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All reviews ryokan experience train station private shower shared dining free coffee in the morning old town onsen downstairs lovely ryokan traditional guesthouse perfect stay warm hospitality fantastic experience sit on the floor stayed nights japanese style hida folk village week trip
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Reviewed November 13, 2012

We had read glowing reports for Yamakyu on trip advisor before booking and were looking forward to the experience. We phoned ahead from Tokyo the day before to request pick-up from the station and were greeted at Takayama Station by name as we approached the host bearing the Yamakyu placard. The journey from the station is uphill so the pick-up was a great idea with luggage. Our host described each area we drove through so we had an excellent orientation of the town by the time we reached Yamakyu. The traditions of staying in this style of accommodation were fully explained on arrival. The public bathing area was simple, spotless and relaxing. Either day clothes or the provided yukata are acceptable at dinner. The dinner was beyond our wildest dreams- beautifully presented, sensational tastes and huge! Breakfast was equally amazing. Take our advice and don't snack too much before arrival. Wonderful hosts, wonderful cooks, charming staff. We had a triple room for two nights with breakfast and dinner.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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1  Thank argi2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 9, 2012 via mobile

After a pleasant 2 hrs bus ride from Kanazawa, we arrived Takayama on a drizzling afternoon. We approached the Tourist Desk to call Oyado Yamakyu to fetch us which they promptly did within 10 mins. The young man who fetched us spoke English and so did the lady who manned the front desk. Within 10 mins we arrived at the ryokan and check in process was fast and smooth.

Room 32 has a pleasant view of the roof tops of the houses in the vicinity. Dinner was served in a dining room on the second floor between 1730 and 2000 hrs. The array of dishes and appetisers tantalizingly displayed in charming little bowls enhanced the dinner and breakfast experience. It was a sumptuous spread and absolutely delicious!

We went to Shirakawago and Aino Village on a day trip with Nouhi Bus at Y6500 per adult from 0830 till 1510 hrs. The autumn foliage and the scenic beauty of Shirakawago (UNESCO Heritage Site) made it an unforgettable experience! Not to be missed if you come to Takayama.

Our walk from Nouhi Bus to Sanmachisuji, the heart of the historic district with the old wooden houses, took us about 10 mins and another 10 mins back to Yamakyu Ryokan. Very charming and interesting to traverse the old town.

Do remember to walk to the Miyagawa Market along the Miyagawa river in the morning. There are stalls selling hand crafted bags, fruits and farm produce.

We love Takayama and staying at Yamakyu so much that we are returning to stay here for the Takayama Matsuri Festival 14-16 April. You will too!

Date of stay: October 2012
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1  Thank Rainbowlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Visited in late October-2012 :
We stayed at Yamakyu ryokan ((http://www.takayama-yamakyu.com/access/index.htm), apparently hosted Prince Akishino and a number of famous actors and actresses in the past. Yet the half-pension room charge is very reasonable. A few number of staffs speaks English. English pamphlets (other languages) are readily available, though. One PC with internet connection is available for use, FOC. Meals are lovely, prepared by local 'mothers'. For guests who stay a few nights, menus are changed everyday. Such care and professionalism. Even though there is no chief chef in the ryokan, the presentation and taste do not suggest that.

Having a car will allow more flexible trip plan to nearby villages. Otherwise, there is quite good bus connection also. Once inside the town or village, everything is within walking distance. A car is not really needed to move around within. Public parking is seen to be available here-n-there, though, if you are visiting from another nearby town/village.

Hida-Takayama old town can easily take up a whole day, if you like architecture and tasting osake (which we realised that Hida is also a famous for when we were there as we were not frequent drinkers) and traditional handicrafts shops.

Restaurants are almost everywhere in the old and along the riverside of new town..... hida-gyuu is a must have unless you do not like beef. A few restaurants also offer American beef, price is about 1/3 !! There are stalls here-n-there .... selling sticks of hida-gyuu, hida-gyuu katsu (deep fried minced) and hida-sushi.....all delicious. :-P There is tempting ice-cream as well............ ;-D

Recommended restaurant :
Megumi-ya (めぐみ家).... by the river side, along the shoplets lane on the new town side

Hida-no-Sato (飛騨の里) - about 10 minutes' drive from this ryokan. It has night-light up until 11-Nov-2012. Parking is free in the night-light-up hours (from 1730 hour). Very much recommended also. This area is a museum altogether, unlike Shirakawa-gou.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank SmileyPic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 22, 2012

My wife was keen to spend at least one night on our Japanese holiday in a ryokan - a traditional Japanese guest house. Her internet research led her to decide on this one in Takayama. It was a good choice.

A driver picked us up from the railway station and drove us to the ryokan. At the entrance, you take off your shoes and put on slippers they provide. I took a few steps and decided to take them off because I was sure I was going to trip over. They said it's OK to wear socks or bare feet.

One thing to note about the bedrooms in a ryokan is that there are no beds. You sleep on a mat and pillow on the floor. The only furniture was a very low table with chairs with no legs. The floor of the bedroom is covered with tatami mats (a traditional Japanese mat made of rice straw) whereas the hallways were carpeted.

There are some modern features. Thankfully there was air conditioning because it must have been close to 40C when we arrived. There was a lift in the building and a TV and safe in the room.

The main bathroom was a public bath in the basement - one for men and one for women. However, they've installed a private shower on the main level for anyone who is too modest to use the public shower and bath. Thankfully, each room has its own toilet.

Dinner was included in our stay. The dinner was brilliant. Once again we sat at a very low table on chairs with no legs. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get up again - especially after all the sake we had. It was a genuine banquet with an incredible variety of interesting dishes. We ate most of the dishes but left a few we weren't sure about.

The dinner reminded me of a big Christmas lunch on a hot December day in Sydney. After lunch you just feel like lying on the floor to recover - except we were already sitting on the floor.

When we climbed back up the stairs to return to our room, the staff were just going into our room to get our beds ready. When they'd finished, they had moved the table and our bags to the side and had laid out our mats, pillows and quilts on the floor.

Sleeping on the floor turned out to be not as bad as I'd expected. Even so, I'll go for a bed any day.

The next adventure was to have a shower and bath in the morning in the public baths in the basement. There was one bath area for men and a separate one for women. They swap them over every day and so you need to watch out for the blue towel or the pink towel covering the entrance doorway to make sure you get the right one.

You are supposed to wear the dressing gown from your room to go to the baths. Inside the bath area, everyone is naked. You start by having a shower on one of the stools - you have to sit down and lather up while you shower with a European-type nozzle on the end of a hose. Once you are clean, you can enter the hot bath.

Breakfast was also included in our stay. As you might expect, it was a traditional Japanese meal with numerous small dishes with a variety of tastes. We enjoyed it.

There was almost no WiFi reception in our room but it was OK in the lounge area.

It was a great experience staying here.

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stephen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 2, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for two nights. The location was perfect - a 10 minute walk away from the center of town, meaning that it was quiet at night but easy to get around on foot during the day. Also, right behind the ryokan was a series of beautiful buddhist temples. The staff at the ryokan were so helpful with everything. And perhaps most notable were the MEALS - huge breakfast and dinners; I would recommend doing dinner here at least one night, and be sure to skip lunch that afternoon.

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mannertang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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