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Reviewed April 21, 2011

My daughter and I arrived in Japan (Osaka) the day after the disaster. We were not sure what to expect but it was business as usual from Osaka south and east. Our travel was not impacted by the quake/tsunami at all. Japanese people are very concerned about how tourism will be affected, so please don't cancel your trip; go and enjoy all that Japan has to offer. Japan is hospitable and beautiful and I can't wait to return.

Sanga Ryokan is surrounded by bubbling streams and forest. Onsen are everywhere, large outdoor natural hot pools, smaller onsen for feet and our room had a private onsen as well. All was heavenly! If you are a couple looking for a secluded, relaxing, romantic stay, Sanga Ryokan would be just perfect.

We booked through Japanese Guesthouses which provided excellent booking services for this and other ryokan accommodation in Japan.

We had a female 'butler' who looked after our every desire. She was friendly, attentive and helpful and ensured that our stay was wonderful.

The kansei meal was terrific and huge! Breakfast was also massive and very tasty.

Sanga Ryokan is a bit of a way from the village (which I liked) but they sent a driver to collect us from the bus stop as soon as I rang. You can be driven to other onsen and to the village as you desire. We wished we had had more time to explore all the cute looking shops in the village.....ah well, there's always next time!

The room was wonderful and offered many accessories such as yakata robes, toiletries, etc. Try the sweet potato sake, yummm!

If you go, do stay more than one night. We only stayed for one night and it was not enough! I really did not want to leave. Sanga Ryokan is in the most perfect setting; it is heaven in a forest.

Room Tip: book a room with a private onsen
  • Stayed: March 2011
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3  Thank ozjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Sanga Ryokan. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Our bus arrived around 12pm and we were picked up by a nice man who provided us with umbrellas, and towels if we wanted to use the baths in the village. He drove us to the information centre and picked us up after lunch at 2:30 to check-in. The rooms were clean. The food was spectacular. There are several private family baths that you can reserve for an hour at a time. If you are uncomfortable being naked amongst strangers, I would recommend using the private baths. Our room also came with its own private bath, which was very nice. Because it is 3 hours away form Fukuoka, you are basically in a little village out in the woods. Kurokawa water is delicious, which means the rice and the sake are also delicious. I will definitely visit this little family ryokan again!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank HSS09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2010

Similar thoughts to other reviewers: this is really the best a ryokan can offer. During our 3 weeks in Japan we stayed at many other ryokans, and this is really a gem.

Our (very spacious and comfortable) room had its private onsen (bliss!). The ryokan itself is a beautiful wooden building, the staff were incredibly helpful with everything (even by Japanese standards) and the food was perfect. The setting is really beautiful, just by a magnificent river, and the outdoor onsen were particularly special.

It's slightly outside of Kurokawa, but no effort at all to get into town via the minibus, which can also take you to the 2 bus stops etc. There you can sample the other onsen, but the 7 at Sanga, plus the one in our room, were really enough.

Seriously worth the detour to the middle of Kyushu!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jesuit123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2010

Sanga ryokan may be a bit off the beaten track but that's no problem since the nice chauffeur drives you all around Kurokawa Onsen and even to the Bus stop at Minamioguni-machi. The Ryokan itself is lokated next to a river surrounded by a wonderful garden. This is the perfect place to sample the Ryokan experience in Kurokawa Onsen if you like a little remote places without the crowds walking by. The food is excellent and the onsen facilities are located in nice wooden buildings in the garden. All in all a very relaxing place and highly recommended.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank Weltensurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2010

Sanga Ryokan is located in the Kurokawa Onsen area. It is slightly not so accessible as compared to the rest of the ryokans because it is about 45 mins walk by foot from the bus stop you alight. It would be good if you can arrange for the car to pick you up at the bus stop when you arrived, to save you the walk. Unlike what the website says about having a "restricted" time when the car will pick you up, you can actually call up the ryokan when you reached the bus stop, wait for a few minutes and the car will be there. It is about 5 mins ride back to the ryokan. The driver is a 69-year-old gentleman who loves to talk especially if you can converse in Japanese. He will tell you about his Taiwan and Hong Kong trips.
The road to the ryokan prove to be challenging and probably not advisable to walk at night. If you like seclusion and privacy, this ryokan is away from the "heart" of kurokawa onsen, hidden at the end corner. The ryokan itself gives a very homely feeling and the staff are very hospitable and friendly even if they do not understand you. You don't any "black" faces. There is a lady at the reception who can speak excellent english.
The normal rooms are about 12 tatami mat size, very comfortable, with good view, and good TV channels. The rooms are well-maintained and the toilets and showers very comfortable. Since we went during the off-peak season, the lady owner actually offered to upgrade our rooms for free. We were moved to another block ( each block only 2 levels - only 2 blocks actually ). The rooms consist of 2 rooms with 8x8 tatami mats. One room for sleep where the futons are, and one room for sitting to watch TV. It also comes with a private onsen, where you get an excellent view for the outdoor onsen.
They have about 8 onsens available of which 3 are private family onsens, which have to be reserved. The most popular being the indoor ones, during the winter.
If you need to travel to the "heart" of kurokawa onsen, where light shopping and eating is, the reception can arrange for transport in/out to the information counter.
The food ( breakfast and dinner ) are excellent, and make sure you are really hungry before you attack the food because the quantity is huge ( 13 dishes ).
Overall, it is a very homely feeling. You can consider to stay here for 2 nights, otherwise, it might get a little boring after that, since there's nothing much else to do.
To visit Mt.Aso, it will be 50 min bus ride from the bus stop back to the Aso station, and approx another 50 min up to Mt. Aso. So, I would recommend when you stay at Kurokawa onsen, enjoy your full stay there, then move on to another hotel near Aso station if you want to visit Mt. Aso.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank emijose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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