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Reviewed February 23, 2013

I have stayed at this ryokan twice. It is run by a wonderful family who always make us feel very welcome. It is historically a well known ryokan. It is with out a doubt very peaceful and relaxing. Aoki village is picture card pretty. Old cobble stone streets that wind up the hill from the Masuya ryokan are a photographer's delight. There are some beautiful gardens to be enjoyed on the way up to the little shrine at the top of the hill. The view of the surrounding mountains and village from the top of the steep steps is worth the climb. Make sure to hang onto the rail on the way back down the narrow steps. On the weekend I was rewarded with a view of hangliders over the mountains and circling birds of prey. At night the sound of deer can be heard and during the summer fire flys flew about our heads while we were enjoying the outside onsen.
We enjoyed some amazing meals at night served on beautiful dishes. It was a wonderful treat. Endless dishes of superbly prepared food-prawns in the shape of roses, pastry parcels of wonderful fish, each dish was superb. Unlike one of the other reviews, our food was very well cooked and presented to a high standard.
If you are wanting to retreat for some peace and relaxation I highly recommend this beautiful ryokan.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Elise147
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 19, 2012

The hamlet, of maybe 20 houses, is at the end of the road, a couple of km from the trailheads for some mountain hikes. It's very quiet, and although the size of some of the houses and ryokans suggest former glory, there's very little going on. However maybe that's just what you need!

Masuya is an old building, of wooden construction, very traditional. It is architecturally very interesting, and worth a visit just to see how a large domestic building in Japan would have looked over the last few hundred years. Unfortunately it's not in great repair. Some of the building is mothballed, there are torn screens and dodgy wiring everywhere... and the family that runs it has put its stamp on the building over the decades to the extent that it feels like a mix of a charity thrift store and a family scrapbook.

Check in was awful by Japanese standards, in that it took 5 minutes for someone to attend to us. Otherwise service was friendly in a slightly disengaged sort of a way. Check-out also took 5 minutes of calling for service. Charitably, I think the cause wasn't bad service but deafness in the very elderly lady looking after reception...

Our room was large - two 10-tatami rooms, with shoji opening to an exterior balcony with a gorgeous view outside, and the cool night air. The futons were comfortable, and there was of course tea, buns, and iced water in the room. There's no internet access of any sort. No aircon either, but in mid-summer the night air is cool so we wouldn't have used it anyway. However the room was, in an antique sort of a way, nice. We slept well.

The communal toilet was 25 yards along a corridor and down a lethal flight of steps.

Dinner, in the room, was disappointing by ryokan standards. It had all the courses and variety you'd expect, but just wasn't very good - some items were badly cooked or prepared. I've had hundreds of ryokan/minshuku dinners and this was bottom decile. Breakfast in the communal dining room was average (and therefore better than dinner), but the coffee we ordered to go with it was, at JPY500 per small cup, not good value.

The bath is fine and the outdoor bath quite pretty, but without a view. The water is good onsen water but not very hot (so we could sit and chat for an hour!).

We paid, with an extra sake and two coffees, almost JPY30,000 for two of us. Not good value.

So the antique interest is worth something, but otherwise you'll find much better places. Someone with US$10m to spend on a super renovation would end up with a beautiful historical inn of real significance. Otherwise I suspect it'll just gradually crumble into the ground.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 4, 2012

This Meiji-era hotel is about a 20-minute taxi ride from Ueda station in Nagano. The hotel is old and has no central heating, so it's very cold in the common areas. The staff are friendly and helpful, but if you don't speak Japanese, communication will be difficult. The food was average. The bath was OK.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank mickstout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 31, 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2018, travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 16, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: September 2017, travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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