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“Just the Right Place”
Review of Ryokan Tanabe

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Ryokan Tanabe
Ranked #5 of 175 Hotels / Ryokan in Takayama
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 6, 2009

I am a travel professional specializing in Japan and was on a hotel inspection trip the fall. Tanabe Ryokan is very well-located (an easy walk, even with luggage, from the train station) and the proprietress is lovely. She was so very helpful and her command of English was quite good by Japanese ryokan standards. I often stay at and recommend very high end hotels and ryokans, so in that sense this ryokan is more moderate than others where I have stayed. The rooms are clean and spacious, however, and the public rooms are quite nice. Note that it is located in the city, so there are no gardens or onsen baths as might be found in those ryokans located outside of town. In this case, you are paying for access. We found the food delightful and abundant, although there is no choice for a western breakfast, so if fish for dinner isn't your thing, pick up some yogurt or pastries the night before at the convenience store two doors down. Also, unlike some of the more deluxe ryokans, the kaiseki was delivered in one serving, rather than having all courses served and cleared separately. We were in an upstairs room that was about a 12-tatami room with two sections and a private toilet/shower. For a bath it was necessary to use the public (gender-separate) bath. There was also a veranda area with chairs, something that I think is important for western travelers who are not accustomed to sitting on the floor for hours on end. It's a great place for families but if I were on a romantic getaway or a honeymoon, I'd splurge for a higher end ryokan in another town as Takayama does not have one comparable to some other destinations in Japan. The only real caveat -- if bathrooms are very important to you, I'd suggest chosing a western style hotel. The shower here was a little funky for my tastes - but I am very picky.

Note: three star rating is based on standard 5 star in the travel industry - e.g. Four Seasons Marunouchi in Tokyo is a 5 star!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled on business
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4  Thank Baraness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 19, 2008

We stayed at Tanabe Ryokan after reading good reviews from Tripadvisor. We stayed only one night and it was a very nice experience. Ms Akiko Tanabe welcomed us to her ryokan and we had a room with plenty of space and own bathroom and toilet (as requested beforehand). The whole staff was very helpful and location of the ryokan is excellent, in the center of Takayama.

This was our only night in a ryokan (other nights in western hotels) and liked it. Dinner and japanese breakfast were served to our own rooma and were a nice experience.

Ms Tanabe was extremely helpful and friendly as was rest of the staff. Japanese bath was also very nice.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kanerva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2008

What a great place to stay! We really enjoyed our time at this fabulous ryokan in Takayama, and would whole-heartedly recommend it. It's a family-run guest house and we were warmly greeted by the charming Ms Tanabe who made us feel immediately at home. She was just delightful, and what we thought was a lovely touch was when we arrived back home to London we had a postcard from her thanking us for staying there!

The room we had was spacious and clean and the food was very good. The one thing I would say about the whole ryokan experience is that it's not something you should do if you fancy sleeping in late, as here (and at most ryokans) they serve breakfast at around 8.00am at the latest, and dinner is served pretty early as well (6.30pm), so it was kind of strange for us, but again it's fine for a few nights.

I would say that 2 nights in this town is sufficient, there is quite a lot to see and it's a very good place to chill out especially after a few crazy days in Tokyo. Overally we were extremely satisfied and would return if we had the chance.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JSSLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2008

Tanabe Ryokan is perfect for those who want to connect with japanese culture. Friendly staffs, Good food, Good place, Great japanese cypres bath in the women bathroom !
I would like to come back again !

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank florindaRun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2008

Liked the look of this place and walked in to book a room. Were full that night but we got a room the next night. Great location, walking distance from the train station. Very nice traditional rooms, dinner and breakfast included and served in your room. Lots of space and nice bathrooms and a Japanese bath on the ground floor. Lovely lady runs the place and likes to practice her English. Not cheap but well worth if for the experience and comfort.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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7  Thank IrishRach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2008

We stayed at the Tanabe Ryokan for a couple of nights and unfortunately it was our worst experience in Japan. The Ryokan is extremely expensive and the overall quality of the service is not good at all. The room where we stayed was very small, dirty and stinky. I saw that the cleaning staff never cleaned the bathroom nor the shower room. There were stains on the wall and the wardrobe was so stinky that I could not even put my clothes into it.The futon was the worst futon we ever slept on in all Japan. For two nights we could not sleep a wink. I asked the Ryokan owner if she could provide me with an extra pillow and she said that she did not have any spare ones. To compensate she suggested I could place a couple of bath towels over the pillow I had. In the bathroom there was not body soap nor shampoo. We were given just one little towel each which was supposed to be used for both body and face. What was disgusting above any expectations was that in the ladies' onsen bathroom of the ryokan the throwaway razors provided, which should be properly wrapped up in single sachets, were placed all together on a tray without sachet. When I closely looked at some of them I found out that they were not brand new razors but had already been used. Last but not least, the quality of the food was very poor. The meals looked like the ones that are usually served during an airplane flight.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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13  Thank narciso66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2008

We stayed at Tanabe for two nights during our three week trip around Japan in 2007. We stayed in a number of ryokans and minshukus during our trip but this became our favorite. It is quite oldfashioned and a little bit worn around the edges but what really makes this place is the staff. The sheer enthusiasm and friendliness of everyone is just wonderful. And the handwritten postcard that waited for us when we returned home was really sweet and made us wish we were back! The location is also perfect with everything within walking distance. The wash rooms were great, the ladies was a huge wooden pool while the gents had a rock pool. Apparently they swap sometimes so that the ladies get the rockpool and the gents the wooden pool. So check the sign on the door first! We also had our own ensuite bathroom but never used it because the downstairs was so nice.
The food in this ryokan is excellent, and include regional specialities such as hida beef and hoba miso. The second evening we went to a shabu shabu restaurant around the corner and had more delicious hida beef. All in all this is a lovely ryokan and we would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank happybongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ryokan Tanabe

Address: 58 Aioi-cho, Takayama 506-0014, Gifu Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Takayama > Hidatakayama Onsen
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Takayama
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Takayama
Price Range: $147 - $308 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ryokan Tanabe 4*
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Tanabe Ryokan Hotel Takayama

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