I made the reservations directly via their website and Mrs. Tanabe was very kind and reassuring with her email confirmation.
This was our first trip to Japan and I wasn't sure if my family can adjust to traditional hotels, so I only booked one night at the start of our trip.
To say that the lodging and the food exceeded my expectation is an understatement.
We stayed at a newer wing, with an en-suite cedar bath - my teenager was too shy to go into the communal onsen. The room was very simple, elegant and clean. Upon arrival, as in the custom, we were served tea and cookies.
We opted for full board, and was served the dinner at another room in an older wing - I think it's off season so they can do that. The dinner was multi-course, beautiful presentation, tasty and way way too much food (good thing we were already close to the floor!). Some dish was more interesting than others. They served us the famous Hida beef in a shabu and it was very good, but you have to be a bit adventurous - they also served us a snail dish which I liked but some may find it strange.
After dinner the staff came by and made up the room with futon and bedding. As it was winter the extra fluffy down comforter was really nice. I didn't find the futon too hard but the buckwheat pillow really presented a challenge. Personally I love a cold room and warm bedding when it's cold out, so this is just up my alley.
The communal onsen was very nice and as it was low seaon we didn't encounter anyone else. For the ladies' there's a large indoor section with very hot water, and 2 smaller 1 person tub outside (cooler water). As our bathroom also has a cedar bath we had to try it out as well (especially the next morning as it was still really cold and it's nice to warm up that way).
Breakfast next day was pretty simple but good. We had the Hoba miso (miso on Magnolia leaf), small piece of grilled fish, rice, pickles and a salad. We couldn't stop marveling over how something so simple as miso can be so incredibly good. Needless to say we stockpiled on the miso afterwards when we went shopping at the farmer's market and assorted stores.
We had an hour to kill before boarding the train to Kyoto so we hang out at the lobby and enjoyed a cup of coffee at Mrs. Tanabe's insistance.
Takayama and Ryokan Tanabe was the highlight of our Japan trip and unfortunately no other lodging or dining experiences at Kyoto, Osaka or Tokyo compared.
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- Also Known As:
- Tanabe Ryokan Hotel Takayama