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Honke Bankyu
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Reviews (167)
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48 - 53 of 168 reviews
Reviewed September 28, 2010

My wife and I traveled to Honke Bankyu Ryokan from Tokyo for a two night stay. It was a bit complex to get there (3 trains and a bus) but this being Japan and all, the connections were all easy, well-timed, and were simple to plan. So, it sounds daunting to get up there, but even with basically no Japanese we did it and it was a fun day of traveling through the countryside (and on the way back to Tokyo, you can stop for several hours at Nikko and still make all the trains). Then, the Ryokan is waiting for you to kick back, relax, and be cared for. We loved it. The little town is great for a stroll, and the setting is beautiful. Without Japanese we couldn't do a lot of chatting, but with hand signs and some trial and error the language barrier wasn't an issue. The hot springs are perfect and the room was spotless. The food was exquisite, as well. Definitely worth the trip up (although best to go for at least two nights.)

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank dc3chuter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2010

We had a wonderful experience at Honke Bankyu Ryokan. Not cheap, we paid around 40,000 yen for one nights stay. The ryokan is off the beaten track but worth getting to - the directions on the website were terse but accurate. Get off at the JR Yunishigawa onsen station and catch the bus waiting outside. The service is discrete and the staff took great pains to ensure that our stay was comfortable. We tried out the single sex and private onsens - the latter needs booking on arrival. Dinner is served in a hall you reach by crossing a rope bridge. We dressed up in yukatans and clogs. The dinner as other reviewers described is superb - we had venison and grilled fish among other dishes. The owner made a speech about the history of the ryokan - apparently it has been in her family for 26 generations. We were the only non-Japanese couple the night we dined but our server explained the dishes to us in English. Special thanks to the manager, Maki, who wrote us a thank you card and gave us a small gift when we left.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank doc_joe_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2010

Oh wow. I was so upset at first that this place was so off the beaten track, but I could not have been more impressed. The dinner and show they put on was absolutely amazing, assuming you are okay with eating things you have never tried before (bring some snacks if you don't like fried bat, but they lady is so lovely she'll only describe to you what you've eaten after you've eaten it) but the room had a massage chair in it and a waterfall outside and the most private, beautiful onsen I have ever experienced. My friend and I were the only Americans there by far- they were so excited to have us that they even took pictures with us- and I loved every moment I was there.

One note- don't think the black shampoo is volcanic, soothing shampoo- it's black hair dye. Whoops. Lol. I loved that place though. Go there, memorise the japanese sympols by 'tv screen, bedside table, number sign' etc and find your way there. It was so amazing.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank hope44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2010

I was looking for a place that was unusual, an onsen-ryokan unlike others, and I found it in the Honke Bankyu. Travelling alone there is already an exhilarating experience in itself since I was travelling alone and en route, wondered if I was on the right track. It takes quite an effort to get here but it is worth the journey. The setting was lovely, the food delicious and the futons, extremely comfortable. My only beef is that the baths were not swopped as the case with other onsen ryokans. So I could not experience a different bath in a different setting. The staff spoke minimal English but with sign language and a lot of smiles, coupled with their can-do attitude to communication, they got their messages across with no problem. Overall, the place is great for a solo trip to get away and reflect and great for a romantic celebration as well.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank chongbrood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2010

I agree with many of the previous reviews. This hotel is quite an experience, with a great staff, nice onsen overlooking a swinging bridge and river. It's a traditional Japanese ryokan experience, so don't expect five-star accommodations. We slept on the floor with somewhat hard pillows and I bumped my head a few times on the lower doors, but the traditional dinner (something like 10 courses) was great fun! As others have said, there's not much to do in this town, so time your visit so that you spend the earlier part of the day actually in Nikko (this hotel is NOT in Nikko). Try to catch the last bus to the hotel after taking the train from Nikko (arriving at the hotel about 6pm). I think two days at this hotel would be a great, relaxing experience (if you can afford the ~400 USD per night price tag), and would help offset the troublesome travel that is required (see next paragraph). All in all, we would do it again.

The location is the downside. From Tokyo (using the JR Rail Pass), you take two trains to get to Nikko (which is worth the trip north and has a lot of nice temples to see). From Nikko, you switch to a non-JR train (about 850 Yen per person each way) that takes approximately one hour. After exiting that train, you switch to a bus (1000 Yen per person each way) that drives on windy, hilly, single lane roads for about 30 minutes. The trip adds about $80 to the cost if you are otherwise using a JR Rail Pass.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Travel159549
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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