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Reviewed February 11, 2013

There are many good onsen hotels in Japan. We've been to dozens in the 25 years we have lived here but this is the one we keep going back to. Almost every winter. As some have mentioned, there are some minor disadvantages but overall, the Associa really satisfies. It starts with arrival. We check our bags in our the Scenery cafe right next to the station before a stroll up to the old part of town for snacking. They deliver our bags right up to our rooms before we check-in! You can catch a taxi from town (about 1200yen) or ride the free hourly shuttle bus from the station.
The hotel's has great onsen baths on the 5th and 7th floor: The usual indoor bath plus several outdoor varieties which are the real draw. Nothing like soaking up to your shoulders and watching the snowflakes drift by in the valley below.
The other draw is the food. They have a very good buffet breakfast with an alternative Japanese buffet when there are more guests such as weekends. The coffee shop has nice cake & tea sets and we also enjoy the new dinner buffet (3,800 per head). There is a small snack/light meal option near the onsen where they serve a decent ramen and soft serve, but we really like to splurge on the teppan yaki. It's not cheap with courses starting from 7,300yen but the service, taste and food quality will soon make you forget the price.
Rooms are quiet and good with the usual firm beds and free wifi. The only things to be aware of are that the hotel is a little out of town and the 10 min bus ride can turn into 25 with heavy snow. Corridors are not heated and feel very cool. Other than the baths, souvenir shop, karaoke & tennis courts, there is little to do around the area. Just go have another bath!

Room tip: Rooms beginning with 1 are at the end of the building so you get an extra window/view.
Date of stay: February 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank nagoyafrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Stayed here 2 nights. Situated away from the center of Takayama. The hotel provides a free private shuttle bus that runs regularly and takes about 15 minutes. So obviously its not the most convenient location as you have to follow the schedule of the bus. But it is only a slight inconvenience unless you plan on making multiple trips to and from the hotel during the day. The shuttle bus stop is right outside the JR station. Breakfast is good.. food was cooked properly and everything was clean, the variety was good but not the best. The hotel staff were helpful and pleasant. I accidentally messed up the beds slope and the staff were quick to respond when we asked for help. After a few minutes they could not fix the bed they simply moved us into another room on the same floor and they didnt seem the least annoyed at my mistake! I appreciated this alot . The rooms are very clean and the view of the Japanese alps are awesome! The main draw card of this hotel however is the onsen. The hot spring water is the perfect temperature and there are a variety of different onsen pools to choose from. I had alot of muscle injuries coming into this onsen from sport and i must say i felt as if i had a new pair of the legs by the end of my stay! The onsen is located on the 5th and 7th floors with commanding views over Takayama and the mountains. The onsen floors are of course gender segregated. It was winter when we stayed at this hotel so the cold air evaporated on the hot surface of the onsen pools creating a mist which added to the experience. It was so relaxing and you could spend hours (which i did!) lying down in the onsen pool feeling your muscles relaxing and your mind drifting off. The spa area was very empty both nights which was a bonus! Relaxing area on the sixth floor for both men and woman has a restaurant which we tried and enjoyed and some vending machines serving yummy milk which i didnt come across too often in Japan so i took full advantage of that. Only set back of this hotel is that the onsen might stop you from getting out and experiencing Takayama itself! Make sure to explore the old town part which is extremely photogenic and atmospheric. The hida fold village and nearby shirakawa-go are highlights. Must try the hida beef when in Takayama!! Its so expensive but honestly the best tasting meat you will ever experience! Will definitely return to this hotel next time i am in Takayama!

Date of stay: January 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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1  Thank pgia4868
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

The highlight of this hotel is probably the room size and the breakfast buffet. I travelled with my girl friend and stayed there for 2 nights back in November. Our package was included breakfast buffet which make the hotel very good value. Room was clean and large and even we didn't book the delux room, the room was well presented. Staff and service was friendly and efficient, check out took no more than 2mins. The room I stayed has really good wifi signal, unlike all other review suggest the wifi signal is weak. The room is the far end of the floor, perhap its very close the the wifi hotspot. I have not try any other hotel in Takayam, but I think I will book this one if I travel to Takayama again. Its not far town, and free shuttle bus deliver our luggage right inside our room while we touring the town. Be sure to ask for a bus time table and plan your time well.

Room tip: Not really a tip to choose a good room, but I suggestion is DO NOT go to the Japanese style canteen place in the hotel as the food is expensive and small portion. Try the dinner buffet in the French Restaurant instead, if you are too tired to travel back to town for dinner. It cost 3900 Yen but consider a hida beef dish in the town cost over 3000 Yen, the buffet become well worth it.
Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kl2999
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

I came here with some friends to use the onsen only, not as overnight guests. For non guests, the onsen only entrance fee is 1000 yen and that includes access to all of the spa areas (floors 5 or 7 depending on your sex). You leave your shoes at the entrance to the spa wing, and get a ticket from the vending machine. Bring the ticket to the counter where you will receive a very small towel and a slightly larger towel, as well as permission to enter. When you walk down the long hallway, you will find yourself at the floor 6 relaxation social area, and there will be a sign to let you know which floor is for men & which is for women (5 or 7 - they alternate daily). Head through the door & up/down to the correct floor.
Inside the dressing area you'll find lockers (free) and baskets for your items. You don't need to bring anything at all really - there is shampoo/conditioner/rinse in the shower area, and there are single use brushes, hair dryers, and even some lotion available for you to use.
It's a great place for first timers, as I was! There were about 7 different onsen pools on the 5th floor and everything was in top shape & clean. If you go before the sun is set, you'll have a much better view than I did, but I still really enjoyed my visit!

Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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2  Thank Amber E
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Impressed. Convenient bus service and nice surrounding makes this a great hotel for takayama.service is great too and because of the different wings the rooms is very quiet. If u thought its far from the city. It's not, it's bus makes it very convenient. Breakfast is good too.

Room tip: When u reached the train station wait for the shuttle bus. It's convenient way to get to the hotel.
Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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3  Thank kenny078
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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