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“nice ryokan, but beware of flea!”
Review of Sumiyoshi Ryokan

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Sumiyoshi Ryokan
Ranked #1 of 187 Hotels / Ryokan in Takayama
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 19, 2008

This is a very small, family run minishuku with special characters--lots of antiques in the house. The family that runs this place is extremely friendly and accommodating, perhaps too accommodating to foreigners--they must have allowed someone with pets at some point. The futon in our room has flea! My husband was biten all over in one night and took over 10 days for them to go away. Meanwhile they were extremely itchy. It was a nightmare.

Other than that, the food was beyond wonderful. The portion was huge. They were nice to little kids, providing small kimonos and slippers. The Japanese bath was very nice, and you can lock the door for family use. We had a nice room on the 2nd floor facing the river. Going to sleep listening to the river and rain was extremely pleasant.

The room is on the small side, and it was old. Definitely not a category A or B ryokan. But it is full of characters, and you can special family style service. All in all, a very good experience.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank travel-world-mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 16, 2008

stay at this lovely little traditional japanese hotel in june 2008. can't say enough things about this place. first we had a room facing the river. it was great to hear the river at night. the food was fantastic! it was plate after plate of great food. the futon bed we slept on were very comfortable and the down comfortable kept us extremely warm. The japanese bath experience is so great. the extremely hot bath soothes your tired body after a long day. the staff is extremely friendly, even with the limited english, they still take the time to explain every dish to you.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rlhayward533
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2008

We stayed at the Ryokan for 2 nights in late May. We booked via the Japan Guesthouses website (great service)

The location is great, right by the river near the town centre. The larger Morning Market starts just a short walk across the bridge. About a 15min walk from the train station.

The greating was warm and friendly. We arrived 2 hours early for check-in but were shown directly to our room. For 2 of us we had 2 large rooms and a small alcove overlooking the garden. One room for sleeping, the other for eating with a TV. The alcove had western table and 2 chairs.

My partner was a little concerned about the communal bathing. However, you can lock the door so its really not an issue. The bathroom and onsen/spa was modern and clean. He was a convert by the end of the 2 days.

We had the traditional dinner the first night. This was the 2nd of our stay so we knew what to expect. Some of the food is delicious (grilled fish and tempura), some unidentifiable but still great, and some for the adverturous (snails!). You will only struggle if you are a picky eater. Otherwise fully recommend for the experience.
We had the western breakfast in the mornings. The best breakfasts we had anywhere in the 2 weeks in Japan!

The staff are lovely. The women who looked after our dinner and laid out the futon were so sweet.

Futons were comfortable and linen was lovely.

Being an old house, you could hear people walking around in the upstairs rooms in the morning and night. Didn't bother me too much because I preferred not to be too far from the toilet (pregnant!)

We went out for some Hida Beef the 2nd night. Yum.

Takayama is a lovely town, well worth a visit. The trip there on the train up the gorge is great.

Would highly recommend this Ryokan

  • Stayed: May 2008
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3  Thank rachkiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2008

This traditional Ryokan is situated right in the heart of Takayama, at about 20 minutes walk from the train station.

After all the terrible Ryokan experiences we had been having in Japan, this particular one was a like a breath of fresh air.

The room as well as the Ryokan is full of Japanese antiques. Our room was very spacious tatami type and it had a japanese table with cushions and back rests, another sitting area by the huge window with western style arm chairs and a private bathroom. It also had a television with Japanese channels only.

The room wasn't cold, it had a heather that you could program to get the temperature you wanted.

The futon beds were the most comfortable ones we've had in a Ryokan of this type, and the linnen as well as the rest of the room was spotless clean.

Overall, I would say staying in a Japanse Traditional Ryokan is an interesting experience but I wouldn't recommend any more than 1 or 2 nights as they are a bit uncomfortable. You have to have dinner sitting on the floor which is ok for a few minutes but it does get very uncomfortable after a while.

Also the beds are not available when you arrive, a maid comes and gets the futon, duvet pillows, etc out of a wardrobe and makes up your bed after dinner. It is not the kind of bed where you can sit and read or watch television as it is just a futon in the middle of the room with no back rest of any kind, so you can just lay on it to sleep.

If you like camping, you will like staying in a Ryokan, if you value your confort, this is not the place for you.

