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Yanagawa Ohana
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Reviewed December 30, 2010

We booked Ohana through Japanese Guesthouse and everything was done very efficiently. We stayed for 3 nights during the 1st week of December 2010.
2 nights were with dinner+breakfast @ Y15,000 per person excl tax in a japanese room for 2 of us. The 3rd night was with breakfast but without the kaiseki dinner @ Y9,000 pp.

The great thing about Ohana is they also allow single stays and the Jap room was also non smoking and equally spacious, with a choice for non-smoking.

TRANSPORT:
We took the Nishitetsu Omuta Ltd Express from NishitetsuFukuoka Tenjin station. The best part is being able to use our SUICA card which we bought a few years back. Bear in mind, you cant buy a new SUICA card but you can top up an existing card. In Kyushu you can purchase a different card - however, no point if you dont intend to travel to this part of Japan often enough.

TIP: Give yourself plenty of time to look for the Nishitetsu station in Tenjin when you arrive in Fukuoka and are staying in Hakata city. There are many exits from the Tenjin subway and if you are rushing to catch the Nishitetsu line, it can be quite stressful. We found Exit 9 at the Tenjin Underground arcade convenient to get to the ticket machines for the train to Yanagawa. In our free and easy trips to Japan, we always give ourselves at least 2 nights in the city to book our train tickets, check the stations out etc. It really helps esp when we hardly speak or read the language.

Upon arrival at Yanagawa station, get an english map from the tiny tourist info office (on the right after the ticket exit). Our 10 min taxi ride cost around Y1100 one way. On your return, just get Ohana receptionist to book the taxi back to the station.

ROOM:
We were thankful they had a choice of non smoking rooms. The japanese room was spacious and the bath area had a deep tub if you wanted a soak. Unfortunately there's no hotsprings in this hotel. Though we could use the one at a nearby ryokan, we decided against it after seeing a bigger crowd over there
Ohana didnt have the large crowds, so it was rather peaceful and relaxing. I am not sure about the other seasons.

THe weather was a little chilly at 10 degrees so we didnt take the canal cruise. Instead we chose to walk and enjoyed taking in the sights of the little shops. You can choose the pathway which overlooks the canal or walk towards the left side after exiting Ohana. There are several streets with little shops and also the Tourist Info centre by the supermarket. Just about 10 mins stroll away. There's a coffee machine where you slot in your coins and select the type of coffee beans you want at the Info centre.

FOOD
THe kaiseki on the 1st night came with several dishes, the main being the UNAGI eel with rice. Very well done and fragrant. Yanagawa is famous for Unagi and there are many restaurants around the place specializing in this dish. The prices are similar and we found Ohana's food to be reasonable and of a high standard. The kaiseki selection and quantity doesnt leave you overwhelmed or too full - just nice. Its served in a private tatami room. We definitely recommend reservations with kaiseki dinner if you can afford it.

The restaurant serves set lunches between 12pm-3pm, set dinners 5.30pm-8pm. In between is a limited selection of alacarte which is mainly japanese fare. We tried the Tempura and chawanmushi which was good.
The curry set or pasta set was tasty and came with coffee/tea. The minestrone soup in the pasta set was really chockful of good stuff and yummy.
If you choose to have a proper unagi meal in the restaurant, go for the proper meal rather than the cheaper unagi set which only has smaller strips of meat. Look at the pictures on the board outside the restaurant for a better idea. The staff at the restaurant speak very little english - we resorted to pointing at pictures and the usual hand gestures. But no problem coz we are used to it. The politeness of the Jap service staff is one of the best we have encountered in our travels.
Breakfast was japanese style - enjoyed the fugu which was nicely done.

Lobby was not particularly cozy enough to keep one seated for long.
The coffee house is limited to beverages, drinks and some desserts. We did enjoy the dessert comprising of green tea jelly, red bean paste, mochi balls and ice cream. The only negative at the coffee house is that you can get whiff of 2nd hand cigarette smoke if anyone lights up. Wish they would make it totally non smoking. This is the reason why I didnt give it full marks.

SERVICE:
As in most japanese establishments - courteous and efficient inspite of the limited english spoken (esp in the restaurant). The owner Ms. Chizuka speaks very good english but we only met her on our check out day. The other staff speak just enough for us to get by. We were early for check in, so free tickets to the museum nearby were handed to us to pass our time.

I can imagine how pretty this little town must be in Spring and Autumn. We would definitely like to return in Spring to enjoy the flowers. Apparently they have some doll festival in March. Wifi is very slow here even with your own data plan.

You can find out more about Ohana from their website.
http://www.ohana.co.jp/stay.html
But for ease of reservations, Japanese Guesthouse is good. The hotel accepted Visa although Jap Guesthouse said we had to pay cash.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank traveljet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: March 2018, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: March 2018, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2018 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: October 2017, traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: お庭が見える客室が一番よいと思います。
  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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