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“The owner is really nice and helpful” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shimaya Ryokan

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Shimaya Ryokan
Certificate of Excellence
Bangkok
1 review
“The owner is really nice and helpful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2010

This city is really cute. People are nice and friendly. Room is clean and neat. In the morning of the next day we have to go to Nagano station to catch the first train but there was no train at Yamanouchi that can make us reach Nagano to the catch the first train but the owner is really nice she drive us to the train station near by the city where we can get on train and can be reach Nagano to catch the first train. The food in this city is really delicious,too. I went to a japanese restaurant and the owner of the restaurant offer us nice sweet and the owner also drive us back to Shimaya Ryokan. Totally I think this Ryokan is not just a Ryokan but I feel like home..Thank you to the owner and his daughter,Ayako

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Parinoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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506 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
London, UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2010

Yumoto-san and his wife took the guesswork out of everything, which was a relief after we had travelled to such a remote part of Japan, where little English is spoken. Rooms were spacious, basic, and a bit dated, but very comfortable. The natural hot spring bath (used privately) was lovely - and HOT! Other pluses: free internet, shuttle to the monkey park, offer to lend snowboots, and photo op at the park gates. Excellent value.

Note: Have a look at the photo of the building before you go, as there isn't conspicuous signage. The ryokan is a across the road and few doors down from a mini-mart (I think e-mart).

Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank happyphantom7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2010

Having read all the reviews I was a little disappointed by this Ryoken. The host and his wife were certainly helpful - if a little too helpful. My husband and I are very independent travellers and like to make our own way, but when we arrived it appeared that everything was organised for us, without consultation. In fact, we had to be very stern to our host to stop him from arranging our whole itinerary (even down to where we would eat). The hotel is very clean, if not dated, and the bathroom is extremely small - for a tall man like my husband, the showering situation was difficult.
The breakfast (traditional Japanese) however, was wonderful and is worth every penny; the townships of Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen are delightful; and the snow monkeys are remarkable.
If you're on a budget and you don't mind having your time managed down to the last minute then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ippigirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2010

Ichirou Yumoto and his wife are the greatest asset to Shimaya Ryokan by far. I have travelled to many countries around the world, and I have never found any hotel management that were as helpful. They went out of their way to assist visitors in making the most of their stay.
When I arrived at Shimaya, it happened to be at the same time as a family of fellow Australians, and I was asked to join the discussion of things to do. Yumoto-san suggested that we visit the Yudanaka Snow Monkeys the next morning, then he would take me to a nearby ski field so I could spend a half-day skiing. He also suggested that after skiing, I could spend some time in the public onsen at the ski-field. More immediately, he suggested going to a local festival after dinner.
As it happened, I walked through the foyer just as Yumoto-san was about to take some other guests to the matsuri (festival). He supplied us with wellington boots, for which I was very grateful later; ordinary shoes on the snow would have been painfully cold. The locals welcomed foreigners to the festival, and handed out free mandarins and drinks to everyone. The matsuri consisted of setting light to a huge bonfire with daruma and other amulets from the past year, then the children of the town roasted rice cakes on the coals.
The next morning, Yumoto-san took us to the walking track for the snow monkeys, and later took me to the ski field. At the end of the day, he picked me up from the public Onsen along with a couple of other guests. The public onsen bath is open to the elements - which means you can lie in the hot water while enjoying a fabulous view of the Nagano valley (see photo).

The next morning when I was leaving, he suggested that I should visit the town of Obuse on my way back to Nagano in order to see the Hokusai museum. This was a wonderful coincidence because I had dearly wanted to see some original Hokusai work before I left Japan.
Shimaya Ryokan was very comfortable - but foreigners should be aware that they will be sleeping on tatami and futons. The bedding is laid out for you, and there was a double layer of futon which made it comfortable even for someone unused to sleeping on the floor. The doona was thick and very warm, and the reverse sysle air-conditioning efficient. The "western style" breakfast was very generous for the price, and there was even a box of huge Fuji apples in the foyer which Yumoto-san was giving away free courtesy of a friend of his who owned an orchard.
The only down-side of Shimaya Ryokan that I can think of was the lack of a lift; carrying baggage up several flights of stairs may be a challenge for some. However, anyone visiting Japan should prepare themselves to walk up a LOT of stairs. The best way to get around is by train, and many train stations have no lifts or escalators.
If you are planning to stay at Shimaya Ryokan (and many others in Japan) make sure that you have a print-out of the name of the ryokan in kanji (traditional Chinese characters) because the sign is not in romaji (english characters). I should add that locals walked me from the train station to Shimaya - all the people in the town were amazingly friendly to foreigners.
If you want to see the famous Snow Monkeys of Yudanaka, I definitely recommend staying at Shimaya Ryokan!

