colored leaves. Nikko Kanaya has good rooms, services and staff. I’m sure that you can have a great time, and soak in an old Western mood, so I want you to visit there at least once.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012 via mobile

Everything about this hotel was good but it was just too expensive for what it was. The location was excellent being right near all the shrines. The service and room was great but I have got much better value for money elsewhere in Japan. We booked only a couple nights in advance so that could be a factor in relation to the price. Would recommend searching elsewhere for a better value hotel in a similar location.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Tokyo, Japan
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

I decided in a very last minute to visit Nikko for my summer vacation with my wife. When I searched the hotels in Nikko, the name of the hotel which has been known as one of the pioneer hotel in Japan came up, which was this hotel.

It is a old hotel but you can feel the hotel's history, once you set in the entrance. The room was not that large, but maybe it was built for travelers from outside Japan in the old days, so the ceiling was higher than the average of the other Japanese hotels.
Nikko Toshogu, which is the main thing that you come to see in Nikko, is very near and I walked up the hill to see the Yomeimon, Urn containing remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu, & theThree Wise Monkeys.

We had a dinner in the main dining of the hotel which serves a fine French dishes. The serve the traditional style French dishes. I also enjoyed their "Curry Pie" which they sell in the bakery shop in the lobby.
Maybe it was because we stayed during the weekdays but there were not much in the walking distance to see or buy souvenirs.
There was a outdoor swimming pool but I didn't try.
The hotel was old but the shower was very new and the water pressure was good. I avoid staying in old hotels because the shower is not good but it wasn't like that this time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

Stayed here in 2010. A beautiful place. Just loved the place and all the stories they had in the hallways about the celebrities that have visited the place over the last 100 or more years. Not the most glamorous place, but really a gem.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
94 hotel reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2011

We got a great room with a really good view of the mountains - other rooms are I suspect less impressive without a view. The hotel is quite quaint - not in a bad way. We didn't eat dinner there so can't comment on the restaurant. Breakfast is fairly limited - I would rather have had Japanese food than an omelette and toast, but that serves me right for not asking.

Overall very comfy, yes it's a bit frayed at the edges, but if you want a taste of the golden age of travel with excellence service it's absolutely fine. Just get a room with a view!

Room Tip: The view is all - mountains preferably.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

I have to agree with the review by decca_mac, unfortunately we had the former experience.

Travelling in Japan for 3 weeks we try to temper cheap hotels with a few special ones. The Kanaya was supposed to be a special one and in a way it was. The lobby is beautiful and you feel like you've stepped back in time to the hotel's heyday when the guest list read like a who's who from the Western and Japanese world. The hotel pays homage to some of these guests with displays of letters, photos and copies of pages from the registration book with the names of their esteemed guests. There is a also room full of glass cases displaying some of the hotel items used many years ago - it's a little like a museum.

So for anyone interested in history and fusion architecture it is a truly wonderful example for the period. And the garden is equally as lovely.

The staff are amazing and were always there to help, whether it's finding you an umbrella in the rain, or changing the pick up time for the car at the hire company, everything was done efficiently and with a smile. At the moment I have to say it's the staff that breathe life into the old girl.

Now to the disappointing bit. The room we had was 2 floors above the lobby overlooking the car park (which was a surprisingly pleasant view). It was old, tired and in desperate need of renovation. And I don't mean it needs modernisation, but it really needs some sympathetic treatment with respect to it's history. There are certainly ways of restoring a grand hotel like this to make it less musty, worn and aged. I find it rather sad that it has been let go when it has some truly wonderful original features.

The single beds were comfortable, but the covers were shabby. The furniture was old, but I suspect not from the period. Perhaps from a revamp mid last century. The fabric on the chairs was shiny from wear. And yes the old steam heating system was there. My husband started it up and the knocking noise it made was frightening, and took about 10 minutes to subside after he turned it off.

The bathroom had been updated at some point, but not very well. No matter how authentic I cannot stand shower curtains - they feel cheap, not to mention unhygienic.

We did not eat dinner in the restaurant as we considered it way too expensive, so went to the steakhouse as other reviewers have done. We were also very impressed with the hen of the woods mushrooms. A must try!

As it was raining when we were there we did not feel like trying our luck in the town for breakfast, so paid the exorbitant hotel prices. The service was impeccable, it was lovely using the old silverware, and the food was good, however that did not stop us from thinking it was way overpriced.

We also had the internet connected up in our room via the telephone outlet by a very kind and efficient staff member. But because of the particular set up required there were cables running everywhere. Not particularly safe as far as trip hazards are concerned but at least it worked.

The old bar was small, cozy and wonderfully atmospheric, but a single drink each was all we could afford. And was all we had time for. The bar tender seems most preoccupied with the four guests at the bar, and I must say they were the only other guests in the room, and took at least 20 minutes or more to bring us the hotel's special cocktail and a beer.

Surprisingly the souvenier shop had some very reasonably priced items, so it's worth a look if you want to take something special away with you.

The Kanaya has the best location for seeing the temples, so is ideally situated for sightseeing at Nikko. If you arrive by train, I would guess it's a considerable walk. We took a taxi as the rain and our luggage were not a good combination.

I really have a hard time rating this hotel because I want to love it, and I really do think it can be the grand old lady again, if only someone would put in the effort to do so. In which case I am forced to say, try this hotel based on the knowledge that if you pay a lot of money, you might get a half decent room, but then again, you might not.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nikko Kanaya Hotel

Address: 1300, Kami-Hatsuishi-machi, Nikko 321-1401, Tochigi Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kanto > Tochigi Prefecture > Nikko
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 148 Hotels / Ryokan in Nikko
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Nikko Kanaya Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 71
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