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“Excellent service and great experience”

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Hakuba Onsen Ryokan Shiroumaso
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 6, 2012

We had a wonderful time staying at Ryokan Shiroumaso in early January 2012. Ryokan is not luxurious but very clean and has good facilities for ski equipment etc.

Positives were:
- terrific Japanese breakfast
- wonderful onsen
- amazing service (e.g. friendly, helpful, took us to bus station when we were leaving)
- great restaurant recommendations

Minor negatives:
- no thinner blankets available and the standard quilts provided with futons are VERY warm, so my sleep was affected by being too hot (ended up leaving window open at night)
- rooms are not really cleaned each day
- a 10 minute walk to snow

No hesitation in recommending - but if you sleep hot, take a blanket!

Room Tip: We asked for Annex room with a view of the mountain - it was nice.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Southbank67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (137)
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101 - 107 of 137 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2011

Shirouma-so is a traditional Japanese Ryokan a short 5 minute walk away from the Happo-one ski-lift and even closer to the free bus to other lifts. The hotel and our room were beautifully laid out and spotlessly clean. Relaxing in the onsen at the end of the day is sheer bliss and the food is truly amazing. Toshiro-san and his family and staff are very friendly and helpful. They make you feel truly welcome.

We spent ten fantastic days here in March - I can't recommend Shirouma-so highly enough.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jalley58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2011

My husband and I stayed in the Azami room at Shirouma-so for 7 nights during our ski holiday. Although we're usually budget travellers, we thought we'd spoil ourselves during what was his first visit to Japan and first stay at a ryokan.

From the moment we got picked up from the Happo Bus Terminal, our host Toshi and his family were most gracious and happy to assist with anything. From providing train timetables to tracking down a lost ski pass, Toshi was always present to help. His English is excellent and recommendations are always spot on.

The room itself was furnished in a simple ryokan style, with tatami flooring, paper-lined walls and a small atrium which connects to a compact bathroom. During the day, there's a traditional table and chairs for two, with Japanese snacks and hot tea provided. In the evening while you're at dinner, this is packed up and two futons are laid out, ready for bedtime. There's a television too, but we never watched it. After a solid day of skiing followed by dinner and a dip in the onsen, we were always keen to simply curl up on the futon and get a full night's rest.

And yes, there is an extremely hot onsen in the hotel, as well as drying and storage rooms for ski gear and free WiFi for guests. So as much as staying in the ryokan is about the cultural experience, the Shirouma-so team haven't skimped on the practical mod-cons.

Despite this ryokan being one of the oldest in the area, it's amazing how well presented it is. For example, the bathroom may be small and have older fittings, but it is meticulously clean. Likewise for the rooms themselves, which are maintained daily with care.

We really couldn't have picked a better location, with Shirouma-so being less than 5 minutes away from the Happo Bus Terminal and a ski rental store by foot. The area is popular with domestic holidaymakers (unlike Wadano), so there's a large selection of Japanese and international restaurants, although the Japanese ones are preferable in terms of quality and price. Both the Nakiyama lifts and Adam Gondola are 10-15mins walk away, however there's a free shuttle bus you can catch to and from the Bus Terminal, if this isn't for you.

Overall, if you're open to the unique Japanese experience of staying in a ryokan, I can highly recommend the Shirouma-so. It may be more expensive than some of the Western style establishments in the area, but in terms of creating happy memories, it delivers in spades.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Rosanne d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2011

Beautiful rooms which during the day were setup with a table and low chairs. When you were out at diner the staff would rearrange the room and lay out the tatami mats. We had amazing mountain views from our room. Breakfast was made-up of lots of little japanese dishes and was delicious, every day was different. There was a very nice onsen in the basement which we thoroughly enjoyed. Staff were really helpful.

Awesome experience.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MikeHF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2011

I havent tried all the hotels/ryokans in hakuba so i cant tell you which is the best but Shirouma-so is great. It is 3 min from central bus/information center, 3mn from equipment rental shop, 5min from slopes in Happo One which is the nicest station in hakuba.
The team is incredibly helpful. It has been mentioned in many reviews but it is just unbelievable and so refreshing. They are one step ahead of all our needs and will clearly go the extra mile but in a very natural/unforced manner. It is a family managed small inn with small onsen inhouse. We took the room with bathroom and it was much bigger than the average japonese room and well arranged. The typical local meals were great and communication was never an issue in english which was greatly appreciated.
Overall GREATLY recommended

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank hkgnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2011

The hotel is definitely a comfortable and relaxing place to stay. It's cozy and very clean. The room decorated in traditional Japanese style is spacious and quiet. I had two nights of wonderful sleep there. The cuisine prepared was also special. I especially enjoyed the New Year Breakfast ! Besides,the staff of the hotel are extremely friendly, helpful and thoughtful. The owner is also professional in giving advice on and arranging outdoor activities. I had an delightful trip to see the Snow Monkey. I highly recommend the countdown event organised in the district to welcome the new year. Although it was freezing on the night of the new year eve, I could greatly experience the joyful atmosphere.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank kydjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2011

This is my second time to this hotel within half years. Last time, I went with my friends by traveling bus to have a mindfulness workshop and relaxing trip. This time, we got here for tour around and by ourselves. However, the staff provided a clear guidance and we got here finally. Although the journey was long for getting into Hakuba, we enjoyed the beautiful snowy scenery and felt exciting during the way.

There is a difference of staying in summer and winter. Indeed, we felt very comfortable and took a good rest at this hotel. Last time, all my friends appreicated the hotel and the services here. In winter, maybe due to the cold weather and the well facilitaties. I think it was even more comfortable than in summer. My friend and I didn't want to leave and wanna stay longer and slept more. Once, we thought that it was no need to tour around and stayed at the hotel for a whole day.

What's more, the staff at the hotel is really excellent. Once we needed to tour around, he would provide the detailed information for us and let us get there finally. We had a wonderful trip. We also enjoyed the suggested places by him. It's really thankful to him. He is very smart!

To be honest, if I will get to Hakuba again, I must choose this hotel also. It is really the best choice at Hakuba and it is a holistic integration for our body-mind-spirit.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Bhakta515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hakuba Onsen Ryokan Shiroumaso

Address: 5004 Happo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura > Hakuba happou Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 101 Hotels / Ryokan in Hakuba-mura
Price Range: $138 - $449 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hakuba Onsen Ryokan Shiroumaso 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resting at the base of Hakuba Happo-one ski area, Shirouma-so is a modern Japanese ryokan (inn) combining both traditional wood and modern Japanese "Wa" architectural styles, resulting in a creative and beautiful design. From the entrance featuring wooden pillars and beams preserved from the building's agricultural beginnings in the Edo period, to rooms with large windows and views of the northern Alps, you can relax, place yourself in the hands of Nature, and refresh yourself in the warmth of this historical ryokan. Shiroumaso is appreciated by many guests as a convenient base for skiing, snowboarding, or the numerous outdoor activities of the summer months, as well as a hub for touring Shinshu, Azumino, and other regions within Nagano. ... more   less 
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