I stayed for one night in the Shikian ryokan in February 2014 and had one of the best stays I have ever had in Japan. I couldn't find a fault with this excellent boutique inn.
The main lobby area of the hotel is designed to copy that of Shirakawa-go, which also happens to be one of my favourite places to visit in Japan. The staff are very friendly and helpful.
The Shikian has around 10-12 small individual apartments/rooms for each guest and a beautiful picturesque pathway to each. The room is of a typical ryokan standard but very clean with plenty of space. Each room also has its own personal bath which has access to the onsen water, it is also partially outside so that you can enjoy the snow views from the bath.
I would recommend also staying for the dinner. We had an excellent beef set menu and thoroughly enjoyed it. The breakfast is also excellent.
The Shikian has an excellent traditional Japanese hotel feel and staying here is an experience in itself. I would highly recommend this to any guests looking to stay in the Oita prefecture and advise against staying in Beppu, which has a run down feel and is far too busy for a relaxing weekend away.
I was also very happy with the price that we paid.
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