We stayed 3 nights at Shirouma-So and it was the best place we stayed through our whole trip in Japan! We arrived really early in the morning (5am) as we were on a Chuo taxi from haneda airport (arrived at 11pm in haneda). We emailed the owner (Toshi) that we would be arriving early in the morning and he was happy to have us check in early anyway. He woke up earlier so he could get us in! We managed to sneak in a bit more sleep before waking up to an amazing spread of food- breakfast jap style!
Food- amazing home style cooked breakfast every morning! It was magnificent! Such a spread! I would recommend having dinner at least one night at Shirouma-so as it's fantastic but going to the nearby restaurants to try something else. Would very highly recommend a place called Kihachi- it was very popular so u might need to make a booking. Toshi organised a booking for us.
We loved the traditional feel of the place. I was a bit apprehensive about the onsen experience but the ryokan was a small place and at times you could have the onsen to yourself. The whole stay was just perfect. It's close to the bus terminal where u can catch free buses to other mountains and it's walkable distance to Happo-one (the ryokan has discount tickets for full day passes to Happo-one). The closest rental shop is spicy rental and we got a 10% discount for staying at Shirouma- so.
The rooms are set up with a table and 2 cushions during the day and they always have a fresh pot of tea and cups waiting for u when u get home from the snow. While you're away at dinner, they set up the room for you with the futon beds all ready for u to tuck into at night. Mattresses were extremely comfortable and cosy. The rooms were always too hot and we had to leave our heater turned off most of the time. It was perfect turned off though!
Toshi and the family (it's a family owned business) were the most generous hosts. They were so helpful and always willing to provide for any of our needs. They drove my husband to night boarding one night coz it was snowing! Despite him being very happy to walk in the snow to the nearby Happo-one, Toshi was insistent to get him driven there! Toshi also drove us to the nearby bus terminal on our last day so we didn't have to lug our bags in the snow. We managed to fit in a half day of boarding on our final day and they were very happy for us to use their showers and onsen after that (even though we had already checked out). We cannot praise them enough for the service they provide!
Free wifi is a huge plus too.
We paid a little more than the other places we stayed at around Japan but it was definitely a 100% worth it!
Overall, the stay was magnificent! If you don't book a stay, you're definitely missing out on a real traditional experience. We can't wait to come back!
Thank you to Toshi and his family!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Resting at the base of Hakuba Happo-one ski area, Shirouma-so is a modern Japanese ryokan (inn) combining both traditional wood and modern Japanese "Wa" architectural styles, resulting in a creative and beautiful design. From the entrance featuring wooden pillars and beams preserved from the building's agricultural beginnings in the Edo period, to rooms with large windows and views of the northern Alps, you can relax, place yourself in the hands of Nature, and refresh yourself in the warmth of this historical ryokan. Shiroumaso is appreciated by many guests as a convenient base for skiing, snowboarding, or the numerous outdoor activities of the summer months, as well as a hub for touring Shinshu, Azumino, and other regions within Nagano. ... more less
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