I know that any half decent ryokan in Japan is going to cost you an arm and a leg. But for the price we payed (over $600 per night for three people) we expected a bit more from the facilities.
The service however was really good. The women running the place were extremely helpful, though only spoke a little English. They really did try to make you feel at home. Every concern I had was met with prompt attention. They went out of thier way for us several times. For example, as we were being driven to the train station to leave, the staff member asked us if we had seen the temple. We hadn't, so he turned the car around and drove us back up the mountain so we could see it. He even paid our entrance fee! Then he gave us a little tour and history of the place and waited patiently while we explored and took pictures. They couldn't have been more accommodating!
I thought the baths were really nice, although they did start to get too hot towards the end of the evening. I tried to get in one more time before bed and couldn't even get my foot in. The free sake in a barrel in the baths was a nice touch. I think I enjoyed a little too much of that.
The food however was ok. The dinner was nice but the breakfast was not good at all. I ate almost none of it. If I had called ahead though we could have gotten a western style breakfast. So that is partially my fault since I know I don't enjoy Japanese style breakfast.
The room was where they lost most of thier points. The bathroom was not clean. I would not have used that shower even if there wasn't a public bath. The water that came out of the faucet was a rusty brown and the whole thing smelled of sewage. I used bottled water to brush my teeth. It was pretty unpleasant.
All in all, I did like Sakoya. Especially since it was a last minute booking, as I visited shortly after the March earthquake and had to quickly change my travel plans. The staff was great and the location is beautiful. But I don't think I liked it enough to go back, especially for that much money. The condition of the room being the major deterrent. But I do wish them all the best.
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