The dinner provided by this Ryokan was excellent, it was Kaiseki type of food, lots of very small little plates with a selection of different foods, the food is really good value but if you are a difficult eater, you may prefer to eat somewhere else as you don't get a choice of the menu, you get what they have and some of the foods can be very strange to the Western palate, some of them 'unidentifiable' you didn't know if you were eating, fish or meat or a vegetable... they also gave us a complimentary glass of local cherry wine.

The staff at this Ryokan were extremely friendly, they spoke a little bit of English and there was this lady who served us dinner who talked a joked with us. We had to leave very early in the morning so we missed breakfast but she came just before we left with two cups of coffee which we hadn't asked for but it was a lovely touch. She also gave us some presents: two pairs of chopsticks made out of the local wood and a lovely poster.

We loved staying at this Ryokan, their staff were so friendly they made us feel very welcome.

We paid 13,500 yen per person per night, about £140 per night for the two of us.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank marujilla80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2008

We stayed two nights in this lovely Ryokan and enjoyed it very much!

Staff was very welcoming, helpful and friendly. Our room, the common facilities and the entire place was very well kept and clean. We found it also very convenient that you could lock the common bath for private use. The overall atmosphere of Sumiyoshi was very pleasant and cosy.

The location is great, close to everything, in a nice area of Takayama and near the river. Having a room facing the river we could also enjoy hearing the sound of the water.

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank cocos_knight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2008

Our stay at this ryokan was everything that we hoped for and more. We were only able to stay for one night due to availability over the New Year but would have loved to have stayed more nights as it was magical. Our family of four, 2 adults and 2 teenage girls, were given 2 adjoining tatami rooms - one was our dining area and the other used for sleeping or just spreading out. These traditional rooms are beautifully decorated with lots of antiques, artworks and decorated screens and had a view out to the garden and the river. The rooms were quite private and very comfortable. Even though it was January and snowing, the rooms were cosy and warm and we were able to relax in our yukatas and padded jackets. Our girls were a little concerned about the bathroom but were able to enjoy their Japanese bath in private as the room can be locked for private use. We were also able to shower in the morning if we wanted to. Everything was spotless.

Dinner was a highlight and a wonderful experience as everything came beautifully presented on different dishes. The food, all 10 courses, was fresh and absolutely delicious and served by a cheerful kimono wearing member of staff. The Japanese breakfast was just as delicious and filling. We were particularly impressed with the staff and their hospitality. As we had to arrive early from other accommodation, they happily took our bags. They were also very kind and allowed our daughter who was not well to stay in the room well before check-in and fussed over her setting up a special bed, heating and a thermos for tea for her while we continued to explore Takayama. Sumiyoshi's kindness and generous hospitality made this one of our trip's most memorable experiences.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank 2x2KINGS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

We stayed one night in the Ryokan Sumiyoshi in December. My wife and I had the room with the ensuite faciilities whilst our 2 teenage children had the other room without the attached toilet/bathroom. The only down side of the ryokan for the children was having to walk through the cold corridor in the middle of the night to use the common facilities (which was very clean).

Both bedrooms had a sheltered sitting area with views of the river. The old town was about a 5 minute walk away. It was rather cold in winter. With the gas heating on, the room was reasonably warm . As it was a traditional ryokan which was quite old,the heating was understandably not what you would get in the normal modern hotel.

The ryokan was simple, reasonably comfortable and spotlessly clean. The charming elderly lady who received us and served us dinner was wonderful; seemed genuinely hospitable, patient and helpful. As this was our first time in a traditional ryokan, we were not familiar as to how to dress properly with the yukata (??) and the 'kimono like' dressing gown. She very patiently helped us. The four of us had dinner and breakfast in a private room on the ground floor. Dinner was sumptious (many courses) and nicely presented; one of the best during our 13 day stay in Japan.

As the ensuite bathroom was rather small, we made use of the traditional common bathroom on the ground floor. This bath could easily accomodate 8 persons and you could if you wish lock the door for your personal use if you are not used to sharing with strangers.

All in all, we had a wonderful experience staying in the ryokan.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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1  Thank CTTan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sumiyoshi Ryokan

Address: 4-21 Hommachi, Takayama 506-0011, Gifu Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Takayama
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Takayama
#10 Best Value Hotel in Takayama
Price Range: $151 - $244 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sumiyoshi Ryokan 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traditional merchant house style Ryokan built in Taisho era. (1912)SUMIYOSHI RYOKAN located MIYAGAWA riverside and central TAKAYAMA city.Ideally located for sightseeing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sumiyoshi Ryokan Hotel Takayama

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