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“Good spot, great food”

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Kamikochi Nishi-ito-ya Mountain Lodge
Ranked #9 of 198 Hotels / Ryokan in Matsumoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Good location near the bus terminal (10 minute walk across the river, so not too near). The lodge rooms are reasonably sized. It's tatami sleeping with bean pillows etc, but there are space heaters for cool weather. The meals are good-- individual set meals, not cafeteria style. There's free tea, coffee, and internet in the lobby. Large baths upstairs still feel good after hiking or walking around. The main down-side is the noise from the halls-- easy to hear everyone else moving around in the night.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank J L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2012

The location was awesome.

It was a good way of trying traditional Japanese food.

The room was much nicer than it looked on the website. We stayed in the basic room without a bathroom but the facilities were good. We could hear the river from our room which was relaxing and there were mosquito guards on the balcony doors.

The prospect of the baths were a bit scary for westerners but proved nothing to be worried about and very relaxing after the hardcore walk.

Tip, We went for a 4 hour walk up an old riverbed, don't do this unless you have walking boots as it felt like my feet had been wacked with a cricket bat and I could hardly walk for a day afterwards.

We travelled from Tokyo on the train which was fairly easy since Matsumoto has good transport links.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Quail2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

We arrived on foot in Kamikochi (hiked over from Shin-hodaka ropeway) without a reservation and this hotel was able to fit us into the annex, which is the less expensive part of lodge. It was basic, but great for what it was and we got to use the onsen, which was very nice after a long day of hiking. Wifi in the front lobby and very good dinner and breakfast. Would stay again. Good value for Kamikochi.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank BSHinSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2011

This is a comfortable, standard, welcoming mid-range ryokan, at a reasonable price. It's on the river bank, about 100m from Kappabashi, and a 10-minute walk from Kamikochi bus terminal. Remember that you can't drive in Kamikochi and you must walk from the bus terminal, so either travel light, or send your bags by local courier in advance.

The staff speak good hotel English (and you can reserve a room by email in English), and most of the signage is in English. However despite the foreigner-friendliness, this is a regular Japanese ryokan, and the clientele is nearly all Japanese. If you're used to it, you'll know the drill. If you're not, be prepared to decide, at checkin, your dinner time, your choice of drink with your dinner, and your breakfast time. We booked a room overlooking the river, with a small balcony, and we thoroughly enjoyed sleeping to the sound of running water. There was an ensuite toilet but no bath (tho' with a good public bath, there's no need or incentive to have a bath in the room). There are also mountain view rooms that do have their own bathrooms as well as toilets, and I think more basic hostel-style rooms too. The room was as expected, a 12-tatami room, the same as any other in Japan, but clean, fresh, and comfortable. There was, of course, tea and a cookie on the table. The futons were comfortable and fluffy, and the staff lay them out and put them away for you.

The communal bath is good, with a picture window looking up to the northern Alps. The water is hot without being uncomfortable, and the changing room was clean and airy.

There's a guest cafe area, with tea (many different kinds), good ground coffee, and iced water, all available free to guests for most of the day. There's also quite a good souvenir shop that also sells a wider range of drinks. There's a separate guest lounge, well-stocked with books and comics, some of which are in English.

There's no internet in the rooms, but free and easy to use wifi in the lobby area, and a computer/printer for guest use.

As with most ryokans, the standard package includes dinner and breakfast, and both were excellent - much better than I'd have expected at this price point. The kaiseki was well thought out and balanced, with some interesting fusion adventures as well as really tasty local produce. The ryokan also stocks local sake and local beer, both very appropriate to accompany your meal. Meals are served in the dining room, with tables and chairs for stiff-legged foreigners! One day we did a big day-hike (up to Maehotakadake) and the ryokan prepared us a substantial packed lunch (huge rice balls and some small bits and pieces for flavour).

The location is good, and you get good value for money. You could spend more (there's a branch of the Imperial Hotel down the road) and I'm sure you could spend a great deal less (at the campsite for example). But if you want a classic, mid-range ryokan experience, with great food, that doesn't need Japanese language ability, this place is for you.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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9  Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2010

The hotel is typical for Japan but quite pricey given it's location close to Kappabashi (like all hotels in Kamikochi anyway). We found the food pretty average, particularly the breakfast. They do have some very nice cakes at the cafe if you need more energy before your day hike. I would recommend it for the good location

Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank voyagistablog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2009

My wife and I travelled trough Japan with our 24 year-old daughter who is teaching English in Japan. Our three night stay at Nishi-Itoya was the highlight of our trip. Nishi-Itoya is a ryokan in Kamikochi - the Japanese Alps - one of the most beautiful places we have been. We thought we would need a break from the heat and humidity of Tokyo and Kyoto and the Alps gave us that and scenery out of one of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The owner and staff are absolutely wonderful...incredibly helpful and very attentive. The ryokan caters to - and the vast majority of guests were - Japanese families with children whose positive energy and excitement were infectious. The common areas can be a little noisy with moms, dads and kids preparing for hikes but we found it a joy to see and hear. The food was - well - traditional Japanese cuisine - with some dishes very appealing to Western palates and others not...but always fresh and beautifully presented..... The onsen is inside with a view of the mountains.... We looked at other hotels in Kamikochi and the Nishi-Itoya was the best value by far...and a great place to get a taste of more traditional Japanese accommodations.....

  • Stayed: August 2009
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5  Thank robert2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2009

Great rooms overlooking Azumagawa (river). Rooms and onsen are spotless. Both breakfasts and dinners are almost exquisite. Knowledge of limited Japanese and etiquette is preferable here. Mr Okuhara's advice regarding the day's weather and your route for the day. If you've taken the trouble to get there, the Japan Alps is gorgeous but weather changes all the time. Avoid unusually indifferent and ineffectual Assistant who is not overly fond of "gaijin" (foreigners). He is young and not really an asset to the inn in any way, shape, or form. BTW, there is a great library and coffee is available at the front of the inn for guests between 7-9 am. Great views from the sitting area. 30 min. Free Internet there. Better than most fancy hotels. Mr. Okuhara is the driving force in the business. Attempt to check in when he is there.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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4  Thank mmajere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kamikochi Nishi-ito-ya Mountain Lodge

Address: Kamikochi 4469-1, Matsumoto 390-1516, Nagano Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Matsumoto
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 198 Hotels / Ryokan in Matsumoto
Number of rooms: 40

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