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“Good choice at Nozawaonsen”
Review of Kawamotoya

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Kawamotoya
Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good choice at Nozawaonsen”
Reviewed 24 March 2013

This is a ryokan mostly for ski resort users, but it is nicely located near the center of town and within walking distance from the bus stops.
The décor in the lobby and dining area is slanted towards modern but the rooms are with tatami mats and in the usual ryokan style. The dinner was really good and came with introduction and explanation.
The staff are all very helpful and I must say caring, it was snowing heavily the morning we were leaving and thought of getting a short taxi ride, several minutes later one of the staff approached us and suggested that we book soonest because the deteriorating weather conditions will mean the taxis will be in short supply very soon, that suggestion was very well appreciated, meaning the staff cares and not simply in a robotic mode.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wong1129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnaud D, Directeur général at Kawamotoya, responded to this review, 25 March 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback on your stay at Kawamotoya and I am delighted that you appreciated the unusual touches and that the service was great and the staff were helpful and attentive.

I have passed your kind words to everyone who are grateful for the recognition and we do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Nozawa-Onsen on a future visit.

Warm regards,

Arnaud Devillers.
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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57 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2013

We both absolutely loved our stay in Kawamotoya. When we first arrived the ryokan was pretty busy ( I believe it was Japanese holidays) but all of the staff were very polite and if they weren't so confident in English, tried their best.

The room was warm and pretty big, We found the futons to be comfortable, and we had a restful sleep every night. Absolutely loved the Japanese style rooms with tatami mats. Our room overlooked the koi pond out the back and every night we had the most spectacular sunsets.

The onsen was a bit daunting at first, but we developed a strategy of late night onsens so nobody was in there at the same time. Also I loved the yukata provided :) We had breakfast every morning downstairs, and it was really really good, a perfect way to start off a full day of boarding. As others are saying, it is a bit of a walk to the U road, which can be a bit of a pain, but really no big deal.

I would definately stay here again and I would tell my friends and my family to stay here, I really loved it, and found nowhere else in Japan lived up to the standard we expected after Kawamotoya.

Room Tip: Rooms with a little bathroom were good, so to have a sink to clean teeth etc. Rooms facing the back...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank world-explorer89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnaud D, Directeur général at Kawamotoya, responded to this review, 25 March 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your wonderful feedback on the site and I am delighted to read that you have been happy with our property.

We look forward to welcoming you back on a future visit and please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance or if we can assist with a booking.

Warm regards,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2013

We stayed in Kawamotoya when it was not busy and it was absolutely wonderful! We never had to share the hotel's private onsen with anyone and it was a great experience. The rooms are clean and spacious and the hotel staff all speak english and are very helpful. The only thing is that there are no showers in the rooms but with a hot steam bath on the ground floor it wasn't a problem.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vincent C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnaud D, Directeur général at Kawamotoya, responded to this review, 20 March 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback on your stay at Kawamotoya and we are thrilled that you had an enjoyable stay. We do feel very special! We are very proud of the level of service we provide to our guests and work incredibly hard to ensure each and every guest receives this service. We genuinely want you to feel like you are in your home away from home. I am thrilled that you enjoyed our warmth and hospitality.

I have passed your very kind comments to all the team who are indeed very grateful and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to your home away from home next year. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time if we can be of assistance.

Warm regards,

Arnaud Devillers.
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2013

Recently stayed here for 1 week in Feb. Great hotel in a traditional ski resort. Stayed in a good sized Japanese room with tatami mats & futon matresses, very comfortable & cosy. 10min(uphill) walk to bottom lifts, but warmed the legs up for 1st run of day! Breakfast was included, good choice but the western food was often not hot. The onsen in the hotel is a great way to relax at end of day. The hotel staff recommend St Antons for hiring equipment, but we had 2 board failures, so next time would definately shop around. On the plus side, they did store the boards so we did not have to carry them home. Nozawaonsen is a fabulous resort, very traditional; be prepared to learn a little Japanese as not much english is spoken. Try the Oyaki on the way home from the slopes, many shops selling them on O-Yu road & don't forget to take plenty of yen with you, no credit cards at the restaurants. Would definately recommend.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scrag-25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnaud D, Directeur général at Kawamotoya, responded to this review, 14 March 2013
Dear Scrag-25

Thank you so much for your very valuable and much appreciated feedback following your recent stay with us. I passed your comment about the breakfast to the chef, and he will fix it rapidly.
I do hope that we get the chance to look after you again in the near future.

