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All reviews outdoor bath new wing hida beef train station every hour shabu shabu multi course old style private family baths traditional building traditional ryokan experience men and women main building breakfast hall two nights public hot spring late at night
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Reviewed April 13, 2019 via mobile

We were going for Onsen at Yunoshimakan Gero Japan, check in on 8th April 2019 check out 10th April 2019 this Onsen is very famous for being a place where The emperor of Japan had ever stayed on holidays.The environment is perfect in my view,The weather is quite comfortable 8 degrees Celsius in the day time and 2 degree at night,the staff takes good care of us from check in till check out,in room Onsen,private Onsen and Public Onsen very nice, breakfast and dinner Japanese styles is good quality.On 9th October late at night it was raining together with snowing till 09.00 10 th October and we left hotel by hotel bus at 10.00 for train station which is only five minutes drive from the hotel.

Date of stay: April 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank tidnoisalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yunoshimakan, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Yunoshimakan, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying with us at Yunoshimakan.

We are all delighted that you could enjoy your stay in our hotel.
We will keep our service quality and make an effort to make our hotel more better.

Our hotel has different faces through a year, for example, there are beautiful coloring leaves in autumn and in winter you can enjoy amazing snowing view from your room.
Let us thank you again for your warm comments and we look forward to having you as our guest again in the near future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2019

I have been to a few onsen ryokans in Japan and when I saw the reviews for this, I thought I had to give this a try. The place itself felt old and gave it an interesting touch. However, when our host brought us to our rooms, it felt very worn out, and considering the price of this ryokan and other ryokans with similar pricing, it was not worth it.

The onsen itself also felt old and not well maintained, so I felt really disappointed with the room.

For meals, we were told to go to the top floor for breakfast. Breakfast was nice, but it wasn't wow. Also we had it in a really big hall, it felt really strange, somewhat exposed, so the meal experience was really strange. Dinner was held in our room, which was nice but our host took a long time, which was unexpected.

Overall, if you want to try onsen experience, it is pretty nice but for its price, it might not worth it.

Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Beeecky_L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yunoshimakan, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Yunoshimakan, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2019

Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying with us at Yunoshimakan.

First of all, we are really sorry that made you disappointed about our accommodation.

Since some parts of our building are Important Cultural Assets, it looks aged so we try to keep our hotel as it is and clean as much as we can possible.
Thank you for using your time for point out our lack of operation management to make YUNOSHIMAKAN better.
We will tell cleaners to improve their maintenance more tidy and highly organized.

Additionally we apologize that the dinner service was not considered at your pace.
As for the place of breakfast, guest who would like to have it in their room can request that for extra 2,000 JPY.

We appreciate your message and comments and we will definitely improve our service skills and make an effort to keep our hotel more clean and relaxable one.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2019

Having visited Arima onsen, I next set out for Gero onsen, which together with Arima onsen and Kusatsu onsen comprise the generally acknowledged for centuries top three onsens in Japan. Gero is not as developed as Arima (only one Family Mart and one Lawsons in the whole town as far as I can tell) and the town is perhaps less charming. However, I selected a top ryokan in Gero onsen in Yunoshimakan, built in 1931 with traditional architecture and craft and having the distinction of having hosted the previous emperor Hirohito and the current emperor Akihito (when he was the Crown prince).

The ryokan is not in town on Onsen Street where many other small ryokans are located, or along the river bisecting town where one of the really large onsen hotel/ryokan is situated. Instead it is fairly high up on the hill overlooking Gero town, set among scenic woods.

I previously contacted Yunoshimakan to advise of my arrival time on the Hida Express train from Nagoya and was met at Gero JR train station by the hotel shuttle. There were quite a few other guests who took the shuttle as I selected the one that arrives just before the check in time of 3 pm.

The shuttle took only about 5 minutes to drive up the steep, winding and narrow road up to Yunoshimakan and as the driver had already called in the guest names to the ryokan, on arrival we were greeted by a large number of staff with one to take each group of guests and their luggage to their rooms. Shoes were left at entry of the ryokan and traded for slippers, and you collect your shoes when you go out again or check out.

I booked a basic 1931 main building room without a private bath (you use the common bath instead). The room was a good size and had an entry hallway, a toilet in a small room off the hallway, then an entry area with a sink and some closets, then the main tatami mat room with a low table in the middle, and finally a windowed in porch. I was lucky in that my room had a corner porch surrounding two sides of the main room. At night after dinner, staff come in to move the low table to a corner and then to put out the futon bed set on top of an about one inch foam pad. I found the futon bed comfortable and slept well. There is a small TV in the room but it does not have many channels and really there are much more interesting things to do at Yunoshimakan than to watch TV.

The building and the room certainly was old and shows its age, but had a lot of traditional Japanese charm. There were modern conveniences in very reliable and strong wifi signal throughout the ryokan and a strong heater unit in the main room. On entry, I had to turn the heater down immediately as it was set at 28 degrees Celsius but later at night, I realized why the heater might have been set so high as the single pane windows of the enclosed porch really let in the cold (closing the shoji screen doors to the porch helps reduce heat loss a lot though).

My booking was a half-board booking with multi-course dinner served in room and then breakfast served in the breakfast hall. In room dinners are only served until 7 pm. For late dinners, you have to go to the restaurant, which starts serving dinner at 8 pm. On the suggestion of staff at Yunoshimakan through e-mail contact, I selected dinner served in room the first night and dinner in the restaurant the second night of my stay. I did want to try dinner service in room as many ryokans do not have that as an option for a single occupancy guest, but Yunoshimakan had no such restriction.

I booked a two night stay as prior experience at Arima familiarized me with the general concept that most guests only stay one night and the common practice of onsen ryokans with multiple common baths (ie. common for guests as opposed to private in the guest room itself) to alternate the different common bath areas between men and women. Staying two nights would give me lots of opportunity to try each different bath area a couple of times comfortably and also allow use of the facilities in the quiet period between check out time for the prior night's guests of 10 am and check in time for the current day's guests at 3 pm. In Arima, my roykan had one bath in a Roman decor and one in a Japanese decor. At Yunoshimakan, both bath areas were similar with a large indoor modern shallow pool like bath and then an outdoor rock pool type bath. Both indoor baths had good views of Gero town below, and only one of the rock pool outdoor bath had a view as the other rock pool bath was located lower down the hill and therefore had to be screened from the road by a hedge. Both the indoor and outdoor bath areas use mineral spring water (Gero onsen spring water is famous for making skin soft) but to me, the outdoor rock pool baths are much more beautiful and feel much more special, especially when used late at night so that the hot spring water you soak your body in contrasts with the cold night air. The common baths are used without swimsuits so photos are not permitted in the common bath areas.

Many of the rooms at Yunoshimakan have private baths inside the room. In addition, there are several private "family" baths that any guest can use in private without additional fee so I found the common baths were never that busy when I used them, never more than 5 or 6 people in them at any given time. Apparently Yunoshimakan only has 67 rooms, and since the ryokan complex is quite large having had additions built to the original 1931 building and being spread over some 11 levels, I did not run into other guests frequently in walking around the ryokan complex except in the breakfast hall at breakfast time. Therefore there was very much a tranquil relaxing experience at Yunoshimakan.

Much of a ryokan's attractiveness and reputation is linked to the food served. My two dinners and two breakfasts at Yunoshimakan were certainly very good - beautifully presented in a cultured tasteful manner which the Japanese so prize and is so accomplished at, and featuring local ingredients and seasonal highlights. Of the two dinners, I actually preferred the dinner in the restaurant as I am not good at sitting at the low tables in a Japanese tatami room and appreciated the hole under the table in the restaurant which allowed me to stretch out my legs comfortably. In fact, one the second night when I had dinner at the restaurant at opening time at 8 pm, I was surprised to find I was the only guest in the restaurant for the entire hour plus that I was there and there was one server and one chef catering only to me in the restaurant. I also liked the restaurant approach better as the server was better able to judge how I was doing with the food served before bring the next dishes. When I had dinner in the room in the first night, food was served with a set of starters to open, then secondly sashimi, soup and shabu shabu, then thirdly main course of grilled fish, stewed fish, miso soup, pickles and rice, and then finally fourthly dessert. The server brought each set of dishes and then left, having to guess when to return with the next set of dishes. When dealing with the shabu shabu especially and generally with the other dishes, I had to guess a bit about how quickly to go through my food so that I was ready when the next set of dishes were brought. This was much less of an issue when I dined in the restaurant with the one server watching over just me as the sole customer! The shabu shabu featured the famouse Hida beef, quality was A4 I believe (the second highest rating) and it was truly tender and delicious. The second night, Hida beef was featured again but this time as sashimi and also in sukiyaki instead of shabu shabu. On the second night, I also ordered an additional seasonal specialty of charcoal grilled King crab leg and thought it was a generous portion and well priced at 1850 yen.

