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All reviews local produce english speaking staff kaiseki dinner lounge area on arrival private onsen train station per night other guests tatami mats japanese breakfast nice view irina forest luxury mom cuisine
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Reviewed 17 April 2018

We wanted to visit Yufuin, but decided we'd be happier staying away from the tourist crowds and so we found our way to Gettouan. We were glad we did! By day Yufuin is a wonderful little upmarket tourist town with many nice shops, but crowds swell as coach buses begin arriving mid-morning. Gettouan sits about 2/3 of the way up a hillside outside of town, around 7 minutes by car and 25 on foot. With only a few neighbors, set among mountain forests and streams, it is a great place to leave the crowds down below behind. On arrival a pick-up by the station may be arranged and every morning free rides into town are usually available, but you will need to manage the return trip back up to the inn yourself.

Gettouan is a luxury Japanese onsen ryokan in all the most traditional senses. Guest rooms are a series of detached traditional wooden bungalows. Upon check-in you will be greeted, offered tea, and initiated to the property after you have provided your details. Upon passing through the front desk/reception/bar/gift shop area, you are guided to your room/bungalow. The property is divided into a standard area with 12 bungalows and a deluxe adults-only area with 6 bungalows (4 of 6 sit adjacent to a stream). As you pass through the standard area you may sense that these bungalows are a little closer together, and you can see there is a public lounge, larger public onsen, and a shared dining room. While crossing bridges, rounding corners, and descending stairs you make your way into the deluxe side where guests have private dining, private mid-size onsen baths, and a little more space between neighbors. All 18 bungalows have personal in-room onsen baths.

We stayed on the deluxe side (peace and quiet was one of our goals, the munchkins on the other side seemed unlikely to foster it). Gourmet kaiseki cuisine may not be for everybody, but for those who do enjoy it, these were probably the best dinners and breakfasts we've had in years, maybe ever. The chef here is special. Each dinner lasted about 2 hours. The coffee bar and all the complimentary beverages in the room refrigerator were appreciated too.

The hotel attempted to pair us up with their best English speaking staff whenever possible. Keep in mind they also host European guests, and in recent years Chinese and Korean clientele have become the dominant tourist groups all over Kyushu. The server staff was excellent. So were the "ninja" housekeepers. You never saw them, but the room was cleaned, futons rolled or unrolled, shoes put away, and luggage moved.

The place is not perfect. Our room's WiFi went on the fritz the second day, a wooden counter had water damage, and my sandals hurt to walk in. Perhaps traditional food and buildings are not your cup of tea? For us, this wonderful traditional structure of wood, paper and tatami mats with kotatsu and hot spring fed bath, all sitting along an adjacent gurgling stream and peering into a forest overwhelmed our senses and sensibilities. Further consider the superb food and caring service. Any blemishes were pretty much washed away by the contentment from a natural setting, rich traditional cultural atmosphere, out of this world cuisine, and pampering service. We all need a little luxury sometimes, Gettouan fixed us up!

Room Tip: If available and it suits your budget, go deluxe with a room along the stream, we loved Syoukin-tie
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank GlobalCitizen2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2018 via mobile

I read the reviews from the tripadvisor website carefully and made a reservation to stay for one night in March, 2018. I enjoyed their excellent meals and appreciated friendliness from their staff. However, I expected a lot more from this place as it was over $550 per night. First of all, this Ryokan separates their customers into two groups: standard lodging VS premium lodging. If you are staying in standard, which I did, you won’t be allowed even to walk in their premium lodging area which is the half of their ryokan. Another problem was that there wasn’t enough public space other than a small hut area for coffee. At night, there is no place to walk around as it is situated in a remote place. Third, I called about four times to arrange to be picked up on the morning of my checkin date. But the phone line was always busy. I had to take a taxi instead. Unlike other similarly priced Ryokans in Yufuin, I have never received any email from them before my arrival although I booked it from their website. Hence, I couldn’t send an email to notify my dietary prefernce or request to be picked up from the station. Fourth, I could hear noise coming from my neighbors at night. Although it has only 18 units, it is surprisingly close to each other. Fifth, there was no humidifier inside the room, making it hard to sleep in dry air. Many Japanese ryokans and hotels do have a nice humidifier combined with air cleaning function. Last but not least, the overall feeling of this Ryokan is old and dated. This could be a good thing for some people. But for me, it meant that the room is cold, dark and old. Their website photos are beautiful and even poetic. But the actual experience didn’t live up to their image, except their foods. I am writing this with the hope that they could improve, especially their two class system of segregation.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank runningintoemptiness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2018

Travelling in a party of 6, two of us stayed at the Main Hall ( staying with my elderly mom, I need a room with beds), the family of 4 in the Annex ( all villas here do not have beds). Guests will find themselves submerged in nature, everything is simple, natural yet highly aesthetic. The meals are impeccable, and since the Annex is a restricted area (even as guests in the Main Hall, we are not allowed to visit my friends!), you seldom see other guests.
My friends had a wonderful stay and claimed that this is one of the best Kaiseki dinner they ever had. But as the trip organizer and a frequent traveler to Japan who had been in Yufu 3 times, my comment is a bit different- they are very rigid on lots of things. Their service is almost flawless, but are executed in a way which lacks warmth and smiles.
If you want a secret, quiet stay and blend in with nature, this is the place. If you are looking for the omotenashi kind of unique Japanese service, well, I did not feel it.
Tips- the plot of the ryokan is huge. It is not suitable for elderlies. And since you have to pass by the bridge when you go out, it’s a bit messy when weather is not good. Taxi to the main street is just a few minutes away, less than Yen1000.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2018 via mobile

Just came back from 2 night stay at the beautiful Gettouan. This was part of mother/ daughters trip to commemorate my mom’s 80th birthday. I would really like to thank Gettouan for making this trip memorable. It happened to be the coldest time in Yufu in years. When we arrived, we were devasted that there was so much walking to get around anywhere in the ryokan complex. It would have been fine when the weather was warmer and the leaves are green. Actually it would have been breathtaking place in the spring or fall, and I would like to come back when the weather is warmer.
Food here is out of this world. They made a special meal of snapper to commemorate my mom’s birthday. Irina-San was our server, and she provided impeccable service to our family. Being in outdoor hot spring bath surrounded by nature was mesmerizing experience. For that reason, I highly recommend staying at the special annex area.
I deducted one star from the property, because I didn’t like their public bath facility or the bath in the room. They really need to upgrade those facilities. I hope that the owners take this advice and make this into the best ryokan in Yufu area.

Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank alshin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2017

This is one of the best hot spring hotel I stay every in Japan. The staff service is superb. They wait us outside the hotel for our arrival. Once I get into the hotel, it already gives me a sense of quiet. The room is very spacious with a private hot spring included. The mountain view is nice. I can total relax my soul and body there. One of the plus is the drink at the mini bar is free. The dinner is so best. The food provides at top quality. I have a very good moment there.

Room Tip: Very good as a romantic trip
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank deniskan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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