Kind regards,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2013 via mobile

This has got to be the largest hotel room we've stayed in on our trip to Japan. We were mainly in Nozawa Onsen for some snowboarding action on the slopes. This hotel is considered luxurious when it comes to this traditional ski resort. We did book an ensuite room which was just slightly more expensive. It's a tatami room but they were the fluffiest and most comfortable tatami beds. We were welcomed with a toiletries bag which we could take home with us. This was convenient as we could use the toiletries at the many public hot springs in the village. Having said that, the hotel has its own hot spring which I used everyday. Wonderful. The breakfast spread was fantastic - ranging from Japanese fare like rice, miso, grilled fish and Onsen eggs to western fare like cereal, eggs, sausages etc. a much needed meal to start our day before we hit the slopes. The staff were very friendly and helpful and to top it all off, we were sent off upon check out with gifts of jammy bread for our journey. How thoughtful!

I only rated the cleanliness a 3 because we had numerous bugs in our room which were harmless but quite annoying. It only happened in our room as our friends didn't have that problem. Must have been some crack somewhere and the bugs were trying to get in from the cold.

Also it wasn't as closely located to the gondola (for the ski slopes) as we would have liked. A 15 min uphill walk was required, but it was not too bad.

Other that that, it was a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank VBPUFF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnaud D, Directeur général at Kawamotoya, responded to this review, 12 March 2013
Dear VBPUFF,

Many thanks for taking the time to post your very kind words. I was really pleased that you enjoyed our breakfast and most importantly enjoyed it along with all our other services that we offer. I was very happy that we met your expecations and have passed on your kind words to the team who make this all happen.
The bugs are Forest insects, who are trying to get out from the cold. Most of Nozawa-Onsen building have the same problem with those insects. But as you said they are harmless.
I do hope that you can stay with us once again in the near future.

Kind regards,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2013 via mobile

My wife and I and a couple of friends stayed at Kawamotoya last month. In a word: FANTASTIC!

The breakfast was really good with a mixture of western and eastern fare. The rooms were well appointed and the mattresses we rethink and fluffy.

I loved Kawamotoya. And I will be back just have to convince my wife. :)

Some tips:
- buy your lift ticket from Kawamotoya and you'll get a discount
- there is a great little restaurant right next door called akibitei. Makes Japanese pancakes and great fried noodles.
- if you're not shy then just use the onsens. We paid more for an attached shower but I only used it once in 5 days. I went to the onsens every evening.
- have an oyaki (japanese dumpling) when you come off the mountain at the end of the day. Great little snack for the walk back to the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 1MoreTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnaud D, Directeur général at Kawamotoya, responded to this review, 7 March 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your lovely review of Kawamotoya.

We are pride ourselves in bringing the quintessential Japanese Hospitality into our Ryokan. I am happy to read that you had such a good time in Nozawa-Onsen. My team really do know how to best take care of all our guests.

We hope to see you back again.

Kindest regards,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2013

We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The receptionist (Yuki) spoke excellent English and the place itself was fantastic.

Positives:
- Huge rooms, good for all the ski gear and getting organised for a day on the slopes :)
- In-room heating (two forms) is more than adequate for cold winter nights.
- Separate drying room just near reception. Lots of space and room to remove boots, etc.
- Great views of the slopes and the village.
- In-house onsen. It's nothing special, but very convenient and less daunting if it's your first onsen experience since you usually have it to yourself.
- Very helpful staff
- You can buy your lift pass directly from reception and at a small discount (15 minutes notice required so they can go get it for you)
- The staff will help arrange handling of black-cat deliveries for your snowboarding gear to/from the airport, including filling out the Japanese forms and collecting payment. Definitely look at using this if you are travelling to other parts of Japan before/after your time in Nozawa Onsen so you don't have to carry around your ski/snowboarding gear.

