We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unique Japanese Experience”
Review of Shimoda Yamatokan

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Shimoda Yamatokan
Ranked #1 of 66 Hotels / Ryokan in Shimoda
Certificate of Excellence
Rugeley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
276 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“Unique Japanese Experience”
Reviewed 28 October 2009

*Location and Access - Based at the end of the Ito Peninsular Shimoda is easily reached by train from Tokyo (for travellers with a JR Pass a supplement is payable from Ito to Shimoda and return). The hotel is located outside the main town at Tatadohoma Beach (popular with the surfing fraternity). The hotel provides a regular shuttle bus during the day to and from Shimoda Station. From the main road near to the hotel there appears to be a frequent local bus service to and from the town. For anyone arriving by car there is free car parking on site. There are no shops, bars or restaurants in the vicinity.*Google Earth Reference: It is not possible to view the hotel at street level as this area has not been surveyed by Google.*Architectural Style: Although classed as a traditional ryokan the building is quite modern and large; ranging over 5 floors which cling to a steep Cliffside. All rooms have a patio area and unrestricted views over Tatadohama Beach.*Reception: This is in a wide open area with panoramic windows overlooking the sandy bay and mountains beyond. Here is a lounge where guests are welcomed on arrival by green tea and a small cake while they complete the paperwork. On one side of the room an electronic piano plays soothing music. On another wall there is an impressive aquarium. Not all staff understand English. *Public Areas/Decor: All well maintained. The corridors are wide and airy and have piped music. The stairs between the floors are steep. There is an elevator but this does not extend to the 5th floor baths. The hotel may not be suitable for persons with mobility problems. *Guest Facilities : Several vending machines for the purchase of drinks. Near to reception is a well stocked gift shop. On the 5th floor separate baths for men and women. As for the men’s baths there is a well maintained changing room with lockers for valuables. Outside up a flight of steep steps is an outdoor bathing area. Inside a large and small pool – all extremely hot and fed from natural springs. The larger inside pool has an immense floor to ceiling window with views across the bay. Well provided with showers and all the necessary toiletries. *Guest Rooms : Kimonos are supplied for all guests and so if you are not leaving the hotel you need no other clothes! After staying in relatively tiny accommodation in Tokyo my room at the Yamakotan was enormous! A glass fronted door leads to a lobby area containing some Japanese ornaments. One step up though a sliding door and immediately in front are two closets. To the right a separate small room containing an all electronic WC and a hand wash basin. To the left 3 large sliding doors lead to a sparsely furnished area with a large low dining table and floor seating. There is a mini TV (no English Language channels) and a telephone. No internet access. There are some more Japanese ornaments and wall hangings. A casket contains a flask of hot water and all the paraphernalia for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. One step down from the main room is a seating area with wicker settee and leatherette cushions and a glass coffee table (An expensive well stocked mini bar (¥900 for a bottle of beer)) Glass sliding doors lead to a private lawned area with outdoor table and chairs with an unrestricted sea view. *Decor/Maintenance/Cleanliness :Everything cleaned and maintained to the highest standard. Decor minimal Japanese. *Furnishing/Bed :The bed is made up of tatami mats which I found comfortable – it was just the getting up that was difficult! *Bathroom : Located just off the seating area this is another small room with a washbasin and separate shower area and deep ½ size bath. A large glass bay window overlooks the sea. Plumbing all very efficient. Oddly only one small bath towel (and a small “flannel”) is supplied per guest. These also to be used for the public baths. (I thought these to be quite old and not up to the mark). *Lighting : This is acceptable and adjustable – but don’t forget to turn off the lights before getting in to bed! *Heating/Air Conditioning : Air conditioning seemed effective and plenty of fresh air could be obtained by opening the patio windows. *Food Offering : Dinner and breakfast are served in your room. Guests arriving after 6:00 p.m. will go hungry as everything is specially prepared. The opportunity to sample the highest quality Japanese cuisine has to be the highlight for any visitor. The numerous items of food, presented on odd pieces of porcelain and glass that could have come out of Granny’s display cabinet, look like a works of art. Mainly seafood, some items raw and some so fresh they were cooked alive. 99% of the ingredients I could not name; but a unique experience. I opted for the “Western” breakfast. A good selection of fresh bread, fresh fruit, eggs and bacon, coffee accompanied by hot soup, mixed salad with dressing and mayo! *Green Credentials : None obvious. *Security : Traditional lock and keys for room and in room safety deposit. *Other Guests : mainly Japanese *Value for Money: This is not a cheap stay. However, for the overall experience it is worth the cost. *X Factor: The location is a little off the usual foreigners tourist route. The rail journey to Shimoda passes through spectacular coastal and mountain scenery. Every room has a stunning sea view and the in room dining experience is unique. A great place to relax in the hot baths after a hectic time in Tokyo. The hotel website is in English and unlike many other ryokans they are prepared to welcome single travellers.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank peterh125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

373 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    176
    132
    41
    17
    7
See reviews for
161
88
30
4
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
singapore
Level Contributor
80 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2007

This was our 2nd visit to the ryokan and this time we didnt have problems spotting their bright blue shuttle bus at the car park.

If you dont read japanese, it's safer to ask the ryokan to have them hold up your name when you exit the train station. As there are a few hotel shuttles, you may get confused. Worse comes to worse, just ask one of them with their hotel banners where the Shimoda Yamatokan shuttle is.