I thought breakfast might just be a buffet as it was served in a hall, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the breakfast was a similarly elaborate Japanese set meal. When I entered the hall as the first customer at its opening at 7 am, I found the whole hall set with many tables, one for each room or group of guests, with the starters set on each table already and covered with a paper which a server lifted as each guest is seated. Then hot dishes, rice and tea are also brought out. The breakfasts are equally as interesting and delicious as the dinners. The one issue I had is that the dinner and the breakfast all had dishes that were set on flamed heaters that cooked in front of you while you ate and I was not that good at knowing when to turn over a cooking piece of fish or when to fish out a piece of meat or vegetable cooking in a broth or soup.

It was raining on the second day of my stay so I did not walk out into the wood behind Yunoshimakan, which would have been very scenic and nice had the weather cooperated more. Instead I went into Gero town on the shuttle and back (you can walk but it is quite a steep road down and a steep climb up) as Yunoshimakan does not offer any lunch service (except for pre-ordered sushi lunch if you order the day before) and as the common baths are closed for cleaning between 10 am and 1 pm (by the way, 1 pm to 3 pm is an excellent time to use the common baths as only guests staying for two nights could be using the facilities at that time since the current day's guests can only check in at 3 pm).

There are interesting photo displays, rock gardens, flower arrangements and other decor items spread throughout the various corridors of the 11 levels of the ryokan complex so walking around is always interesting. There is also an outdoor foot bath which is fun in the evening if it is not raining. One corridor on the main entry level has photos of the visit by the prior emperor Hirohito and the current emperor Akihito and displays of the dishes that presumably were used to serve them.

I enjoyed my visit to Yunoshimakan tremendously. It was every bit the relaxing, calming, restive experience I hoped for and the historic ryokan more than made up for its age with its charm and class.

Date of stay: February 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank VancTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yunoshimakan, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Yunoshimakan, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2019

Dear Guest,

First of all, we really appreciate your warm and consideration comment for us.

The explanation of our hotel which you provided here is very clear so that might help other guest who is considering to stay at Yunoshimakan in the near future.
In addition we are all delighted to heart that you could be relaxed with our accommodation though your 2 night stay.
Here Gero is not matured as other famous hot spring like Arima or Kusatsu as you mentioned, we always wish all the guest who came all the way from their place would be able to refresh from their dairy life and feel the unusual time in our hotel so we are really honored to hear the words you gave us.

We regret we may haven't tell you about when is the correct timing of having the vegetable, fish or meat on the heater at that time.
We are sorry for that we couldn't be more helpful for your meal and we will definitely reeducate our staff to explain about Japanese style cuisine more clearly for the guest.

Again thank you very much for your stay in our hotel and please take care for yourself for your next trip.

We will keep our effort to improve our service level and keep our accommodation as it does in the future.
Besides we look forward to having you as our gust in the future again if you have any chance to visit Gero onsen again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2018

This grand old ryokan should be managed far better. From the entrance area that requires incoming guests (even the elderly) to balance on one foot as they take off winter lace up footwear and change into slippery ill fitting plastic slippers, to the beat up looking rooms and the kaiseki meals which managed to include completely non Japanese western travesties such as tomatoes, ham, cheese containing items, as well as a potato salad, again and again we were horribly disappointed. We do love the outside onsen but all the distractions of poor service, poor food options and inattention to detail made the experience a real disappointment. The room temp was also not properly regulated it was either too hot or we had to turn off the heat all together.

Date of stay: December 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank angel99anne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yunoshimakan, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Yunoshimakan, responded to this reviewResponded December 28, 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at Yunoshimakan.

First of all, we deeply apologize for making you so much disappointed from bottom of our heart.

Also we appreciate your message to point our lacks out very cleary.

We will definitely make efforts to develop our service qualities in addition, we will try to improve hospitalities of all staff.

Aain thank you for staying with us and for using your time to tell us your experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2018 via mobile

Stayed for two night at the new wing tatami room with indoor spring bath with view. Dinner served in room, breakfast in the dining area. Yunoshimakan delivered Japanese hospitality. All staff are polite and friendly. Public outdoor bath is awesome. This historical onsen resort is beautifully located on the mid level of the mountain over looking the Gero onsen area. Resort ground and landscape are well kept. Will definitely recommend to family and friends.

Date of stay: November 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Wilkar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yunoshimakan, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Yunoshimakan, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2018

Dear guest,

Thank you for staying with us at Yunoshimakan.

We all delighted with your warm and thoughtful comments.
As you mentioned, we all try to make all the guests feel Japanese style hospitality so those comments really made us to feel relieved.

We look forward to having you as our guest again in the near futue.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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