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Reviewed April 8, 2017 via mobile

I wish I could give it a better review but that would be dishonest. It deserves 4 or 5 stars for service and 4 for the room but the meals were at best worth 2 stars if not just 1. We stayed for 4 nights which is not typical to have such a long stay but the location of Kamisuwa served as a good base to us to explore Nagano. The price for the rooms with a private bath with lake view was quite reasonable relative to other ryokans and location (we paid about US$700 per night per room for 2 ppl).

Back to the food. The lady serving us meals asked if we didn't like Japanese food as we kept having a lot of food left on our plates. How should I say that we love Japanese food but only if it tastes good. As an example, there was tuna sashimi for breakfast one day and it had such a strong "fishy" smell that made me think it wasn't fresh at all or has been kept outside after being sliced for a while. Another item for dinner was stewed beef which was really bland with a lot of fatty pieces which would've tasted much better if they simply bought a pre-packaged sauce to go with it. Worst of all, in every meal they had some sort of boiled, broiled or grilled fish. I'm guessing they probably cooked the fish in batches early on and then reheated. Regardless, all the fish meat was very dry and tasteless or with a fishy smell. As for the shabu shabu, the quality of the cut of beef was way below average. They claimed it was Shinshu beef but I haven't had any Wagyu that was as tough and tasteless. We can find better beef from any Japanese supermarket. It's hard to describe in words exactly what the problem was and this probably sounds overly harsh but for someone who has stayed at proper ryokans before, the bar for good food is set really high. And they are far below it. I suggest Shinyu to take their chef to visit a few other competitors to better understand the problem or change their supplier if the problem is the quality of the ingredients (which probably was a huge part of the issue too). I wish Shinyu and its staff well but wish they could've done the food a lot better.

(PS, if you don't stay in a room with private bath; the public bath is a bit disappointing as well.)

Date of stay: April 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Holidaymoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2016

The hotel is on the lake front only half a mile from the Chuo line station. We had a large room with lovely wooden onsen bath looking out across the lake, two conventional double beds and plenty of tatami mat space if you prefer to sleep on the floor. Other guests seemed to be 100% Japanese. Hotel not aiming for foreign visitors, with menus only in Japanese. Dinner and breakfast both excellent, served in private booths, with either Japanese or Western seating. Nice public onsen available. Great free bus tour of the four ancient local shinto shrines, which was fascinating, but the guide's commentary was only in Japanese, so googling a little about shinto beforehand, and in particular the details of the local six-yearly festival, would help it all make sense.

Room tip: Lake views are better than mountain views, especially if you like being boiled in the bath while watching the sun set.
Date of stay: April 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank ShaleBing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2016

I lodged here on Nov 2015. The interior of the hotel is good, and the access to the location is not hard to find.
We also got free dinner and breakfast and it was tasted so good.
The hotel also serves the onsen, there are private onsen and public onsen, you are freely to choose which is best for you.
The room is very clean and neat, also the bedroom.

On the morning you can take a walk to lake kamisuwa (it is straight in front of the hotel)

One thing i can never forget is, when we wanted to leave the hotel and planned to take a train. The receptionist offered a free ride to all of us to the nearest station, and he helped us all to take our baggage to the bus (yes the hotel serves the free bus).

After all, i think this is one of the best hotel in Japan and i recommend you to lodge here if you are about to go around kamisuwa.

Thanks :)

Room tip: If you want a great view in the morning, you may choose the lake view room. You can enjoy morning sun and see the lake from above :)
Date of stay: November 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kittoutama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2014

We arrived at the onsen later than planned (if you read my other reviews, you will see this is not an uncommon occurrence for us) and were met in the parking lot by two smiling men wearing white gloves and what looked like tuxedos who bowed and smiled and greeted me by name, directed me into a parking space, hoisted our luggage, and fairly ran with it into the hotel. When we reached the front desk, the reception person (?) greeted us warmly, personally showed us to our room (where our luggage was waiting for us), gave us a little introduction to the hotel, and left us to relax a little. And boy did we relax. They give you jammies & a robe & slippers and you are encouraged to wear them everywhere. We had reserved the private bath (I'm still not ready to share a hot tub with an unknown number of naked people I don't know) which was incredibly relaxing. Dinner (and breakfast) were excellent, more food than we could possibly eat.
The room was beautiful and very comfortable, the tatami mats were reasonably thick so our backs (which are accustomed to Western-style mattresses) didn't complain too much in the morning. We had a beautiful view of the lake. The only thing I can complain about, was that air outside the onsen had a large number of some flying insects I didn't recognize that prevented us from opening the window.

Date of stay: November 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank ChrisShearerCooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2014

We had not planned to stay at Shinyu, however as we were driving by around 5:00 p.m., we noticed a small board out front offering rooms for the night. It was the first time, we hadn't made a reservation for a place to stay and thought it might only be offering the worst room or most expensive room. We were in for a great surprise. The staff at reception were extremely friendly & helpful and explained everything clearly. There were 2 choices for rooms, one facing the lake and another smaller room facing the mountain. Although a little more expensive than the mountain view, we chose the lake view. The room was prepared in no time at all, for 3 people. It was a corner room and very quiet. The room was quite spacious with 12 tatami mats and a small area of wooden flooring, at the front of the room, with a small low table and chairs to enjoy the view of the lake. (Be careful opening the doors, as the insects love to come inside quickly. The screen sliding door is best to keep them out.) The view of sunset (although we were a little late for it) would surely have made for a superb view. We were on the 3rd floor which is close to the ladies' bath. (The men's and private baths are on the 2nd floor.) The baths were very clean and quite spacious inside, the water had a lovely silky feel to it and was quite hot. There is also a small half-rotenburo (somewhat outside bath - for about 3 people max), a herbal bath and a sauna to enjoy. The huge TV in the big bath is quite unique. The amentities for the bath and dressing area were excellent, offering everything you could possibly need from shampoos to creams to hair driers. The Karin juice was very sweet but, refreshing after a hot bath.
The amentities offered in the room were very good ... however, there was only green tea available (most hotel offer English tea and coffee nowadays). The room had an empty fridge for use (there's a convenience store very close by) and a "unit bath" which was a little small and old (and didn't match the rest of decor) - it has the toilet and shower/bath together - but, is convenient. They provided large size yukata's and the quality and design of the men's and women's yukata's were very good and soft - much better than most places.
We were also able to have dinner and breakfast (even on such short notice) and the quality of food and choices of dishes were more than satisfying. The only complaint for dinner was the service felt a little bit rushed ... there was no time in between dishes to savour the delicate flavours (probably due to only 2 seating times - 6:00 and 7:30 p.m.). We had our own private room for both meals, however, the screen in between didn't block out the noise of 2 excited & noisy ladies enjoying their dinner, next door. The local selection of sake (nihon-shu) was also reasonably priced and good. For breakfast, you had a choice of three different types of miso soup.
Best of all and most surprising, was the 3 hour free bus tour (leaving twice a day at 9:20 or 1:20) provided by the hotel. We were able to visit the 4 big shrines of Suwa easily and our bus driver and guide explained things very well and interestingly (although only in Japanese). When we drove past the hotel, the staff came out to wave to us in the bus, which was nice. Although the pace of the tour is quite fast, it gives you a very good idea of the historical beauty Suwa has to offer. It was an excellent service.
Overall, the hospitality of Shinyu was brilliant and we will definitely plan to stay again ...

Room tip: Definitely recommend a lake view - sunset is beautiful ... Choose the 2nd or 3rd floor if you prefer to be close to the baths ... The private bath is very good, too ... clean, quiet and well thought-out.
Date of stay: October 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank VanessaY650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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