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“A Dreamland”

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Lamp no Yado Aoni-onsen
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels / Ryokan in Kuroishi
Certificate of Excellence
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Dreamland”
Reviewed January 10, 2014

I've been to Aoni Onsen with my girfriend shortly after Christmas. It was a herculean trip from Tokyo, but it was definitely worthwhile. We took the Shinkansen up to Shin-Aomori and, then, an Express Train to Hirosaki. From Hirosaki, we took the local Konan train to Kuroishi. This was probably my favourite part of the trip! The train cuts through the countryside of Aomori, among rice fields and small businesses. Since we went in late December, it was all covered in white and packed with snow! There is only one railway, so the trains run in a very long interval. The landscape is one of the best parts of this trip! We were lucky to catch a sunny day, so we could see all mountains around us, including Iwaki-san!

After arriving in Kuroishi, we took a city bus from the station to a meeting place called Rainbow Lake (Niji-no-ko); a dam lake. And there we boarded the Hotel shuttle bus! The driver was an old bald jii-chan who patiently explained all that was going on around us: told us of the huge snow that had falled, of the wild dogs that were seen running around the hotel earlier that day, and told us the names of all the mountains in the horizon! He stopped the van in some parts of the way to show us the pretty landscape and allowed us to take some photos. The way from the lake to the hotel takes about 20 to 30 min, and is a single-lane curved inner mountain road - which was fully snow-packed when we went.

The hotel itself is amazing!! Very traditional: all rooms in tatami mat and wooden flooring. The rooms are equipped with oil stove heaters, futons and a low table. No electricity! =D And, also, no mobile reception! It's an amazing place to forget about the world. They have 4 different hot baths, one of which is mixed bath, in the middle of the snow (in winter). It is a delicious place! The food is traditional Japanese cuisine, with plenty of vegetables and fish! In the last day, we got a delicious lunch with the best curry-rice I've ever eaten in Japan!

Highly recommended!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kuukan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Japan
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2013

Arriving just before sunset the glowing lamps welcome you to a quaint and peaceful atmosphere.
There is no TV blaring, no Wi Fi, no internet, no phones in the room and no mobile reception.
Aoni-Onsen offers the chance to quiet yourself and enjoy nature, hot springs and the person you are with.
Access by public transport is an adventure in itself. From Aomori Station to Hirosaki station, another train ride to Kuroishi and a bus drive to the Onsen's pick up point and then a 12 Km ride arriving finally down a very steep hill to the main entrance.
The rooms are monastically spartan, but cozy and comfortable, you get to make your own bed by pulling bottom and top futons from their cubicles. Like any good monastery, I imagine, no pillow is provided! It takes awhile to get used to the dim lights so a flashlight comes in handy. The meals are excellent and a subject in itself. Aomori is blessed with clean waters, pure air, fresh vegetables and delicate fish. You have a choice of different hot springs to relax and become one with your surroundings.
The staff is helpful but English is not heir forte as one of them explained to me "I speak Japanese and Gestures"
The Onsen is open year around and I am looking forward to my next visit in the white winter.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ErwinOrtiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide
Level Contributor
153 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2013

We were taken here by our son who lives in Aomori. If you are not a local this place is well off the beaten track and hard to find. My advice though is to make the effort, for you will be rewarded with a journey into another time and space.
Lamp no Yado Aoni-onsen is set in a beautiful valley with a mountain stream flowing amongst the buildings.
There is no electricity in the rooms so leave the gadgets behind and just let go! At night each room is lit by a kerosene lamps and you sleep on Tatami mats on a traditional futon.
The outside Onsen are reached by crossing the bridge to the other side of the river where you can relax in the hot springs while gazing at the water cascading down the side of the valley.... Absolute Magic!!
This place is timeless so read the other reviews and make up your own mind.
If you want a great escape from the crazy world then head for Lamp no Yado Aoni-onsen.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank ziggieAdelaide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

This property is nestled in a deep valley, completely removed from the outside world. Guest rooms are tatami matted, with low table in the daytime, futon for sleeping. Very comfortable, meticulously clean, the gleaming hardwood floors, modern toilet rooms, and incomparable hotspring baths along with the unique lantern lighting create a magical environment. There are four baths, each with a unique character. My favourite was located in a separate building near the entrance to the ryokan. This bath featured high ceilings, aromatic wood interiors and glorious reflections from the windows and design of the wood lined bathing pool. Adjacent, for the ladies, is an outdoor ceramic bathing receptacle, with views to the river, not to be missed! You are provided comfortable yukatas, towels, and indoor and outdoor slippers. After arrival, these items are all that you will require. I would recommend a two night stay as most visitors stay one night, departing in the morning, thus allowing almost private use of the hotspring baths during the day. The staff are friendly, the meals are delicious and prepared with seasonal local produce and seafood.