Negatives:
- We had brief power outages when the fuse tripped on our floor (twice in 4 days). Nothing particularly annoying since the staff were onto it straight away. More a minor annoyance.
- Water pressure would drop to near-zero for a minute or so from time to time. We were on the top floor, but still it was something I didn't expect given the otherwise excellent quality of the place.
- It's a bit of a walk to the U-road to get to the slopes, and it's uphill (quite steep in some places). We learned to not zip up coats etc. until we were on the slopes or else you get really warm in the walk to the lifts. If you are hiring gear though, just hire from St Antons at the bottom of the Hikage gondola and you can leave your gear there overnight and avoid having to carry it back and forth each day.

Other useful info:
- If you are catching the bus back to Nagano, get on at the first stop at the Nozawa Grand Hotel. You have your pick of the seats on the bus. The second stop at the bus terminal is where everyone gets on and some people already have to sit on the jump seats after that pickup point (which is less comfortable).
- Definitely eat at least once at the Akibitei Okonomiyaki place next door. The food is excellent and the family running the place are so humble. The sake was also some of the better quality that we had in Nozawa. The prices were also so ridiculously low that we felt bad for not giving them more business, so we went back a second night. :)
- Try one of the public onsens, even just once for the experience. There is one just next to Kawamotoya, which is convenient. Just research your onsen etiquette first to know what to expect! ;) The locals are good value though, are very friendly in our experience and they seem used to foreigners coming along to the onsens.
- We only ate at Kawamotoya's restaurant (Tamon) for breakfast, which was good for us. They offered a mix of western food (the usual eggs, bacon, sausage, some cereal, bread, etc.) and Japanese food (miso soup, rice, fish, a few other things). I think in the past you had to tell the staff the night before which one you wanted, but now it's all available in the breakfast buffet so you can decide on the spot (or have both like we did!). I strongly suggest the 7:30 sitting if you plan on hitting the slopes for skiing/snowboarding and want to get up there as early as possible for the best snow. We didn't have dinner at Tamon, but it seems to have a good reputation as far as we could tell.
- You have to try the oyaki, a local specialty and perfect at the end of a day of skiing/snowboarding. There's a shop on the main shopping strip where they have quite a few different fillings and you'll likely see other people buying oyaki there as well. There's a popular stall attached to the side of a larger shop that sells different stuff (including ice-cream). Other places sell oyaki too, but this place seemed best. It's perfect for a snack on your way walking back to Kawamotoya!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a bathroom. It costs a bit more, but they are on the upper floors and give a mag...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Audiofanatic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnaud D, Directeur général at Kawamotoya, responded to this review, 7 March 2013
Dear Audiofanatic,

Many thanks for letting us look after you so well at Kawamotoya.

I was so happy that we met your expectations. I have passed on your kind words to my great team here and we look forward to welcoming you once again in the near future.

We are actually working on solving the water pressure problem.

Many thanks,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kawamotoya

Property: Kawamotoya
Address: 8955 Terayu, Toyosato, Shimotakai-gun, Nozawaonsen-mura 389-2502 , Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Shimotakai-gun > Nozawaonsen-mura
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Nozawaonsen-mura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kawamotoya 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kawamotoya is a traditional ryokan located in Nozawa Onsen. A total of 13 public hot-spring bath houses, known as "Sotoyu", are a common asset of the local villagers who welcome visitors to share them. One of them, "Kumanotearai no yu", is just next to Kawamotoya and is famous for its effects on the beauty of women's skin.This ryokan has 23 guests rooms; 8 guestrooms have their own private bathroom and all have a private toilet.From the top floors on the East side of the Kawamotoya guests have a beautiful view of the Mt Kenashi and its winter ski slopes, while on the West side of the Kawamotoya guests will enjoy the panorama of the mountain range across the Chikuma valley.The restaurant TAMON is a unique concept within a ryokan, Popular with hotel guests and outside visitors alike, It offers avant-garde variations on classical culinary techniques, using the best local ingredients available. Our chef Yasunaga personally selects fresh mountain herbs, village rice and vegetables, local fish and meat, wild deer and boar, bakes home-made bread, and makes your experience of Nozawa Onsen complete. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kawamotoya Japan/Nagano Prefecture - Nozawaonsen-Mura

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