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All reviews ryokan experience train station private shower free coffee in the morning good bye onsen downstairs old town lovely ryokan local dishes warm hospitality traditional tatami perfect stay sit on the floor wonderful experience spent nights here japanese bath free shuttle
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Reviewed February 26, 2011

Right from the first email my experience with this guest Inn was positive. They were always helpful and friendly, even after I changed the date at the last minute. They picked us up from the train station and delivered us back there the next day. At the time we were there, it was still snow on the ground and a bit chilly at night (-11) but our room was very cosy, a bit too warm for us so we had to turn off our leg warmer! This was a low table with teapot & cups and a couple of cakes on the top, spread with a warm blanket as a tablecloth and heater underneath. The idea is you sit on the floor, put your legs under the table and cover up with the blanket. This was the only piece of furniture in the room apart from the 4 chairs with no legs and a cushion. At night the maids came and made up your futon which is tucked in a cupboard during the day. We had an ensuite which was great, so space was a little bigger but not much. They supply toothbrush & toothpaste, robe and woolen jacket for each guest. They also supply shampoo, body soap, face cleanser, moisturizer, toner and other products in the bath house downstairs. If you are not use to communal bathing it can be a bit off putting having to completely disrobe and walk into the bath house with not even a towel for modesty but it is not as bad as you imagine and a true Japanese experience. We did the dinner and breakfast and had so much food we thought we would burst. It is cooked by the local women so very authentic and another true Japanese experience, I highly recommend the dinner to get a true taste of mountain food. The hosts were very welcoming, language wasn't a problem and they helped out with information on the local attractions. As we stayed with friends for our whole trip except this one night. it was our only experience of a Japanese guest house so we have nothing to compare it to but we had a great experience staying here and would highly recommend to anyone going to Takayama, you couldn't go wrong.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Happy_Camper_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 5, 2011

I stayed in this ryokan in December 2010 for 2 nights and it was just a wonderful sojourn! First of all they came up to the station to pick me up (I sent beforehand an email just informing them the time of my arrival) and they took me to the station at the end of my stay. As soon as I arrived in the hotel, I started to enjoy the Japanese traditional atmosphere. The single room was spacious, clean and comfortable. During the day there is the typical small table with tea and cups in the middle of the room and after 7pm they take off the futon and arrange it in the room. I had breakfast and dinner (both vegetarian meals)..and it was just fabulous and so rich and hardly could finish all there was in the table! The ryokan is located in a very beautiful area of Takayama, close to old shines and quite woods. Takayama is wonderful, I really suggest to visit this little gem and to stay at this ryokan. Among the services there is free internet and there are 2 wonderful Japanese baths which I really enyoed!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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Thank Maria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 14, 2010

This is a quirky, affordable Ryokan on the outskirts of Takayama. The common areas are covered in more chotskis and trinkets then I could imagine, but the rooms are simple and clean. The service was excellent and despite only some of the staff speaking english, they were all extremely helpful... providing us city maps, taking care of our laundry, helping us find the right bus to Oku HIda, etc... The six tatami mat room was more than large enough for two people and our luggage. If you have back problems the fold out bed/mats may be a problem, they were on the thicker side compared to the other ones we stayed on. The traditional baths (they had indoor and outdoor) were very relaxing and clean, one of the baths may be too hot for some. The baths are not mixed gender and swap sides daily between the genders. The Internet was free, but kind of a pain to use. It was kept in a tiny, old phone booth.

We did not get a meal plan and I think they were mildly offended, but after ten days in country I couldn't handle another traditional Japanese meal. Though everyone else was raving about the food and if you haven't had a traditional meal this would be an excellent place to try it. We had fun just walking around and discovering the various Katsu, Shabu-Shabu, Sushi and HIda beef-on-a-stick places to eat (you must eat some of this!!!). They hotel did have the best tea (genmai) and accompanying tea sweets of any ryokan we stayed in Japan.

While the hotel is not close to anything except for part of the HIgashiyama Walking Trail, the city is small enough that we still walked everywhere. Unless you have poor health or are carrying heavy bags from the train station, walking will do fine for getting around. We toured the Sake breweries, the Festival Float hall, morning markets, Hida Folk Village and the Government House. I would recommend a cab/bus to Hida Folk Village, but everything else was a reasonable walk.

Takayama was beautiful and I would definitely recommend making a stop here. The Yamakyu is a good place to say, the only down side is the common area decorations are a bit overwhelming and the hotel is not centrally located. The people are friendly and Iwould certainly return given the chance.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank gatorsmile13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 13, 2010

We enjoyed staying at Yamakyu despite a possible negative. Generally speaking we prefer staying in modern accommodation...but while in Japan we wanted to try traditional lodgings. Whilst the Yamakyu is more of an inn rather than ryokan style it was worth the stay nevertheless. We pre-booked 2 nights at Yamakyu, and 1 night at the Spa Alpina. Overall, Takayama was a highlight of our trip.

Firstly here are the positives: Yamakyu inn is located on the hilly outskirts from the main centre of town (approx 10 mins easy walk). Most sights are within the town centre. Staff were friendly and helpful. Food was yummy and highly recommended. Their two onsens were relaxing after a long day of sightseeing out in the cold. Free WIFI access. Free use of bicycles. Free pickup service from JR station. To our reluctancy, we were pre-assigned a smoking room as it was the only room available, but, the staff did an amazing job to remove all traces of smoke ... well done. Our room was spacious with a private bathroom.

One negative: Mites or bedbugs maybe? Not sure but our kids had a few itchy bites. Therefore, I've put a question mark on cleanliness and rated it only 3 points.

TIP: Yamakyu only accept cash. Therefore, cash up before you get there. We forgot that the banks were closed on the weekend. Limited cash can be obtained from the ATM inside the Post Office (opened on weekends) opposite Spa Alpina Hotel, a block or two from the JR train station.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
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Thank mahiwahoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 2, 2010

I agree with the reviewer who said this is more of an inn than a traditional ryokan. You're still sleeping on the floor, but it's in a room with solid walls rather than sliding paper doors. The private toilets and basins were also welcome. But make no mistake, sleeping on those thin futons is not for the slight of hip--like camping, only not as comfortable. Indeed, the food is remarkable. Bring your wide-angle lens if you want to photograph your feast in one snap. The free morning coffee stand was a bonus for those who can't adjust to de-caf green tea. And the service was stellar. When we asked the front desk to call a taxi, they drove us to the train station for free. Very good value.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mikxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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