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“Traditional Service with real onsen experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Yunoshimakan

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4.0 of 5
  |   645 Yunoshima, Gero 509-2207, Gifu Prefecture (Gero Onsen)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 60 Hotels / Ryokan in Gero
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Traditional Service with real onsen experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

The hotel is old but still very traditional and clean.The staff are welcome and helpful even they can't speak english but they try their best to help. The hotel still remains their service and alway make us feel royalty. The food are also distinctive and delicious, the old building and new are well-connected you can walk to any are in the hotel easily. My family stay in the bekkan room type, which is Japanese style room with a small outdoor bath that fit 1 person comfortably, outdoor garden and living room. We also have dinner in the room which is really well organize and the staff can speak english very well.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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106 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

This is a very old, big ryokan which used to be top class. There are photos of the Emperor who had been there probably in the '60. Now it's very outdated, the furnishings and especially the moquette are old and covered by spots, the walls need to be repainted. There is a lot of humidity also.
The service is outstanding. Every room has a hostess who takes care of your futons and dinner. The food is delicious, dozens of beautifully prepared dishes. We spent two nights and we had two different menus - both included Hida beef (Japanese breed similar to Kobe one). Our hostess Mina was lovely and professional.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We decided to stay Gero Onsen Yunoshimakan because it was rated as one of Japan’s three most famous hot springs. Combined with our desire to stay at a Traditional Ryokan, this seemed to be the perfect choice. It is a bit far and definitely far from the city... located in Gero of the Gifu Prefecture in Nagoya. A shuttle bus was there to pick us up from the train station and when we arrived, the staff took our shoes and we wore slippers for the remainder of our stay. A room staff allowed the women to choose their yukatas in the lobby area while the men only get the standard yukata provided in the room. The room staff escorts you to your room and makes tea for you and goes over all the info you need to know for your stay. We stayed in the Keizanso room because it had a private hot spring bath perfect for couples because the public baths are gender separated. It also allows you to enjoy the hot spring water without leaving the comfort of your room and the bath has a beautiful view of the mountains. Highly recommend this room for couples!

We were provided with a traditional Japanese dinner (full course meal) in the privacy of our room and opted for the Traditional Japanese breakfast option the following morning that takes place in the banquet hall. The meal was delicious! Full and detailed review of the ryokan along with photos of the meal can be found at http://skinnychopsticks.com/yunoshimakan/.

All in all the stay was a wonderful getaway from the big city. It was really relaxing and the public baths were clean. Definitely get the full breakfast and dinner meal option. A few of their staff do speak English here but the majority don't.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

I stayed at Yunoshimakan with my husband and parents in May 2013, for 2 nights.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay, firstly, the staff made us feel like royalty, and could not have been more helpful or kind. We particularly loved Maho, our personal room assistant who served us our evening meal both nights. The process of staying at the hotel is carefully and gently explained over a cup of hot tea in our room on arrival, and you are given every opportunity to ask questions.
We loved the 'bed-ninjas' who arrived after dinner to set up our futons... I just wish I'd videoed them, but we were too shy.
We loved the forest setting, in amongst giant cedars, surround by birdlife, and all the noises of a forest. We loved the 'Musasabi' who came to visit one night, perched on the windowsill outside, before gliding off into the trees. By the way, a Musasabi is a Giant Japanese Flying Squirrel, and it's the size of a large cat. Do not sleep with the windows open!
We loved the Onsen Baths, which were easy to use and gave us a chance to find peace and calm at the beginning and end of each day. Do try them, and don't worry about the issue of nakedness in front of other people, nobody's looking at you, and it really is the whole point of staying at this hotel.
With that in mind, do not pay the extra for the rooms with a private bath, as we did. We did not use them even once, and I must admit the Cedar tub in our room was a little run down, and had some green slime at the corners which didn't tempt me to try it. The public baths were spotless, and I had no such qualms.
The room itself was very spacious with all the power points necessary, and was in a traditional style, tatami mats, and beautifully decorated. The condition of the hotel is as you would expect in an older building, the floors creak and are a bit uneven, and the place looks as though it could do with a re-vamp sometime soon. However, that said, it all adds to the atmosphere, and you do feel as though you're getting an insight to a little piece of history here.
We were approached by a lady in the corridor one evening, who introduced herself as the original owners' grand daughter. She explained that her grand father had built the hotel. Some had called him crazy, as a previous earthquake had destroyed the original hot springs, and he had re-excavated the springs to build his hotel. Once it was built though, the town was rejuvenated, and other hotels sprung up, creating the resort town of Gero. It was a nice encounter for us, and a good chance for the owner to promote her hotel to us I think!
The evening meal and breakfast are in a traditional Japanese style, Kaiseki, multiple courses and far too much food really. All fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented. Prepare to be blown away. However, I don't think I could have coped with more than 2 nights of that kind of decadence, and Japanese style breakfast is quite tough on Western preferences. No cereal bowls here folks, but that's not why you came is it?
The town of Gero itself is not really exciting, although it is pretty for a walk. Bear in mind that the hotel is at the top of a steep hill, with stairs an alternative to the road approach. It was a 15 minute climb back from the town centre which would test anybody's endurance. There are plenty of taxis about which would be an option for those less fit and able. The hotel provides a shuttle bus at specific times, which is very handy, and will uplift from the train station if you advise them of your arrival time.
I recommend a day trip to Takayama, about 40 minutes by train further into the mountains. We really enjoyed walking around the preserved historic streets of this larger town, and had a lovely lunch of Soba and Udon noodles, by the river.
I would love to say I would stay at this hotel again, and we did really enjoy our experience here. However it is an expensive option at about £250 per night, per room. The hotel does not skimp on the quality of the dining and onsen experience, however I think there may be better value options out there which will still be the highlight of your trip to Japan. I am glad we stayed here though, and will always have happy memories of this very peaceful place.
Thank you again to Maho for really making our stay special!

Room Tip: Don't pay extra for a private bath tub! Use the public baths which are much nicer.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We stayed 1 night at Yunoshimakan early this April and it has been overall a nice experience. The resort has two seperate open-air public bath rooms, one for ladies and the other for the gentleman. The resort staff will switch the bath rooms everyday to ensure everyone can enjoy the beautiful views of both hot spring baths. :)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Gold Coast, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Such a great experience! The room was an authentic Japanese room with tatami mays, futons, rice paper walls, entry hall, extra sunroom and private onsen with full floor to ceiling open up windows over looking the mountains. Very romantic and relaxing. The included kaiseki (Japanese multi-course banquet) was superb and added to the experience as well as the traditional Japanese multi-course breakfast. The staff were very friendly, although spoke limited English. A great old building to explore and excelent public and family onsen, including the best rotenburo (outside onsen) with a great atmosphere.

Room Tip: Splash out the extra on a room with a private onsen!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
210 helpful votes 210 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We journeyed from our 1st ryokan at Hagi Takayama (see separate review) to Gero Onsen on February 20, 2013. It's a comfortable 46mins ride from Takayama to Gero on the Ltd Exp Wide View Hida.

Once again, we used Japanese Guest Houses for our reservations and they did a wonderful job of providing us with the needed information to help us in our journey. The service is in English and that’s a real help for people like us who hardly speak or read Japanese.

The full top rating is based on the type of room we had + food and service. The ryokan has many other type of rooms so we cant speak for those which we didnt stay in.

Our stay was for 3 nights starting on 20 Feb 2013. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary and Japanese Guest Houses reserved a KEISANZOU room in the Chuang Kageyama new bldg. It came with our own onsen bath tub which is piped in with 100% onsen water. Lovely!

This is so convenient esp in the morning when we don’t feel like walking the distance to the public baths and want our own private soak.

Being winter, we paid around Y36,966 (including all taxes) per night for this type of room. I believe the cost is higher in the peak seasons.

