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“incredibly relaxing onsens and awesome hospitality”
Review of Kamesei Ryokan

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Kamesei Ryokan
Ranked #1 of 38 Hotels / Ryokan in Chikuma
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“incredibly relaxing onsens and awesome hospitality”
Reviewed 14 April 2011

we stayed at Kamesei Ryokan for about a week and it was awesome. we emailed ahead and were given directions on how to get there and were then picked up from the train station by our hosts. on the way to the ryokan we were taken to a city viewing spot where we were told legends about the town. the ryokan looked amazing and has original woodworks still in it. compared to other places we stayed, our room was huge and had a nice view of the garden from our window. the room was very clean and we always had hot water for tea. we were also happy to find western style toilets. the onsens are divided into male and female but we were able to organise times to take a bath together. the inside onsens were a bit hot for us but the outside onsens were amazing and we could have stayed in there forever! the proprietors Tyler and Mari really couldnt be any more helpful! they would always offer us lifts to the train station if we were going out, suggest places to go and have information prepared and having english speaking hosts was quite refreshing on an extended trip. nagano city is just 20 minutes by train and from there its very easy to get to the snow monkey train station. also the ryokan dinners were traditional, huge and great value (make sure you have an empty stomach! :P )

we had a fantastic, relaxing time at Kamesei and suggest definately staying here if you're going to be in the Nagano prefecture!

Room Tip: room above the lobby has wifi
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kyoru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, Owner at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this review, 19 January 2012
Kyoru-san,

As much as you seem to have enjoyed your stay at our inn, if you ever come back again I think you'll enjoy it even more -- I built a new family bath so couples can enjoy a soak in the onsen together at any time.

Thanks for your stay, and for your kind comments.

-Tyler
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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Maldives
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2011

My wife and young daughter stayed here for a night after a week of skiing in Nagano. Togura is an interesting place - a former holiday boom town that is now looking a little tired in places. We were picked up promptly by the owner and had some local features pointed out as we travelled to the ryokan. The establishment is quite traditional with some nice touches added. The hosts were friendly and could not do enough for us. The evening meal, traditionally Japanese and delicious, was served in our room and they added some kid-friendly food. The inside hotspring was just a little hot for me but the outside rotemburo was superb. I could've sat there for much longer! Breakfast in the morning was also served in the room. We caught the train in the morning from Obasute station which is a quaint little station high on the hill above Togura.

if you are looking for an English-friendly but traditional Japanese onsen ryokan experience you can't do much better than this.

For more information on the ryokan see http://www.kamesei.jp or on the area see htp://onsentown.net

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank guy-jin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tokyo
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2011

You are guaranteed a warm welcome at this place, which feels like a real home from home maybe because Tyler, the American owner treats you like one of the family. Although I was on business, it also makes a great base to explore North Nagano including Zenkoji, Snow Monkeys etc. Traditional ryokan with all the trimmings - my room had special windows that you could open to keep an eye on the fresh snowfall in the garden! Also great Onsen.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank talpinator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, Owner at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this review, 19 January 2012
Talpinator-san,

Thanks for coming and becoming part of the Kamesei family during your biz trip to Japan. We were happy to share our enthusiasm for Nagano with you during your stay. If you come again, we'll make sure to reserve the same room with the viewing overlooking the central garden and koi pond.

-Tyler
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Tokyo
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2011

Kamesei is situated in a valley of Japanese alps, in a small city of Chikura with a traditional vibe. And the owners went through the effort to preserve as much of the original building and atmosphere, and even to add to it, so this is definitely a place to go to enjoy a stay in traditional japanese inn. Rotemburo are experience in itself, built with a great care and offering a wonderful atmosphere to relax. Excellent traditional meals prepared with care and using local ingredients are yet another reason to stay at Kamesei. What rounds the experience up is a service beyond good, more of a visit to a friend than a stay at a hotel. They even went through the trouble of compiling an information about restaurants with english menus in the city.

The location also makes it a great starting point for sightseeing in Nagano area, close to snow monkey park in Jigokudani, Matsumoto castle and many more.

Special point is their support to backpacking travel, offering the stay only option at the inn at a exceedingly low cost.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TeilaRei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, Owner at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this review, 19 January 2012
TeilaRei-san,

Kamesei Ryokan's traditional architecture, the garden setting rotenburo bath, Chef Takei's carefully prepared meals, and helpful, friendly service to boot -- we are happy you enjoyed our inn's charm.