On our previous visit in 2005, we stayed in their japanese standard room. However for this visit, we splurged on the corner room with an outdoor onsen which had it's own "pool" lights. Pretty cool when you see the lights changing from violet to green to blue in the night. The outer deck is quite cozy, with two wooden "deck" chairs and a little table.

Whilst soaking in the onsen, we enjoyed the view - overlooking the beach and watching the surfers enjoying themselves from afar.

The bath area for us to washup before soaking has a door leading out to the deck. The bathroom is well equipped - with the necessary shampoo, conditioner and body rinse - wooden stool and tub exactly what one would find in their public onsen. It's quite a large area with a small bathtub (who needs that tub when we have that outdoor onsen).

The usual towels, showercap, razors, combs, toothbrush etc are supplied daily.

From the room, we enter the sink area before getting to the bathroom. So the whole bathroom outlay is pretty large for japanese standards.

What I enjoyed was the fact that there was a screen door we could use to enjoy our privacy in the onsen - so anyone in the room cant see us on the deck. This helps when the lady is setting up the table for meals or when the room boy is putting out the futons at night.

The room was the usual tatami mat japanese style where they also served our dinner and breakfast. It's the usual type of design as in most ryokans.

As we enjoy sushi, abalone etc and mainly all kinds of japanese cuisine, we had absoloutely no problems with the choice of food. In fact the kaiseki dinner/breakfast and hotsprings are the main reasons for our ryokan stays. We stayed for 3 nights - so the choice of Western breakfast on the final morning was a nice alternative.

We stayed at Ito Yamatokan for 2 nights before shimoda. We absoloutely enjoy these places rather than the city.

The great part about ryokans is they provide the yukata robes which we can wear even in the lobby - sure cuts down on the clothing & packing as we have to travel light on the trains.

Having stayed in at least 10 ryokans during our several trips to Japan, the service by the staff esp at meal times is always amazing and consistant. I dont think you will find any awful standards of service at the ryokans. Cleaniliness is also tops.

Joshua our godson came with us and had his own Pan Asian room - very nice and chic. Rather fusion style decor which is really suitable for someone aged 26 and single. However, these rooms dont come with it's own onsen so you will have to use the public ones. The room is located on the lower floor where one can also walk out to the beach easily.

They were kind enough to allow his meals to be served in our tatami room instead of him having to eat on his own at the restaurant. The bed was pretty huge and very comfortable - cozy decor & lighting. This room is different from their regular western rooms. It comes with the International Traveller under Asian offer I think. However, they were flexible and allowed him to choose japanese cuisine rather than the asian cuisine.

We noticed that they have added some evening entertainment at the lobby each night - not bad. Nothing rowdy - just some soloist or some instrumentalists between 9.30pm-10pm or so.

There's also a shop selling souvenirs and snacks + japanese delicacies.

They have good offers for International Travellers on their website and email replies are in english and pretty prompt.

We like the Shimoda area as it's less crowded as compared to Ito. However the experience at Ito Yamatokan was also enjoyable. I hope to write a review on that too.

  • Liked — The good food and nice Asian room as well as room with it's own onsen.
  • Disliked — Nothing really.
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank traveljet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2007

Very interesting traditional place to come if you want to experience traditional japanese holidaying. The rooms are a traditional layout, with futon mattresses to sleep on, and the low table. Our room had an outside bath, and seeing the grander rooms we'd go for one of those with a much bigger spa outside next time.

Food is either astouding or offputting deepending on how much you like the further end of japanese cuisine. Meals are served in your room by very polite kimono clad staff on the low table. The first night saw fresh sea slugs cooked in a tasty vinegear. We knew they were fresh as they squirmed when the vinegar was poured on. Yes, they tased like chicken. Suggest you ask for the more westernised version of japanese food, cooked beef and fish, which is also excellent.

Nice place, but not stunning. Foyer could do with a makeover to move it out of the '80s

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — 80s decor
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank andy_x_2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Shimoda hotels
Shimoda Onsen
Shimoda Tokyu Hotel
Shimoda Tokyu Hotel
#2 of 66 in Shimoda
265 reviews
Hotel Izukyu
#4 of 66 in Shimoda
173 reviews
Shimoda Onsen
Shimoda Prince Hotel
Shimoda Prince Hotel
#6 of 66 in Shimoda
169 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Shimoda Onsen
Shimoda View Hotel
Shimoda View Hotel
#8 of 66 in Shimoda
75 reviews
Shimoda Onsen
Shimoda Bay Kushiro
Shimoda Bay Kushiro
#11 of 66 in Shimoda
37 reviews
Shimoda Onsen
Kurofune Hotel
Kurofune Hotel
#33 of 66 in Shimoda
92 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Shimoda Yamatokan? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Shimoda Yamatokan

Property: Shimoda Yamatokan
Address: 2048 Kisami, Shimoda 415-0028, Shizuoka Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Shizuoka Prefecture > Shimoda > Shimoda Onsen
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Shimoda
#2 Best Value Hotel in Shimoda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Shimoda Yamatokan 3*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shimoda Yamatokan is located on the oceanfront of beautiful TATADO beach. Make yourself at home while enjoying sumptuous meals and relaxing in the hot springs.Each room is set in traditional Japanese style, with tatami mats and futons. Further, each room has a private balcony for magnificent ocean views and relaxation. Savor the seasonal local delicacies! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, Ctrip TA, TripOnline SA, JAPANiCAN, Rakuten, Priceline, Traveltool, S.L.U. and HotelQuickly so you can book your Shimoda Yamatokan reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Yamatokan Hotel Shimoda
Yamatokan Resort Shimoda

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing