*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.
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Yamatokan Hotel Shimoda
- Yamatokan Resort Shimoda