The shuttle picked us up around 1.30pm at the Gero station (tiny station which probably gets jam packed during peak season).

When we arrived at the ryokan, we needed to remove our footwear which they kept for the rest of the stay.

Everything was super efficient for our check in (which is pretty normal from all our frequent travels in japan) and off we went to our room on the 9th floor, with a staff showing and explaining as we went along. Ladies get to choose their yukatas whilst men wear those provided in the rooms.

Yunoshimakan has quite a bit of history surrounding it and they have pictures of the Imperial family on their walls, famous guests, plenty of artifacts. Practically like a little museum on certain floors. Although it has an “old” feel about it in some areas, we appreciated the history and background behind it.

A very interesting maze of corridors and one can get lost at times. To encourage others to explore the grounds, they have this piece of paper where you get to rubber stamp each place that you have found on the chart. If you collect all your stamps, it entitles you to 10% off beverages at the coffee house and 2 other little perks. Good and innovative idea to encourage guests to explore the place.

The place is pretty huge and its quite a walk from the lobby to our wing. But that was part of the fun as we were able to view quite a bit of artifacts along the way.

The public onsens on the 2nd floor are really very nice esp the outdoor ones. Even the indoor ones are rather large. Opened from 1pm – 10am (interchanged for ladies & men). Each has an indoor + an outdoor attached to it. Toiletries are in the dressing room are not as extensive as some ryokans – They do have a set of face & milk lotion but don’t expect a large array of creams and lotions and gels.

There are about 4 free small enclosed family baths on the 4th floor which is first come first served. We managed to view 2 out of the 4. These were rather tiny & more suitable for single guests who want to enjoy the privacy & don’t mind the enclosed space with no views. Each of the dressing rooms attached to these baths are pretty quant – like something out of a british enid blyton novel.

Because this ryokan is much larger, the chill was more pronounced in these corridors esp in the old wing.

I guess its prudent for the hotels to cut down on power consumption during the non busy hours (since problems re nuclear plants cropped up). Also, this nice old ryokan has limitations when it comes to heating up the corridors esp in the old wing.

As guests, may we encourage others to switch off all unnecessary lightings when leaving the room – to help the country conserve their energy usage.

The girl who served us the meals in the room was very sweet and efficient. We opted for meals in our room (choice of between 5.30pm to 7pm). We chose 7pm. The kaiseki dinners were sumptuous.. What a feast – this is true kaiseki and you have to be prepared to be “adventurous”.

We did however, request no raw meat in case they served raw beef or horse meat. The Hida beef for sukiyaki and over the fire just melts in our mouth. Just thinking about it makes me hungry!!

We went for our breakfast at 8.30am in the dining room. Again, good Japanese selection – the typical ryokan dishes with all sorts of condiments and little items.

The ryokan is perched on a hill and is surrounded by nice tall trees, with the mountains afar off. So its not convenient for strolling into town if that’s what you prefer.

Frankly, the gero onsen area in our opinion, looked pretty grey and unattractive with rather ugly looking buildings in some areas. Rather different from Takayama .

Most guests go there for the very good quality onsen water. We can understand its popularity as our skins really felt so smooth after each soak.

It’s just about 5 mins plus from Yunoshimakan to the Gero station. Hence we had enough time when we left with the 10am shuttle, to catch our Limited Express at 10:26am back to Nagoya.

The winter scenery on our day of departure from the ryokan was really pretty. Some trees from a distance looked like white cherry blossoms. The ryokan has quite a bit of surrounding greenery with trees – so it was lovely.

We were treated to different winter views from our balcony throughout the 3 night stay. It's so magical esp when it starts to snow.

The train journey back to Nagoya is also very picturesque esp in winter.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, reserve the Keizanso room which has a nice sitting area with a little sofa and...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Yunoshimakan

Address: 645 Yunoshima, Gero 509-2207, Gifu Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Gero > Gero Onsen
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 60 Hotels / Ryokan in Gero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Yunoshimakan 4*
Number of rooms: 74
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