Room Tip: River view is preferred
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cathyarmstrong75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
437 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We stayed in the inn in mid May when trees are becoming more green with some snow patches in shadows. Quality of hot springs and atomosphere are great. There are 4 different baths including old traditional to modern, inside and outside mixed gender bath. (Don't worry ladies, ladies only or mixed time schedules are allocated.) I recommend you to get there as early as they allow, enjoy all styles and walk around small paths around the inn to cool down your body. Because they only use lanterns (There is a power line, washing basin rooms have lights and there is a vending machine though), all scenary was so soft, I felt to be back on 19th century and I recognised how we rely on electoric lights during normal life. On the other hand, it was hard to see dishes when we had a dinner and I got bit sore throat due to lanterns smoke during night (you can't touch them and have to leave them on over night even when you sleep in). The dinner is at big tatami room with Tsugaru-shamisen (local traditional guitar) play which is on every Friday night. The dinner itself is typical Japanese onsen inn food but heaps to fill up our empty tummy.

We took a free shuttle bus from JR Shin-Aomori station, which is operated on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays by city councils, then at the last bus stop, changed to their private shuttle. The price is around JPY10000 which is reasonable price for those inns. We concluded that we enjoyed the stay with them.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank にんじんandグリーンピース
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2012

We tryed to find an off the road rustic Onsen in the mountains in the northern Honshu. And after some investigation and the following complicated travel plans we succeeded. In the description of how to get there, we have to go one hour up the track from the Aoni onsen Iriguchi bus stop. But we missed that opportunity, the onsen picked us up at the station. I think we were the only foreigners between the many Japanese, and they asked how we have found this secret place. By exploring outside the main tourist routes! Most of the people stayed for one night but we couldn’t leave this fine place, so we stayed for two nights.
Lovely tatami rooms with oil lamps, a handful of inside and outside hot bath. We arrived in the afternoon and bated naturally before the dinner. We had dinner together with the other guests in our yokata. The food was really fine and the host told about the place and the food. After the dinner we tried some other bath and joined some of the guests and had some beer and joyful talk. And so a last bath and to bed - a really feel good day.
And the next day only “being”- relax and enjoy the hot bath, food and the nature. That is Japan at its best!

Sorry to tell you that we were there in 1998 - but on the internet it looks like that it had not changet much.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mogens-san
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2010

Aoni is NOT easy to get to, particularly from Tokyo by public transportation. It requires a full day of travel and much advanced planning. And about 7 or 8 transfers over train and bus. Also tough if you don't speak much Japanese.

Once you get there, set aside your cares and worries. This place is so amazingly beautiful. The various onsen are about as good as they could possibly be. And I've been to a lot of them.

The food was very good - all served in a communal dining hall which can get pretty chaotic around eating time.

The room was smallish and quite cold given the time of year. It's part of the experience though.

I would love to go back. The taki-no-yu (waterfall (viewing) bath) was my favorite onsen ever. I sure would love to go there RIGHT NOW!

<afterwards we cabbed to Sukayu which I've recommend, and hiked Hakkoda-san which was stunning>

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank atypic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lamp no Yado Aoni-onsen

Property: Lamp no Yado Aoni-onsen
Address: 1-7 Aonisawa Takinoue, Okiura, Kuroishi 036-0402, Aomori Prefecture
Location: Japan > Tohoku > Aomori Prefecture > Kuroishi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels / Ryokan in Kuroishi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Lamp no Yado Aoni-onsen 3*
Number of rooms: 35
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Also Known As:
Lamp No Yado Aoni-Onsen Japan/Kuroishi, Aomori Prefecture

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