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“A most unique visit & stay experience”
Review of Yokichi

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Yokichi
Reviewed 14 June 2012

My wife and I visited Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO world heritage site famous for its gassho-zukuri farm houses and different atmospheric environments across four seasons. The bus ride up the mountains was scenic and enjoyable, as the greenery of forested hill slopes on the low lands gradually transformed into the browns of tree trunks and barren branches against the snow-clad highlands.

A gorge and bridge separated the bus station from Ogimachi, the largest village as well as the main attraction of Shirakawa-go. Crossing the bridge was like leaving the familiar behind and venturing into a dreamlike world of thatched and wooden gassho-zukuri farm houses. April still had its winter cold and snow piled on the surrounding mountain slopes and around the grounds of farm houses. Although we missed the winter wonderland atmosphere of snow covered farm houses, there was enough snow and coldness around to remind us that spring has not quite arrived in Shirakawa-go.

A short 15 minutes' walk from the bridge and we arrived at Yokichi ryokan. This is one of the few gassho-zukuri farm houses that are located besides the gorge and river. Others are located in between the gorge and mountain slope.

The cheerful lady owner greeted us and advised us, in surprisingly good English, that our room is being prepared. She offered us a map and marked out attractions for us to explore while she prepared our room. Remarkable!

When we returned, she led us to a corner room at the end of the guest corridor. The room faced the gorge. And what a room and what a view. Evening sunlight bathed the room with long shadows. The room opened out to a back garden and the gorge. Sounds of running waters filled the room and the owner asked if we preferred another room in case our sleep was disturbed by the "noise" of running waters. We did not miss a beat to confirm the room less she changed her mind!

Our spacious room was very clean and the floor was laid with tatami mats. A large low table had a tea set from which we enjoyed the complimentary Japanese tea and snacks. A hanging rack was provided in a corner for our winter wear. Bath towels and yukatas were neatly placed on the tatami mat. A small TV was provided but we did not use it, as there were far better things to do in this small, enchanting village. An electric heater proved useful at night and in the early morning.

Bathroom facilities comprising shower cubicles, WCs and wash basins were provided on a communal basis. Guests can book a cedar wood bathtub for private use. Facilities were clean and well-maintained.

We had dinner and breakfast at Yokichi. These were astonishing, tasty and home-cooked meals served keiseki style. The region's famous hida beef was served. Meals were consumed in a common dining room where guests sat on tatami mats around low tables placed around a central open hearth. The lady owner introduced all the guests and we enjoyed chatting and dining together. After dinner when we returned to our room, it was already laid out with futons for our night's sleep. To savour the winter night, we ventured outdoors. The streets were dark except for a few street lights and lighting from farm houses.

Although most travel guides mentioned a day's trip to Shirakawa-go, we were smitten by our stay and the magical beauty of Ogimachi. Accommodation with meals was not cheap but the experience was worth it.
The climb uphill to the viewpoint is a must for a panoramic view of the entire village. The viewpoint marks one end of Ogimachi. From here, a leisurely stroll across the village led us uphill along the main street to where the well-photographed gassho-zukuri farm houses are located. The street leads on to the main trunk road. This marks the other end of Ogimachi. In the village are small shops, restaurants, museums and onsens.

Although Yokichi, its rooms, facilities and services are basic by typical hotel standards, they scored high for me and my wife as they showcased the passion of the owner to share a unique lifestyle with her guests. The attention she had put into making our stay exceptional warranted the high ratings. Yokichi offers a truly unique stay experience to complement this unique location.

Room Tip: Request for the corner room located at the end of guest corridor and facing the gorge.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank JeffLeong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 14 of 25 reviews

Reviewed 14 April 2012

The village was so very magical that when I woke up on the bus, having just arrived in Shirakawa-go I actually "gasped". It was snowing heavily and we were pretty worn-out by the time we got to Yokichi but they were very friendly and welcoming. They even were able to lend us snow boots to go and explore the village in the snow.

The salted river fish for dinner was the BEST FISH I HAVE EVER TASTED! The room got a little cold during the night, but we were prepared for that being the middle of winter. Our room was tidy and the house was in the village/ mountain cabin style with family style shower/bathroom. The young family were nice and spoke english.

If I went to Shirakawa-go again, I would leave my baggage in a ryokan in Kyoto and take a night bag only. Attempting to get across the river bridge in winter with a suitcase is tricky (and icy). I would also leave myself enough time to get up to the lookout (bus from the main bus-stop) before it gets dark (fairly early in winter).

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank australian_mel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

We stayed here for one night. Situated in the heart of shirakawago. The room was a good size but there was no sitting area so we had to sit at the table. We had dinner in the main dining room and watched japanese tv which we didn't understand but you get hooked with all the graphics and the people. The managers daughter showed us in on the sunday and could speak a bit of english, but she was not there for breakfast. The manager could not speak much english but that was fine. The toilets were clean the room clean and the bed very comfy with 2 futons and 2 duvets. In the moring we understood why there were 2 duvets as when i opened the sliding door (straight outside) it was snowing and very cold. This was 21st November and it had been raining all the previous day. Shirakawago is lovely but you have to pay for most of the houses and the open air folk museum. There is not a great deal to do here and i understand why its a day trip. Lovely ryokan though and i would definetly suggest a visit for a rural insight. Just to note that my husband thought that this would be a farmers house. It is a japanese b and b with b and b facilities.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DonnaGullick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2011

Manager doesn't speak the best english, but is friendly. Obviously a bit pricey, but worth it for a night in atmospheric Shirakawa-go. Dinner and breakfast were pretty amazing, the room not so much.

Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
Thank neepsocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2010

Our two nights at Yokichi Gassho were a great and enjoyable experience. Gassho are old farmhouses, not sophisticated, modern hotels. The hostess was friendly and helpful, and we had little trouble communicating even though our Japanese was as limited as her English. Large, comfortable, simple rooms. The shared toilet and bathing facilities were immaculate and up-to-date--choice of multifeatured (bidet, airdry, etc), modern toilets or traditional-style squat toilets. Had a great time with other guests (mostly Japanese) at dinner--shared many bottles of beer and stories about travel in general and Japanese culture in particular. We would return in a heartbeat. No restaurant, but price included excellent Japanese breakfast and dinner.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RufusTFirefly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2010

The owner was very nice. There were dinner and breakfast, and I get to enjoy coffee after breakfast. There was so much food for breakfast, and after each meals I get to have a conversation with the other guests that were staying there.

I visited the place in the middle of winter and I was kind of afraid of the cold especially when I sleep, but they provided a gas heater and that made the room comfortable enough for me. There was a feet heater too under the futon.

I heard from the owner that the lodgings there are usually fully booked during weekend so it's safer to book early :)

Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
Thank muuuuu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
Thank たろう315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yokichi

Address: 351 Ogi-machi, Shirakawa-mura, Ono-gun 501-5627, Gifu Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Ono-gun > Shirakawa-mura
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Shirakawa-mura
Number of rooms: 5
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