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All reviews authentic japanese experience very nice gift shop breakfast and dinner nikko station the river great ryokan sashimi world heritage courses mountains onsen english closet bowed sites bath bus
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Reviewed May 6, 2018

I don't know why so many of the reviews here criticise the venue for not having enough English-speaking staff. Nikko is a quiet town in the mountains and the vast majority of the staff at this amazing hotel were of the older generation. While we had an English-speaking member of staff assist us with check in, the staff at mealtimes spoke limited (almost no) English but happily mimed and warn us with "hot!" and beamed and bowed at us when we complimented the meal (oishi!!).

We stayed for three evenings and each meal was overwhelmingly generous and beautifully plated, with wonderful variety. Tempura, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi, and more! The half-board is a must. Breakfast is also huge and will fill you up well into the afternoon.

A room with a terrace bath is a wonderful luxury and well worth the price, but do keep in mind that the water that is pumped into the rooms isn't hot springs water. Head up to the rooftop bath for a full experience. The outdoor bath is superb on a chilly night after dinnertime.

Yes, the hotel is older and some people probably expect it to be more updated because of its cost, but it's wonderfully traditional and all part of the experience. We were there over a weekend and the hotel was full of visiting Japanese tourists - always a good indication.

I think all rooms are smoking rooms, but at my inquiry for a non-smoking room they said the room would be well-aired for our arrival. There was a little residual smell but it went away with an afternoon of the windows open.

The hotel does a complimentary pick up/drop off at Nikko Station upon request.

Wouldn't hesitate to stay here again! Perfect location to all of the World Heritage sites and a short stroll into the town centre.

Room tip: Ask for a room on a higher floor for a better view!
Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CityCat89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2017

This Ryokan does not look much from the outside and is a little old but we had a really comfortable night stay here. The staff were extremely pleasant, cheerful and happy to assist especially at meal times. The food was Japanese options only but well presented and even though I didn't recognise some of what I was eating I made sure to try first. Usually a pleasant surprise. I have had better Japanese food and this was a little plain in comparison. The staff helped us through the course explaining in gestures on what we were to do on each course. I enjoyed the meal but was not overwhelmed.The rooms were comfortable and quiet if a little dated. There is a very nice gift shop in the hotel but check opening times. Punctuality is key when staying in a Japanese hotel so we were sure to be on time for both supper and breakfast.
The Nikko Toshogu Shrine is across the road. Just walk diagonally left when living the hotel cross the road and walk up the steps and you are there. Brilliant!
I have left separate review on this shrine but suffice to say it is so worth the visit and make sure you walk down to the mausoleum of Tokugawa Iemitsu. My favourite shrine of all. If you stay in a Ryokan and find that breakfast was a little challenging you can visit the small Museum at the Nikko Toshogu Shrine which has a fabulous modern coffee shop with scones, sandwiches, toasted ham and cheese and enormous cups of tasty coffee! Enjoy! Great stay for a true Japanese experience.

Date of stay: November 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank sassiecat2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2017 via mobile

$$$ for what you are getting. Our most expensive onsen stay on the trip but it was the least satisfying. The room is older than our other onsen stays. The private room onsen is not really outdoors, just window opening up. The dinner and breakfast are lower quality and smaller portions (e.g., 2 pieces of sashimi, that's all!!!). No kids meal or bedding even though we were charged a kids fee. No water bottles. No good amenities/products. No welcome anything. They give you the bare minimum. The only positive is location. 5 minutes walk to the bridge. Had to go to the family mart down the street to pick up more food. That's how bad it was!

Date of stay: August 2017
Trip type: Traveled with family
4  Thank Gifu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2017

This is one of the highest-rated hotels/ryokans in the area, and from appearances that seems justified. It's aesthetically attractive and its proximity to Nikko's major sights is hard to beat. However, it's also priced at a premium, and this doesn't always seem justified.

It isn't really designed for comfort and our room was a bit old and tired, aside from our private bath area which was fresher and very nice. Many of the Japanese staff actively avoid interacting with foreign guests, pushing the one Filipina staff member at us, and while she did her best it all felt rather odd. Information about the hotel was very sparse in English, eg we only found out there was an open-air bath on the roof when we were checking out, and the kaiseki dinner menu was printing in Japanese only. The dinner, which could and should have been excellent, was a bit of a farce as the staff clearly wanted to go home early and rushed us through the courses - the first three were all dropped on us at the same time, and this really detracted from what was meant to be a special experience (breakfast service was much better).

Perhaps the staff felt that as foreigners we would know no better, but I'm an experienced traveller in Japan and we know the difference. It isn't the first time I've stayed at a ryokan which is supposedly higher-end but doesn't really measure up. If I returned to the area I would look for something smaller and more low-key as those places are much better value and usually friendlier.

Room tip: Ask for a high floor for a better view and as noisy families may be on lower floors
Date of stay: July 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank unregisteredalien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2017

We had high hopes for this onsen since we like to spend at least one night in a traditional onsen/ryokan when we are visiting Japan.

Location: It's actually very good if you're visiting Tosho-gu, since it is literally just up the hill from here. We only spent one night in Nikko, so it was perfect to go to Tosho-gu in the afternoon and be back for dinner. From the train station, it was about 15 minute ride in a taxi (it came to about 10 dollars- I wasn't aware they offered shuttle service). It is also located next to a spring that is beautiful and soothing to look at.

Building/room: It's a bit worndown overall. I know these buildings are very old, but the rooms felt like it needed an update, and I don't mean the structure of the room but the doors, the bathroom, there was even a big water stain on the closet door near the balcony. It is spacious, but there was a hint of cigarette smell, since it still allowed in the room.

Onsen: The onsen itself was fine, there was an indoor one and an outdoor one. I was able to witness the migration of thousands of dragonflies while I was bathing outside, and that was really cool to see. I was there end of June, and I think it's just the time of the year when this happens.

Food: This is probably where I was let down the most, since all the other Ryokan experiences I had were of multiple course dinner with meticulous presentation. Here, it was just appetizer, grilled fish and veggies (that we had to cook) and 2 pieces of meat shabu shabu style, and dessert. Taste wise, it was fine, but it was nowhere near the caliber of food I was expecting at this type of Ryokan (and the price). If this is your first Ryokan experience, I think you'd be impressed, but I was definitely disappointed.
Breakfast was a little better, but overall I didn't think the food was impressive at all.

Service: It was great during checkin (you get a little snack at check in) and checkout. During the meal courses, it was a little abrupt and unfriendly.

I don't think I'd recommend this Ryokan. It's fine if this is one of many that you're staying at since it wasn't bad, but if this is the one Ryokan experience you're going to have in Japan, there are a lot of better ones out there for the same price.

Date of stay: July 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Sushi888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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