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“just perfect”
Review of Uotoshi Ryokan

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Uotoshi Ryokan
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Wonderful host, cosy and traditional ryokan with natural springs for bathing and delicious meals, the host even offers a kyudo experience (with a demonstration and beginner course) --> we will absolutely come back

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Annika L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 - 25 of 33 reviews

Reviewed June 26, 2012

The owner of Uotoshi seems to be a very nice person. He went out of his way to give us a ride to the station when we left, and he gave us (without charge) a very special demonstration of Japanese archery. We chose the place because it is also a Japanese archery (Kyudo) Dojo, and we were interested in learning about it. The room itself was beautiful and clean and pleasant.

So what, you ask, is the problem? When we arrived, the owner met us outside, and asked if we like dogs. We said "sure". When we came into the entryway we discovered an old and seemingly ill dog sitting on a pee-stained matt of some kind. The stench of the dog pee smell was almost unbearable. Our first thought was that the dog must have become ill, and that the owner didn't know what to do about the situation. After getting to the room and discovering it was bearable we spent a few minutes calling other places to see if we could get a room, and couldn't find one. We cut our stay short to one night (the owner was very gracious about this), and we bore with the smell. It was probably my most uncomfortable lodging situation I can remember. Out of curiosity, I checked TripAdvisor, and found that two years before someone had described the identical situation with the dog and the pee smell. This is, apparently, not a new situation. Your readers need to know about this. We cannot fathom how this otherwise very nice owner could allow this situation to continue for years.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank Tim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2012

I stayed here with 10 others (Japanese, American, Czech, Vietnamese and Chinese friends). The building itself was old, but very well cleaned. The owner speaks excellent English, and his lecture about Japanese Kyudo (archery) in both English and Japanese was quite impressive.
The only minus point was their showers. They have onsen (hot spring) inside of the Ryokan, but showers did not work. Well, you can always use hot waters in the bath tab. So it is not like you cannot wash your body and hair.
There is a dog in the entrance hall.Therefore, you can smell dog in the building (not in your room though). I assume the dog will be in outside in summer time.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Sunny_world_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2011

Our stay at this Ryokan was one of the highlights of our stay in Japan. The owners were amazingly friendly (the man speaks great English), and offered to drive us to the monkey park, although it was such a nice trek we decided to walk. My friend and I were the only guests, so we had the baths to ourselves - the baths were great, clean and fresh. We asked for the most expensive meal, and the food was extraordinary - one of the best meals I have eaten.

People have commented on the dog, but it was very well behaved when were were staying there. If I had a complaint - and it is a mild one - the men's bathroom reeked! Clean and perfectly usable, but it made using the bathroom an unpleasant experience.

But the amazing service, nice rooms and quiet location make this an amazing stay. Hugely recommended.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank allneonlike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2011

agree with most other comments - this is a nice traditional ryokan with an outstanding host, but yes you do need to know that there's a dog, and that it is quite worn, but also full of character. We loved the archery demonstration, it was something really unique. And the owner was really helpful in giving us a lift to the monkey park when we were running late for a friend. It's about a 5-10 min walk from the station, which even in snow wasn't difficult, and the restaurant just opposite was great. Our room was nice and fairly large, we chose the deluxe.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank petite_pommie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2011

We had an enjoyable stay at Uotoshi Ryokan this past December. We had never stayed at a ryokan previously, so we had nothing to compare it to, but the Uotoshi met our needs.

Previous reviews are accurate in that the ryokan is a bit dated. If you are expecting a fancy room with high quality furnishings, you will be disappointed. However, the rooms are clean and the service provided by the owner and his family is outstanding. The owner speaks English very well and is very happy to talk about the area and things to do. He even gave us a ride to the nearby monkey park so that we wouldn't have to deal with the local bus. It is actually quite a nice walk back from the monkey park to the ryokan (about an hour) so we did that.

One of the highlights was an evening display of Japanese archery put on by the owner. Behind the ryokan, there is an enclosed archery range at which a local tournament is held each year. The presentation takes about an hour and a half and includes some history about Japanese archery, a demonstration, and allows you to attempt it yourself. It was a great cultural experience. Be sure to ask the owner for this demonstration if you are interested.

We did not avail of the food at the ryokan, opting to dine at local restaurants, of which there were several of good quality.

The ryokan is located within easy walking distance of the Yudanaka station and is easy to find. Also, the owner does have internet available, but not wi-fi as of our stay. We had to bring our computer down to the main dining area and plug in to the internet there. An internet wire is provided.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cubfan22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2010

We found the owner of Uotoshi to be a fantastic and friendly guy. After we arrived he was kind enough to take us to the Monkey Park. As he took us to the park he pointed out various places in town and regalled us with tales from when the Winter Olympics took place in Nagano. Yudanaka itself, besides the monkey's, had plenty of charm and the walk back from the park through the top of the town was fantastic and picturesque. After the walk we also took advantage of one of the foot onsens. In the evening the owner prepared an authentic meal for us to savour which was beautifully presented and clearly he had gone to a lot of effort. This was symptomatic of the effort he displayed towards us to make us feel welcome. His English was also very very good. As for the ryokan, the rooms were as you would expect, and the onsen was a real treat. But the ryokan seemed to lack a bit of soul, although we were the only guests. It did seem to be quite dark and dimly lit. The pet dog was friendly but I think some people could be put off by it and the unhygenic bedding/sheets by it.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DannyACMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Uotoshi Ryokan

Address: 2563 Sano, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun 381-0402, Nagano Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Shimotakai-gun > Yamanouchi-machi > Yudanaka shibu Onsen
Hotel Style:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Yamanouchi-machi
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Yamanouchi-machi
Price Range: $90 - $94 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Uotoshi Ryokan Japan/Yamanouchi-Machi, Nagano Prefecture

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