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Reviewed August 9, 2017

Stayed 3 nights in July at this historical Japanese Inn with nearly 300 years of existence. We selected this place for its reputed great onsen and traditional decorations. We had some reservation about the comfort level relative to western style hotels. Since July is the low season, we booked through Rakuten at a very reasonable rate. We figured there would not be much downside to the adventure. We were not disappointed!

The hardest part of the journey was getting there. Most visitors arrived in their cars. We traded off and decided to utilize the Japanese transportation system. We used the Nikko Marugoto pass offered by Tobu. We left Tokyo at about 10 am in the morning. After 4 train transfers and a bus ride rumbling about 20 km into the mountain, we got there a little after 2 pm. The transfers were synchronized within minutes.

The check in started at 3 pm. The old gentleman at the counter was friendly and efficient. He offered us the private onsen option at 2160 yens. We thought it was the daily rate for unlimited use of private onsen rooms, but turned out to be for the entire stay, what a bargain!

We had a riverside view tatami room with futon beds. The room is spacious and air conditioned, a must in humid July. The decoration is appropriately traditional Japanese and kind of throwback to a time in the past. The room comes with a small wash basin but no toilet or bath. A clean modern facility is shared by a few rooms on this wing. It is a little inconvenient but not unexpected in Ryoken type hotels.

The draw of this place is the natural hot spring. We washed up in the common facility before heading to the private onsens. There are 6 private rooms of various sizes and decors. All are open to the riverside and semi secluded. We used 3 or 4 roooms and liked the fartherest onsen room the best which has a cascading fall feature. The water temperature is hot but not scalding like some. It was comfortable to soaking while enjoying the serenity. At night, there were flood lights illuminating the trees with a purple hue which also provided some privacy against the dim light of the onsen rooms.

Breakfast and dinner were included in the room rate. Both are buffet style and fairly authentic local Japanese dishes. The menu items were practically the same for the 3 nights we were there. However, there were enough varieties that we were not fatigued from it. the taste of some dishes can be exotic but we're fine by us, especially comparing to the traditional raw egg over hot rice fare.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the Japanese hospitality and experience offered by this hotel. If you plan to use this hotel as a jumping point to visit Nikko areas, the last bus leaving the station is 5:10 pm, so plan and check accordingly.

Room tip: Riverside view
Date of stay: July 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Wt19999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2017

Rakuten was offering a good deal for this establishment on a Friday for an overnight stay. we were 2 adults, plus our 9-year-old daughter, and it only cost us ¥17000, which is a steal for a stay at a ryokan, (onsen) that included a buffet dinner and breakfast. We had such low expectations of the place, but instead, it turned out to be steal. The place was a favorite for the locals and for foreign guests as well, due to the wonderful artifacts displayed in the hotel, plus the beautiful views and lovely private hot baths. Heike No Sho has been featured in a few Japanese TV shows (check out Youtube), Rooms are spacious, onsen is available 24 hours, and it would not cost as much if you come during weekdays. Weekend prices are higher, and the buffet is simple authentic regular Japanese food (please don't expect sushi and sashimi, though).
Private Room Baths cost ¥2000 to use, no reservation needed, and they have different styles, which was a joy to use for the entire family. They gave us a voucher to use next time we come back, and we definitely will.

Room tip: There are no in-room toilets, a bit inconvenient in really cold weather.
Date of stay: March 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank riona529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2017 via mobile

The ryokan is a historical building with lots of traditional Japanese style decoration. There is a outdoor onsen with river view as well as some private one which can be rented. Dinner and breakfast are buffet style and unexpectedly great. The hotel also has free transportation to the area of snow festival. Overall it is a great stay.

Date of stay: February 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Anthony_Chow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

The hotel was awarded in TV program for its unique private baths.

They had "Kamakura" (snow house) festival in the village. Snow houses were beautifully lighted up at night. The place was 1km away from the hotel and hotel staff drove us to the place for free from 7 p.m.

From the baths, I saw beautiful landscape covered with snow. A wild rabbit was jumping far away.

Room tip: This time, we stayed in the room "Tochi". We could not see the river and saw backyard with old dirty storage. I don't recommend the room. There were some grades for rooms and the room along the river is more expensive, but I recommend it.
Date of stay: February 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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7  Thank Harempercussion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Besides big shared baths, the hotel provides 20 private outdoor baths along river.
The hotel gives a key for private baths with additional charge. Each private bath is inside a coop along river and you can open the door with the key.
Once a guests uses the bath, the entrance light of the coop is on and other guests can tell which bath is open. Each bath is unique design and you can see landscape of river from the bath.

The dinner was course menu and the breakfast was buffet.

From Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama and Yokohama area, customers can use a special bus "Yukemuri-go". It costs 1000 yen one-way, very reasonable.

Date of stay: May 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Harempercussion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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