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Watatsumi no Yado

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Guests1 room, 2 adults, 0 children
Traveler (51)
Room & Suite (18)
Dining (12)

About

#3 of 15 hotels in Awaji-shima
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See why so many travelers make Watatsumino Yado their onsen ryokan of choice when visiting Awaji. Providing an ideal mix of value, comfort and convenience, it offers a romantic setting with an array of amenities designed for travelers like you. Rooms at Watatsumino Yado offer air conditioning providing exceptional comfort and convenience, and guests can go online with free wifi. A 24 hour front desk, room service, and baggage storage are some of the conveniences offered at this onsen ryokan. A sauna and an on-site restaurant will also help to make your stay even more special. If you are driving to Watatsumino Yado, free parking is available. Nearby landmarks such as Hyogo Prefectural Awaji Landscape Planning & Horticulture Academy (1.5 mi) and Harmony Farm Awaji (2.1 mi) make Watatsumino Yado a great place to stay when visiting Awaji. If you like seafood restaurants, Watatsumino Yado is conveniently located near Craft Circus. Best of all, Watatsumino Yado makes it easy to experience many great Awaji attractions like Awaji Yumebutai, Kiseki no Hoshi Botanical Museum, and Awaji Country Garden, which are some popular gardens. We’re sure you’ll enjoy your stay at Watatsumino Yado as you experience all of the things Awaji has to offer.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Sauna
Restaurant
Karaoke
Table tennis
Fax / photocopying
Hot spring bath
Parking
Vending machine
Massage
Open-air bath
Baggage storage
Shops
24-hour front desk
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Room features
Family rooms
Air conditioning
Housekeeping
Room service
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HOTEL STYLE
Great View
Languages Spoken
English, Japanese