Thank you for your stay. And you are correct, we offer special discount rates for our backpacking visitors to our onset town, Togura Kamiyamada.
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ACT
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2011

Kamesei Ryokan was a beautiful place to stay and Chikuma an ideal place for moving off the beaten track in Japan. The ryokan is a typical Japanese inn with a few North American extras provided by Tyler, who runs the inn with his wife Mari and his mother-in-law. There is a wood stove in the foyer (great in winter), a piano and fresh biscuits with afternoon tea. The tatami rooms are large (and have small verandahs with western chairs and tables), and they look out on to delicate Japanese gardens. There are indoor and outdoor onsen (mineral baths). One of the outdoor onsen is stone-lined and in a secluded garden, the other a cedar-lined on an enclosed terrace.
Tyler (who must be 6 foot 6 or more) is fluent in Japanese and highly knowledgeable about both Japanese culture in general and the local environment in particular. He provided great advice on where to eat and what to see. On one occasion rushed up the street from the ryokan to interpret in our negotiations with a restaurant about delicious fried eels (unagi). He was also very helpful in taking us to local sights and running us to the railway station when necessary. Tyler has also prepared a detailed, English-language map of the town which marks key sites and a variety of restaurants. Our favourite was the gyoza (dumpling) restaurant near the so-called 'ghost hotel'. Everywhere we went, we found the townspeople friendly, helpful and full of affection for Tyler (Taira-san).
Chikuma is not a famous tourist destination, but it is a fascinating small town in a beautiful location, set between mountains and the banks of the winding Chikuma river. If you are want to experience Japan off the beaten track but are not quite ready to manage everything in Japanese, this is an ideal spot.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank R C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, Owner at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this review, 19 January 2012
Nasution-san,

Thank you for your stay, and for such a comprehensive review of our inn. Just a couple of clarifications if I may. My height is 6'7". The dumplings at Shichifuku, the restaurant near the ghost hotel, are technically called 'oyaki', not gyoaza. Don't the hot-off-the-grill oyaki go great with ice cold beer? They're kind of like Nagano's soul food. Just another facet of life here in the Japanese countryside that we like to share with our guests here at Kamesei Ryokan.

-Tyler
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SGP
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2010

Our stay at Kamesei Ryokan was one of the highlights of the trip - Great Hospitality by Tyler and his wife, good recommendations and wonderful onsens.

The Ryokan provided us with a good experience of staying in rural japan and onsens, which was what the family enjoyed. But we feel that what sets Kamesei different fr other inns was Tyler's objective assistance and advice on where to go, how to move around to what we wanna do and going the extra mile for us.

And the Kaiseiki meals at the Ryokan was superb too!
Thank you Tyler and family for making our family trip so memorable. We'd be sure to visit again if we go to Nagano again.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank cowgraz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, Owner at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this review, 19 January 2012
Cowgraz-san,

A slice of rural Japan, with an authentic onsen bath and amazing kaiseki-style dinners, that's what we pride ourselves on providing for our guests here at Kamesei Ryokan. Thank you for coming and experiencing it.

-Tyler
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Perth, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2010

We initially booked to stay at Kamesei for 3 nights, but ended up extending our stay another 2 nights, as we were enjoying exploring the area and also the hospitality at the ryokan. We were picked up at the station on arrival (and dropped off on the day of departure), which was very helpful, as we didn’t have to pay for taxis or walk with our luggage. The ryokan is a good 25-30 minute walk from the station, or a 10 minute ride on a bicycle.

We had dinner and breakfast several times, and the food was outstanding. We would return just to have the food again! Tyler has put a lot of hard work and effort into promoting the local area, and provided us with a great map of the area and it's eating places, so we could explore it ourselves, but with an "english language" map/guide. On two nights, we ate at the local restaurants that were within 5-10 minutes walk of the ryokan, and also bought japanese sweets and pastries nearby.

We had a large room overlooking a lovely garden, and we enjoyed the onsen baths at the ryokan.We also had access to free internet as we had our own laptop. We hired bicycles one day and rode around the area, then to the train station where we parked our bikes and caught trains to other towns nearby to go exploring. There is definitely enough to keep you busy in the area for a few days.

Only negative: We were woken two mornings in a row, the first morning being a noisy group of guests having breakfast in the room next door to ours, and the second morning, where we were woken by staff preparing the same room for a group of people - there was lots of noise from a trolley full of dishes and general foot noise outside our room.

All in all, it was a great stay, and we would not have had such a wonderful experience of the surrounding area, without the information we received from our hosts. Well done Kamesei!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pepe_of_perth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, Owner at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this review, 19 January 2012
Pepe_of_perth-san,

Thank for taking the time to fully enjoy Nagano and Kamesei Ryokan. I was happy to share my enthusiasm for our inn and for my adopted home town, Togura-Kamiyamada. I apologize for the ruckus in the banquet room next to your guest room. If we'd have known you would extend your stay, we would have arranged for a different, quieter room. We try our best to provide a restful, quiet stay for our guests.

Thank you again for your stay.

-Tyler
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Additional Information about Kamesei Ryokan

Property: Kamesei Ryokan
Address: 2-15-1 Kamiyamada Onsen, Chikuma 389-0821, Nagano Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Chikuma > Togurakamiyamada Onsen
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 38 Hotels / Ryokan in Chikuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Kamesei Ryokan 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traditional ryokan featuring warm wood construction, gardens throughout, relaxing onsen baths and gourmet kaiseki meals. You can wear your yukata robe and use our wooden geta sandals to stroll around our town, Togura Kamiyamada Onsen, which has lots of appealing shops, restaurants, as well as onsen geisha. Centrally located to the best of Nagano. Our American owner is happy to share this slice of the Japanese countryside with you. Free pick-up at Togura Station. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kamesei Ryokan Chikuma, Japan - Nagano Prefecture

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