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“Absolutely perfect ryokan”
Review of Ryokan Tanabe

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Ryokan Tanabe
Ranked #4 of 174 Hotels / Ryokan in Takayama
Certificate of Excellence
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Absolutely perfect ryokan”
Reviewed September 23, 2009

First of all, I must say that this was the most expensive accomodation of all our 3 week trip to Japan. We stayed here towards the end of our trip, after staying in a variation of hotels, ryokans and minshuku.
For me, the quality and taste of food is very important when travelling, as much as the comfort of my room. I like to know the country not only by seeing it but also by feeling it. And this ryokan has made it happen for me.
As for room, I would definitelly recommend the room with the private onsen. It was fantastic to be able to finally share this experience with my husband, as before we have only used the gender separated onsens. Also, the smell of the cedar bath was amazing.
The room was quite large for the standard ryokan and the little private garden by the window was a nice touch - this is only for the rooms with the private onsen.
I recommend taking dinner in the ryokan. For one, it is a pleasant experience, secondly, their Takayama-style kaiseki was among the better that I have eaten in Japan. Also, the center of Takayama has an abundance of choice for lunch but not so much for dinner, as most tourists eat in their hotels and the rest are day-trippers. They offer also western breakfast, but I would opt for the Japanese one, as you would definitelly be disappointed with the western.
The landlady was very friendly and nice and spoke relatively good English. She was also very helpful and provided us with lots of maps and information. The ryokan also lends umbrellas and has a shoe-drying machine. They also lend you the wooden shoes and they sell them. I tried to walk in them one evening and was happy as a puppy when we returned half an hour later. Needless to say, I didn't buy them, but it was nice they let me walk in them.
At the end, the bill was prepared swiftly, the taxi arrived immediately (not that you need it if you don't have two tons of luggage) and the landlady presented us with two little souvenir gifts - mobile phone chains!
This was my best ryokan experience in the whole Japan and if I would go back to Takayama, I would definitelly go back to this ryokan.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sasicka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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474 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Paris
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2009

We had reserved in ryokan Asunaro, but we fled the place as it was not what we expected, and started to look for an other ryokan. Some one in the street advised us on ryokan Tanabe and we must thank him for that.
A pleasant welcome by two old ladies, a very tastefully decorated reception: we felt the place seemed good and asked to see a room.
They showed us a very nice room on the first floor, recently refurbished from floor to ceiling, including furniture, bathroom etc..nicely decorated with a small private garden (about 3 sq meter, but so nice), and we decided to stay for the night.
We did not regret it as everything was perfect including the dinner and the breakfast
(both Japaneses style and served in the room).
The hotel provide a nice public Onsen.
If you book, try to have a room on the first floor as the rooms on other floors do not
have a small garden (and I am not sure they have been renovated).
We paid about 36 000 yens for 2 including dinner and breakfast.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jgscemla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thailand
Level Contributor
95 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2009

So we had just experienced the amazing Gora Kadan and after a brief stop in Nagoya we headed to Takayama and the Tanabe Ryokan. As others have said it is an easy walk from the station and the owner is delightful. Good enough English and she is very friendly and willing to assist. The Ryokan itself is quite old and after after Gora Kadan seemed somewhat run down to me. The bathrooms were not great, the Futon's they used were thin and old and what I disliked immensley was that you would be woken at 7am so they could pack away the bedding. Breakfast was served between 7 and 7.30 so little chance to sleep a bit late and although they did prepare a western breakfast it was hardly edible. We had only booked dinner for one night at the Ryokan and I was very pleased about this as i did not find it great. All the food was served en-masse, carried in on a great big plastic tray that you may see in a high volume canteen. It was okay but it was certainly only 3 star in every way. There were public hot baths but the one was barely hot enough, the other was okay (rotated daily between men and woman).

If I was to return to Takayama I would not stay here but f it is your only opportunity to experience a Ryokan then I would say go for it. I think we were very spoiled with the previous experience.

In summary, a clean and welcoming Ryokan with a good host. Somewhat tired and in need of some modernising in terms of things like futons rather than the traditional style but for me, i would not return.

Takayama itself is a great, quaint little town and the Ryokan has a superb location.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — the early wake up
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BigT71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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!!

  • Liked — Location and friendliness of management
  • Disliked — A little rough around the edges on the cleanliness scale and slightly overpriced
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Baraness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampere, Finland
Level Contributor
202 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — service, location
  • Disliked — no internet connection
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Kanerva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — friendly owners, good service, the baths
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JSSLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint-Denis, Reunion Island
Level Contributor
89 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
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 !

  • Liked — Japanese Cypres bath - Food - Fire place
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank florindaRun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ryokan Tanabe

Property: 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
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Takayama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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