Location

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29Reviews
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If you’ve a passion for onsens, such as myself, and you happen to be in the Kobe or Himeji area, then this place ‘could’ be an option…but it will depend on where your priorities are. I’ll clarify shortly. Watatsumino Yada is a real dome-dome place (pronounced ‘dome-may, dome-may’), meaning that it’s visited exclusively by Japanese who don’t have much contact/exposure with the rest of the world (read foreigners). As it’s way off the beaten track of foreign travelers, all the reviews of this place are thus far only in Japanese. My wife and I stayed here recently and I thought an English review was due. I’ll first preface this review by saying that I’ve lived in Japan a number of years in the past, and although while back home in NYC, my wife and I frequent Japan at least once every couple months for pleasure. During my times there I’ve stayed at dozens of ryokans and onsen hotels, from the most high-end places, to the most basic (which are often the most fun), so, this review is by someone who has had a good amount of exposure to the culture, and not looking at things as a wowed and overwhelmed tourist, who is amazed and fascinated with everything that he or she sees in Japan. With that out of the way let’s get to the review! If you’re in the Kobe and Himeji area, this is one option for an onsen experience. It’s easy to get to, yet far enough away to give you that feeling of being (kind of) in another world. If you’re hanging out, at say, Himeji Castle for the day, you could easily go there after that. If you’re in Kobe or Himeji, you’ll need to first go to Akashi by train. It’s a short and easy trip by Hanshin Sanyo or JR. From Akashi you’ll need to take the ferry over to Awaji Island (the ferry terminal is just down the street from the Akashi eki). It’s a short 13 minute trip. Before getting on the ferry, if you have time, you may want to check out the Akashi Market, which is quite interesting. The area is known for taco (octopus), and you’ll have a chance to try it in many different ways. As usual in Japan…don’t expect better prices at the fish markets. If anything, it’s just the opposite (also get used to every place claiming to have a ‘specialty’, even for the most common and basic of things). Once you’re on Awaji Island, the Hotel van will pick you up. Just let them know your arrival time. As is typical in Japan, the check-ins are unreasonably (and unnecessarily) late, so everyone will probably arrive around the same time. The hotel bills itself as a ryokan, but it’s really more of an onsen hotel than anything else. You’ll have your choice of room styles…Japanese tatami rooms, where it’s bare boned living with you sleeping on the floor; a regular western room, or a Japanese suite. The regular rooms have either an in room onsen, or no onsen, where you’ll then have to use the public one. Check-in was quite easy. I cannot say much about their level of Eigo (English), as we communicated exclusively in Japanese, but I got the impression that the staff is not well versed in English. Still though, even if you don’t speak Japanese, don’t let that stop you from going there (or anywhere in Japan, for that matter). Let that be part of your experiences in Japan. To continue…the lobby is spacious, and there’s a small gift shop featuring things the island is ‘known for’ (octopus and onions), a small café and a ping-pong table which they charge 500 yen to use. After we checked-in, we were escorted to our suite and given a tour. As this was a specific onsen indulging trip, we opted for the best that they had, which was a Japanese suite which had both an indoor onsen AND an outside onsen. I have to say, our ‘room’ (202) was amazing (and this coming from a jaded New Yorker)! It was very spacious, although one always gets that feeling of spaciousness in any tatami room as there are no furnishings in the rooms. The bathroom area was quite spacious with his and hers sinks, and a heated floor (Korean style), which was quite nice. The toilet was also nice, with classical music automatically coming on once you were inside. I thought that was a pretty smooth touch. There was a wonderful garden area adjacent to the outdoor onsen area, which was very nice. As customary, you can’t really go out onto it, but it was nice to look at anyway. Overall, the space was very nice. As is the norm at J-inns, they will set up your futon for you while you are at dinner. My wife and I are certainly accustomed to doing that ourselves, from our years of living there, but it’s nice to have someone else doing it for you. As was mentioned, the point of this particular trip was to indulge in relaxing onsen baths, and this place did not disappoint in that department. Our suite had two, one lovely indoor wooden one, and another one outside. We didn’t use the indoor one because the outside one was just so awesome. The outdoor onsen was a stunningly beautiful stone one, which is my idea of onsen heaven. Look at the pictures of the outside one, and tell me that it’s not nice. When you go to an onsen place you’re not looking to ‘party’, but looking to take advantage of the reported relaxing and rejuvenating qualities of a mineral bath, so much of our time was spent just going back and forth from the outside onsen. Heaven. The other reason that people go to either a J-inn (ryokan), or an onsen hotel, is for the food. Typically, one has a kaiseiki dinner option, either served in their room or at the restaurant. Kaiseiki basically just means ‘multi-course’. It is often the highlight of a stay at a ryokan. There wasn’t an in-room eating option at this hotel, so down to the restaurant we went at our appointed time. The restaurant itself was rather strange looking. It has open fish holding tanks (with no fish), and it looked kind of a mess. Maybe they were trying to go for that ‘busy fish-market’ look, I don’t know, but it certainly wasn’t an attempt at elegance. Opposite that area there were a series of private rooms, which were fairly comfortable. Anyway, the point of your visit to the restaurant is to eat…so what of the food? Much can be forgiven when your onaka (stomach), has been made happy. Sadly, the food was quite disappointing. I’ve had literally hundreds of kaiseiki dinners in Japan, and this was one of the most underwhelming culinary experiences that I’ve ever had. As typical in Japan, the presentation of things are often more important than substance, and that couldn’t be any truer than dinner here. The dishes were not very imaginative, not especially tasty, and rather skimpy in portions for what was paid. As a hard core foodie who thinks nothing of going from NYC to the other side of the world for a specific restaurant experience or dish, this was just…disappointing. Beautifully presented, but lacking in substance is the only way I can describe it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the food was uneatable…no, not at all, it’s just a much higher quality was expected considering the price paid. It’s also the first kaiseiki dinner where I actually went away hungry. How is that even possible?? Thank goodness there was a convenience store close by! The next day we had a Japanese breakfast at the restaurant, and it was equally disappointing, although, in all openness, ‘traditional’ J-breakfast’s are not very interesting to begin with, in my opinion, but even taken on its own merit, I would say the breakie was nothing to write home about. Overall, it seems that their culinary skills are lacking. After breakfast you’ve got to quickly get ready to leave, as check-out is at 10 AM. The rushed early checkout certainly detracts from the relaxing feeling attained while soaking in your onsen. In closing, you have to decide what your focus is if you go there. IF you only want to indulge in an onsen, then you are fine. BUT, if you’re all about the full experience, then you’ll have to compromise from the culinary perspective. Hmm, but wait. My views on their food is heavily influenced by having lived in Japan in the past, having eaten at virtually hundreds of restaurant there, in addition to having a wife (who is Japanese), who could easily give their chef cooking lessons. What about if you’re just a regular foreigner visiting…might that inexperienced traveler think it fine? Maybe. One could argue that the typical visiting palate might not really know any better. Sure, I hear you, but in rebuttal, wouldn’t it be better to have a more complete experience? Feel the full impact of a kaiseiki dinner? If you’re going to spend a small fortune then you should get the full experience, and from a culinary perspective, I feel that this may not be the place. Again that’s from a food perspective. From an onsen ONLY point of view, then yes! Absolutely. Their private outside onsen is just fantastic and worth a visit. My only less than positive comment about their beautiful outdoor onsens is that they should include a bar for getting in and out. It was fine for me, but I could easily see an older person, or one not so fit person, slipping on the wet stones and hurting themselves. It’s a lawsuit just waiting to happen, but after years of practice, that could just be the lawyer in me coming out, lol. To be open with you, I’ve never been overly impressed with ryokans. They tend to be ridiculously overpriced for what you get, which is basically a bare boned room where you’re sleeping on the floor. Regardless of how it’s marketed, it is what it is. When in Japan, NEVER be impressed with something because of its price tag, as prices are generally greatly inflated due to a variety of factors, such as the excessive layers which a product or service must negotiate before it’s at the consumer level, unspoken monopolies which elevates prices greatly, niche marketing (and especially of the always convenient word ‘traditional’), which tends to try and make everything a specialty, and everyplace ‘known’ for something. There is also the lingering post war mentality that its fine to overpay, as it’s supposedly evidence of newly found ‘affluence’. This has changed in recent years (especially the reluctance to overpaying, as seen by the rise of discount shopping and the growing presence of US wholesale stores…it took a ten year + recession to drive that point home), but nonetheless, entities such as J-inns and the like will heavily market the ‘traditional’ mantra and charge accordingly. It’s really all about marketing in Japan, and making much ‘abo about nothing’.But what about Watatsumino Yada specifically? Would I return? Likely not. I love, love, love their outdoor onsen in their suites, but I enjoy wonderful dishes too much to compromise at their asking price. Would I recommend it for your basic foreign traveler? Sadly, I cannot, which pains me to say, as the staff was very nice and welcoming. But between the very late check-ins, the much too early checkouts (you have to pay to extend to a normal check out time), and the far below average food quality, (in addition to the ridiculously small quantities), I cannot really recommend this place to a foreign traveler. You can find other places which are off-the-beaten path which will give you a complete ryokan experience. Hope this review helps
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PRICE RANGE
$141 - $636 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
JapanKinkiHyogo PrefectureAwaji-shimaAwaji
NUMBER OF ROOMS
20
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