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“Could be fantastic with a little tidy up...and removal of bears..”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Could be fantastic with a little tidy up...and removal of bears..”
Reviewed September 7, 2012

The drive to the hotel was beautiful - stunning scenery and the hotel is in a magnificent setting.
This onsen experience is wonderful...and spoilt only by the bears in cages, and the nutty professors house filled with so much junk. You had to walk through this open house to get to the rotenburo. It included so many collectibles??, Ainu statues, pots an pans, photos of the bears swimming in the river with people, and large stuffed bears enjoying tea-parties etc - all too weird to explain. And beyond all this chaos was a beautiful rotenburo on the river.
The hotel is nice if a little tired, the service is excellent, the food is great (except the bear soup) and the whole experience is a mix of fantastic and weird at the same time. On the Obon weekend the only rooms available were in the newer more exclusive (expensive) section. Our dinner was served in the suite, a masseuse came and we had a nice massage and we enjoyed the rotenburo - three mixed ones and one just for ladies.
This was a real experience. The setting is great - right on the Tone river - quite a magical setting actually. There is also a small onsen in the hotel which is said to have the best water in the whole area??
Anyway, it was explained to us that the owner has recently passed away, and they are slowly cleaning up the nutty professors house - I hope this means the bears will be moved to more appropriate accommodation very soon. This could be an unbelievable experience for a number of reasons different ones to the ones we experienced.....
Certainly memorable......would like to see a few changes before returning....

Visited August 2012
1 Thank TravelHappyOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great onsen - pity about the bears”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

On of the most unique onsen there is; although the bears stuck in those cages is pretty upsetting to see.

Visited August 2012
Thank NickTabibito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Ryokan with amazing rotenburo”
Reviewed August 6, 2012

We stayed only one night at Takaragawa Osenkaku and enjoyed our experience. As many other travelers have noted, the outdoor baths (rotenburo) situated on both sides of the river are amazing and bathers are quite open to view - not for the bashful! The hotel is situated directly above the Tone River and is fantastic to listen to at night while dozing off. The ryokan itself has beautiful woodwork throughout, and while the hotel could use a bit more cleaning (cobwebs here and there), we found it quite charming. We had our meals in the dining room and enjoyed the variety and quality of the food - the bear soup was unique. We did feel sorry for the caged bears, who looked pretty miserable, and wish the hotel would stop this practice. All in all, I would recommend this hotel to travelers who want to experience something unique.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank TokyoBoris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodridge, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Bad karma! Inhumane!”
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Had high hopes but with such abhorrent treatment of bears penned in hot cages Simply could not stomach this. If bad karma exists, clearly you will find it here. The next step is to inform authorities and see if in japan there exists anything comparable to the DEC, Humane Society or the ASPCA !

Visited July 2012
11 Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
91 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Wow! We were very excited to be staying at a Ryokan next to an Onsen and this place was unbelievable. As soon as we arrived it seemed like all the staff came out to greet us. We had the typical Ryokan room with the sliding doors, tatami mats and futon. We had a feast served up by our Japanese maid and we wore our kimono's all the time even for breakfast! The onsen itself was beautiful. It is next to a river and has mountain views all around you. It is one of the only onsen's that allow both male and females in together. We were there during Autumn 2010 and with the red leaves falling all around us it was like we were in a magical kingdom. One bad note: What are the bears doing in cages? They should not be there.

Visited August 2011
3 Thank PaulFarrugia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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