PS There is free internet but it is not fast. There are plenty of cheap restaurants nearby in town as well as convenience stores.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank the_harper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NSW
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2010

I can't speak highly enough of the hosts at Shimaya Ryokan. We stayed 3 nights.

My husband and I were picked up from the train station when we arrived and taken to the Ryokan. Our hosts Ichirou & Mitsue Yumoto San gave us a wealth of information about what to see around the region and then the next day drove us to the monkey park and picked us up again.

What really, really blew us away was on the last night my husband came down with head to toe spots (at the time I thought it might be chickenpox or measles!). With my terrible Japanese and the very good English of Ichirou & Mitsue Yumoto San (plus a little bit of help from pictures on Wikipedia!) I sought help from the hosts. Mrs. Yumoto called a doctor and arranged for him to open his clinic at night and personally drove us and waited while my husband was examined and helped with translations. The next morning Mrs Yumoto collected the bill for us (only around AU$45) and we settled it with her rather than having to return to the clinic. You would never get this level of service at a large commercial hotel! In fact it went beyond just service, Mrs Yumoto genuinely cared about our health and well being.

This ryokan has been a family business for 6 generations and is obviously something the hosts feel very proud of. There is an onsen on the ground level which my husband and I were able to bath in privately whenever we chose.

In regards to previous comments about the ryokan being rundown with small bathrooms; I think this all only adds to it's particular charm. It's 100+ years old, so if you stay be prepared to love it for what it is. :) I stayed here and also at Toyko Hilton during my stay in Japan and this ryokan was by far my favourite of the two!

A little note for anyone planning to stay in Yudanaka; go and check out the nearby town of Obuse (pronounced o-boo-say) only 30 minutes away by train. My husband and I visited on 2 consecutive days and found it to be a charming little town. Sweet little boutique style shops and the local specialty is hazelnuts so don't forget to try some.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Heidi Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Letchworth
Level Contributor
60 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2010

I can't thank Mr.Yumato enough for making my trip to Japan.Nothing was too much trouble for him.From driving us to the Monkey Park [wonderful!] to arranging Snowboard hire and lessons at the nearby Ski slopes.
We also took full advantage of the indoor Onsen and Mr.Yumatos local knowledge ensured our 3 days were fun and interesting.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank L-Man77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2010

Having stayed at a beautiful cottage in Nikko just prior to coming to Yudanaka, I was disappointed by the shabby state of the hotel. The room itself was fine (and clean) but the bathroom was very dated (very small even by Japan's standards) and the toilet smelt disgusting. The computers in the "lobby" were very old and slow, it would have been better to put in wireless internet instead. The onsen looked very clean but we ran out of time to use it. Mr Yumoto was helpful driving us to the Monkey park (and collecting us) and taking us to the train station. However I found him to be very noisy about where we were going when leaving the ryokan and when we came back what we had done (and bought even at the convenience store). We also were given two wake up calls which we did not even schedule! There are definitely better places to stay in Japan.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kiwikirst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shimaya Ryokan

Property: Shimaya Ryokan
Address: 3075-I Hirao, Shimotakai-gun, Yamanouchi-machi 381-0401 , Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Shimotakai-gun > Yamanouchi-machi > Yudanaka shibu Onsen , Shigakougenhoppo Onsen , Kumanoyu Onsen
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Yamanouchi-machi
#4 Best Value Hotel in Yamanouchi-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Shimaya Ryokan 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When requested, we provide free 'on-demand' shuttle services to andfrom the Shimaya Ryokan to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and theYudanaka train station. If you have heavy luggage, please notify usin advance so we can help you. We are also happy to offer suggestionsabout local restaurants and attractions.At our hotel, you can enjoy our public Onsen (hot spring bath) filledwith 100% natural hot spring water. On weekdays, our Onsen can bereserved for private use by families and couples. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shimaya Ryokan Hotel Yamanouchi-Machi
Shimaya Ryokan Japan/Nagano Prefecture - Yamanouchi-Machi

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