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All reviews wooden shoes western food local onsens filter coffee free shuttle shared bathroom local sights hot springs train station lovely ryokan snow monkey park the owner onsen town private onsen public bath other guests breakfast and dinner
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Reviewed July 15, 2018

Koishiya Ryokan is wedged onto the main street, filled with staid and more traditional onsen, as well as attending ryokan. But once you turn the corner to the entrance, the atmosphere is immediately and noticeably different. The walls are well lit, and covered in art and drawings, while the decoration is steeped in the salvage wood appearance that is popular in hipster locales in Southern California and Brooklyn. Also, coffee snobs - marvel at the espresso bar - a gorgeous centerpiece promising flavorful coffee in a part of the country that is desperately short on the stuff. I checked in using Japanese but the staff uses easily understandable English, and are quick and helpful to explain how the ryokan works in an onsen town. That part was a little new to me.

Gentlemen stay on the third floor, where I found my room prepped and ready. It's a traditional Japanese style room with an altar, sliding doors, but with modern comforts like an air conditioner (thank the relevant deities.) The futons do not come unfolded so you will need to set that up. A guidebook in the room explains the correct layering, and I was happy to learn to do it myself, but if you're a cranky old codger or have back problems, you can ask the staff for assistance.

Procedure is to don the yukata robe and move around the ryokan or to the hot springs. Two are recommended. One is available with more flexible times and is quite nearby. Just notify staff you want to go. The other onsen requires a reservation for a drive there, but it is the most magnificent hot spring I have ever been to. When I went it was the men's turn for the Momoyama-buro, which felt like entering a temple dedicated to the art of bathing. It's old school but pristine, with a huge indoor pool, an underground sauna chamber, and a massive outside pool decorated in Japanese decor. Frankly, it looks like something Elon Musk would have installed in his backyard, and for 20 glorious minutes I had all of it completely to myself. It was definitely a lifetime memory. And it was all at no additional charge.

The food in the cafe is also surprisingly good. I tried the plate of four different local mushrooms fried in a tempura-like style, which really hit the spot right before my onsen excursion. The onigiri is also a clever twist, lightly fried and served with small flavorful tomatoes.

Overall, this is a phenomenal place to stay. Friendly, welcoming, exceedingly English capable and lightly westernized, it's a great place for tourists to see a younger, fresher face of Japanese tourism.

Note on the 3 star reviews: these reviewers have made some disingenuous claims that I'd like to address. One reviewer complained that the materials seemed rather old or used. In my room - Kiku - they were not. Maybe he was placed elsewhere but for my own part the room was in great condition and served my needs well and were clean. Second, another reviewer claimed the washrooms were gross. They must have been at a different ryokan. The bathrooms on the men's floor were *immaculate.* I don't tolerate dirty bathrooms but these were in pristine condition.

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Garrett B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 4, 2018

The whole experience of staying at the Koishiya Ryokan was very pleasant for our family of 4 (including two adolescents). You should know that the stairs are steep, the walls are thin, and there are communal bathrooms, so it might not be for everyone. But it's the kind of place that might feel familiar and comfortable to more budget-conscious international travelers in search of a unique experience. We would stay here again.
The staff is friendly & helpful, the food (and coffee and beer) is great, the traditional Japanese rooms are cozy, and the cost to stay here was much less than the more inclusive ryokans in the area. The staff provided a key to one of the nearby public hot springs, as well as yukata and sandals. And they also arranged for reservation and transportation to a beautiful onsen facility in a more upscale ryokan nearby, all for no extra charge. At the end of our stay, they graciously drove us to the train station.
Plus our kids fell in love with the kotatsu in our room. They are now lobbying to install one in our American home!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank mbuckenmeyer2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 31, 2018

We stayed here for 2 nights in a Japanese style room when visiting the snow monkeys in February. What a great little place to stay. We had a private room with shared facilities. The shared facilities were kept spotless along with the rest of the Ryokan. Great service from all staff (especially Alice) from picking us up at the train station, to dropping us off at the snow monkey park to returning us back to the train station on our departure. We ate at their restaurant for breakfast and dinner on both days, the food was superb and could not be faulted. One of the best stays we had on our trip around Japan. Can highly recommend and would definitely stay again. (They also make great coffee).

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Craig O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 5, 2018

The effort of the staff was fantastic and the amenities they give for free are great. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. But unfortunately the facilities are sub par to the efforts of the staff. Everything in the rooms and the washrooms was very worn to the point of gross. The bedding was so worn it looked dirty and the futon mats looked really bad. The restaurant is trying far too hard to be cute with their menu instead of making simple good food it comes across as inexperienced self indulgence. Other then breakfast the cafe isn't open when mosts guests could really use it when everyone else in town is closed and they only open when all the other and better establishments are open.
They do have access to some fantastic onsens that can be used for free and we used them every night we stayed, but again it would have nice to have the bar open when we returned at 10pm for some drinks.
Again the people are wonderful but I suspect that for the prices they are charging that there isn't better options in town

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 10, 2018 via mobile

When we booked Koishya the photo of the impressive espresso machine sold us. We were not disappointed!! Great coffee and friendly service from a young and vibrant staff. Both breakfasts and dinners were great and the futons were comfortable.
Highly recommend!

Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
Thank cardiffgp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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