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All reviews local artisans a private dining room the general manager shabu shabu minute taxi ride beautiful gorge the owner small plates late afternoon grilled fish one night japanese style delicious food men and women rice outdoor onsen jiro
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Reviewed 8 April 2018

Firstly the Ryokan. The main reason to go to this Onsen and this Ryoken is the food - the Kaisaki banquet was simply superb with the freshest quality fish we tasted in the whole of japan (see more photos on instagram @pixie_shots ). Also the service and the staff - Takuya and Aki particularly were so good (again the best of our Japan trip and that includes the legendary service you get at the Mandarin oriental in Tokyo!).

The meals are served in your own dinning room - sunken traditional seating. A nice touch is the use of the owners collection of fine china and serving ware. Exquisite collection that makes meals even more of an event - ask about the provenance of the food or the serving dishes and there’s a great story for each. So many highlights but the nori seaweed on a charcoal burner has stuck in my mind because no-where did we have it that fine!

The rooms (we had Seryu) are traditional- tatmi mats ryoken style that includes a separate ‘lounge/converts to bedroom’, little kitchen area, bathroom, loo (yes there were toilet slippers!), small separate seating looking out over mountain and another separate room with a long mirror and more floor seating (with blanket for legs). Pretty darn cold on arrival but the room soon heated up. Decor simple, elegant and anyway - you’ll be looking out at the mountain!

Ryoken has a lovely little shop and again all a personal touch of the owners interests and passions and support of local artisans.

If Onsens are your ‘thing’ (they are not ours) then this Ryoken had a lovely one which I used when it was empty - glorious view to the side of the Ryokens own little wooded hill and mountain spring - very pretty in the snow! They swop the mens / women’s bathing every 24hrs so each has a shot of the better view.

Come and stay at the Ryoken for sure. It’s situated within a 5min walk of the main town / village Onsen and literally 20steps or so from the start of the riverside walk.

The town itself I’ll write separately about - but to sum it up: a Japanese twin peaks! It wasn’t helped that because of unusually big snowfalls the little stream side trek was impassable (sank up to knees in powder snow) so we only had the town to mooch around. Not a big place, depressing derelict large abandoned hotels on the edge (definitely don’t walk beyond the main river side trek) and the shops on the main drag are limited and tacky.

Room Tip: We had Room Sergu which had a lovely view out onto the mountain side and the stream
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
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Thank pixie_shots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2017

In our two week whirlwind trip of Japan, we had originally planned to go straight from Kanazawa to Kyoto. We are so glad we decided to spend a night at Kayotei. Our only regret is that we only stayed one night.
The small hot spring town of Yamanaka Onsen is accessed through Kagaonsen station which is on the train line between Kanazawa and Kyoto (about 30 minutes from Kanazawa and about 2 hours from Kyoto on the limited express). Kayotei is a 20 minute taxi ride from the station.
Do not be intimidated from going to Kayotei if you do not speak Japanese or if you are nervous about staying at a ryokan. If you can figure out how to ride trains and taxis in Japan, you will be fine. When we arrive at Kayotei, we were greeted and given a tour of the ryokan in perfectly fluent English. Hotel staff explained about wearing the yukata and what to expect during our stay. However, Japanese was still the predominant language among the guests, so it still very much had a sense of place.
There are two onsen for guests separated for men and women, but our room also had its own outdoor onsen fed from hot springs water and surrounded by a forest of trees with autumn leaves. We were able to enjoy the onsen before eating dinner (and after dinner and before breakfast). Relaxing and beautiful setting!
Both our dinner and breakfast were served in a private dining room with a Western style table and chairs (so we didn’t have to sit Japanese style for dinner). Our attendant for both dinner and breakfast was efficient but very kind. Her service was comparable to a 3 star Michelin restaurant but much less formal. In a non-condescending way, she explained how to eat what was presented to us (e.g. how the grated radish goes in the sauce; how to de-bone the whole grilled fish; how to mix the contents of the small bowl well and eat it with rice). She explained everything that was served and was careful to emphasize the region and seasonality. I’m just having a hard time remembering the exact details because there were so many small plates of carefully prepared delicious food.
Because we arrived in the late afternoon, we were only able to see the Kakusenkei Gorge, Korogi bridge and the town on a brief morning jog before breakfast. (Look up Kakunsenkei Gorge and Korogi bridge on Google images; it looked exactly like the beautiful pictures. Just add in the sound of waterfalls coming down from the mountains along the walking path.) I wished we had spent another night so that we could have enjoyed the stunning surroundings and the hospitality at Kayotei even more. Tripadvisor 5+++!

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank grendelpuppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2017 via mobile

This traditional elegant onsen experience is the highlight of our trip! Everything is serene and the service is of the highest standard. Thanks the Chef for the sumptuous and healthy meals. To me your food is “ Michelin ***** “
Thanks the lady who served us with the meals with such elegancy and fine details ! Your smile is so warm and beautiful !
Also thank Shuta for all the wonderful service and introducing us to the nearby handmade noodle place which is again another serene yet tasty experience !

Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
2  Thank christinet3255
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2017

We had the pleasure to stay at this beautiful place, during our recent trip to Japan. Besides being one of the best ryokan in the country, the amazing feeling of enjoying a private onsen in the room and the delicious food, it offers the chance to meet local artisans and producers, which makes it the perfect ryokan experience. If you want to know more, you may want to check the reportage we made for Inusualia.com

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NanoCalvo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2017 via mobile

A two and a half hour train ride from Tokyo. The walk along the river is very nice. There is golf nearby and decent shopping. It's all about the experience of immersing oneself in gracious Japanese culture.

Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
4  Thank Bishopspond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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