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“unique accommodation in interesting Takayama”

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Hida Takayama Zenkoji
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“unique accommodation in interesting Takayama”
Reviewed June 27, 2008

Yes, the Zenkoji is a bit run down, so if that bothers you it might not suit. I didn't expect that much at about $30 each a night and found it suited our purposes well. Meeting Tommy is very much part of the experience as he took a few minutes to give you information about both the inn and surrounding restaurants and cultural places. His English is excellent and he obviously enjoys having all kinds of people stay. We had a fairly large twin room on the 1st floor. The futons had electric blankets which made sure our sleep time was warm. I overheard someone saying that there was no hot water in the shower room, so we just managed very minimally and since it was spring, this was fine--also we knew we could shower at our next stop so this didn't bother us. We stayed two nights and this was plenty of time to check out Takayama, which I personally rate over Kyoto for its historical and cultural interests. As mentioned, Tommy recommended the coffee shop across the road for breakfast and this added to our stay. It was well priced and although small, it had a great friendly vibe as people were getting on with their day. There is a large communal kitchen in the Zenkoji and although we ate out (the area is known for its Hida beef and sake--excellent!), it was great seeing people using it and being resourceful. This was by no means the perfect stay, but it had an old world charm with its dark timber interior. We found it good value and unique.

  • Liked — Rustic, close to restaurants and cultural places
  • Disliked — cold water shower situation
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank vozzov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2008

April 14th 2008 Hida Takayama for the Takayama Spring Festival

The visitor's information booth at the station recommended the Zenkoji Temple Inn as a unique place to stay for the festival events. They gave us a map and the temple was about 10 minutes away by walking.

Our main goal was to stay at a central location close to the Takayama Spring Festival and old town area. We were surprised to find that part of the procession (without the floats) but with the dragon dancers and drums pass right in front of the Zenkoji temple. The old kyoto part of town and the downtown honmachi area were just 5 minutes away by walking.

Tomy the monk who spoke English let us know about the supermaket down the street and the coffee shop directly in front on the temple. I think it was called rin rin or something close to that.

We got a private room with tatami mats, futons, paper paneled sliding doors, and use of the communal kitchen.

Overall, the experience of staying in an authentic budhist temple that was located close to everything was pretty good.

Because of the festival weekend, the temple was packed, but I think some of the bustle was made up for by the great location and authentic surroundings.

I'd recommend it to anyone interested in staying in an authentic budhist temple, or for someone that just wants to crash for the night when all other hotels are booked up.

We ended up paying $30 per person which is a little over their hinted donation price, but we think we got full value plus some good karma.

Pros: Great location, walking distance to everything, interesting staying at a real budhist temple with authentic Japanese style rooms with futons, tatami mats, etc. Price can't be beat.

Cons: Busy during festival season - paper sliding doors do not block sound from adjoining rooms

Overall good experience

  • Liked — location & price
  • Disliked — too crowded
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank ExtremeFishing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muenster, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2008

What a disappointment! A temple stay sound like an interesting experience - and Zenkoji is, if you like dirt, noise and smell.
But first of all, here are the positive aspects of the inn: Monk Tommy, who runs the place, speaks a lot of English and understands even more. Plus, he gives good advice about Takayama. There is parking directly on the premises. And there is free coffee in the communal kitchen (with laundry facility). The location is also a bonus. Most major attractions are within easy walking distance.
The downsides: The place is simply run-down, if not outright dingy. Our room was dirty (four different types of hair on the cushions, dirty bed-spread). The showers are a turn-off.
There is no privacy, since the walls are extremely thin (you could hear your neighbor breathe). One of the main streets of Takayama runs next to the temple - and heavy traffic starts early.
If you decide to stay there nonetheless: It's a little tough to find, especially at night. It's directly behind the auto garage/repair sho p (around the corner). The temple is dimly lit at night.
Make sure you don't miss the breakfast at the coffee bar that Tommy recommends (across the street; order the "moningu settu" and enjoy a glimpse of authentic japanese life).

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1 Thank Zeitungsfuzzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Takayama hotels

New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2007

A wonderful stay at the Zenkoji Temple. This was the second visit to Takayama with a 10 year break between and the Temple was a refreshing unspoiled -left over- from the past. At first it appeared a little scary with all the big rooms and the relatively dark surroundings, but the privacy was fantastic and the very large clean room just next to the beautiful Japanese garden in the middle of the temple was very comfortable.

Tommy the owner was a wealth of information and managed the english language very well. He was extreemly knowledgeable and offered a lot of details about the history of the temple and Japanese culture in general.

A highly recommended Temple accommodation for anyone who like to experience a different Japan and is not afraid to sleep in the Japanese way (on futons).

Clean, comfortable, cheap and friendly service. Definitly worth a visit.

Stayed July 2007
5 Thank DaneNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hida Takayama Zenkoji

Property: Hida Takayama Zenkoji
Address: 4-3 Tenman-cho, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Takayama
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 28 Specialty lodging in Takayama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Takayama Zenkoji is a Jodoshu school of Buddhist temple. Anyone (regardless of any nationality, religion, or gender) can enter, pray, or stay. This temple is a branch temple of Shinshu-Zenkoji in Nagano, and is sacred to Amida(Zenkoji) Nyorai. There are about 400 temples that have Zenkoji Nyorai inside, but only about 100 temples are formally allowed to have the name ‘Zenkoji’. Among these Zenkoji temples, as few as 20 temples were officially recognized as branch temples by Shinshu-Zenkoji. In Gifu, Takayama Zenkoji is the only temple of the kind. Just like Shinshu-Zenkoji, it has Kaidan-meguri(Tour in the pitch dark tunnel)in the basement of the main hall. This temple offers places to stay for anyone visiting from far away. Now that Takayama became a popular spot for tourists overseas, 95% of visitors are from foreign countries. Besides private rooms, there is a shared kitchen and guests can use it for free. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hida Takayama Zenkoji Hotel Takayama

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