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“Most helpful staff, spacious room, nice onsen, just a bit out of the way.”
Review of Kawamotoya

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Kawamotoya
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
181 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Most helpful staff, spacious room, nice onsen, just a bit out of the way.”
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We chose this hotel because it had an attached bath, and English speaking staff. The bath was not needed, used only once, but the staff were very helpful indeed for us first-time visitors to Nozawa Onsen.

We got caught up in the second Feb 2014 snowstorm, and it was good to speak English to someone at the other end to update our (lack of) progress towards Nozawa Onsen. When we got there a day and a half late, they were really most helpful with restaurant recommendations and bookings, giving directions and general info.

We had room 301, which was large by Japanese standards. Furnishing was tatamis and futons, with the usual low table, wardrobe, large flat-screen TV, key safe, hot water dispenser, bun-warming WC, bathroom amenities, yakuta and the short coat that goes over.

We didn't feel at all cramped. We hardly used our bath because the hotel's indoor onsen on the ground floor was so inviting, as were the 4 other public onsens we visited, making use of the handy onsen kits provided by the hotel. The onsen next door, on the left as you leave the hotel, is perfect for the first try of a public onsen. Go in the plastic slippers provided at the hotel entrance, to save hopping around as you take off/put on your footware as you enter/leave the onsen. The door handle to the men's onsen turns to the left to open. The next closest onsen, just round the corner up towards the centre is unbearably hot, even after running cold water into the pool.

Kawamotoya is right on the edge of the town centre and downhill. It is about a 10 minute uphill walk in normal boots without skis to the start of the moving walkway up to the usual starting lifts/gondola (Hikage). A map is very much needed the first time, but you get a hang of the town's layout after a couple of days.

Breakfast starts at 7.30, just nice to catch the start of the travelator and first lifts. There is a good western and Japanese selection, varying slightly from day to day. We did not try the fusion restaurant for dinner, because we lost 2 dinner opportunities from our travel delays.

I would highly recommend this for non-Japanese speaking first time visitors. For our next visit, we will probably try one of the ryokans now that we are more familiar with Nozawa Onsen,

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kuaychap
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, 3 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for your lovely feedback following your recent stay with us at Kawamotoya. I was very happy to read that we met your expectations and that you liked the personal service we provide all of our guests. I have passed on your feedback to my great team here at the hotel.

Best regards,

Arnaud Devillers.
General Manager.
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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
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

This was my first experience in Japan, in Feb 2014, and the Kawamotoya was great. The service was excellent, the food was great. We had breakfast every morning for the week we were there and we did have one dinner at the Tamon restaurant which was exquisite. It was a little expensive but absolutely worth it, even for one who isn't keen on Japanese food. The equivalent in Australia would cost 3 times as much. I wasn't too keen on the walk up the hill I had read about but it was not a problem at all and nice to walk through the village up to the U Road, the moving walkway. We had a room on the top floor which had lovely views. The hotel onsen was well used by us and I wish I had bought one of the kimono type robes provided by the ryokan each day. I would definitely stay there again. Staff were great, including the 3 Australian waitresses!

Room Tip: If you are happy to use the hotel onsen as we were, the room with the shower wasn't necessary as...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie 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, 26 February 2014
Dear Julie C,

I was really happy that overall you enjoyed your stay at Kawamotoya Ryokan. I was delighted to read that you enjoyed the location and service you recived during your stay. Please do come and stay with us again soon when I am sure we will meet your expectations.

Many thanks,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 February 2014

We stayed for two nights at Kawamotoya and really loved it. Tidy and clean typical Japanese rooms, own Onsen in the facility, very nice breakfast (Japanese and Western) but the outstanding point was the quality of the staff and the friendliness of the people there! Highly recommended~

Room Tip: All rooms are Japanese style, which is a futon on a tatami mat. If you feel the futon is too hard, t...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katja D
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, 26 February 2014
Dear Katja D,

Thank you so very much for your kind feedback following your recent stay at Kawamotoya Ryokan. I was really pleased to read your kind words and have passed them on to my great team at the hotel.

Please do come and stay with us again which I hope is very soon.

My best regards,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
singapore
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

We are in the middle of 6 night stay in Kawamotoya
We stayed in a Japanese deluxe room on the third floor. We were worried about the water pressure from the taps and shower/ bath in the ensuite bathroom as well as the strength of wifi connection but both worries were unfounded and everything worked beautifully and without fuss.
The room was large, clean and well designed with everything we could possibly want to make our stay comfortable. I found the room very ergonomic with plenty of both natural light and well placed lighting. There was plenty of space and hangers.
The service was genuine and friendly and most of the reception staff could speak very good English and when they coudnt, they were genuinely apologetic.
Breakfast was was buffet spread - not a huge selection but the quality of the food more than makes it for it.
There are daily yoga lessons for a small fee and in house physio

The only small thing to consider is the distance to the bottom of the yu travellator. It is only a 10 min slow walk but it is all uphill. A nice warm up to the day's skiiing

Room Tip: if you don't mind not having the best views, choose a floor on the lower floors
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank adara1477
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, 26 February 2014
Dear Adara1477

Thank you so much for you very kind words during your recent stay at Kawamotoya Ryokan. I was truly delighted to read your feedback and have passed it on to my great team , as I do with all the feedback we receive from our guests.Many thanks once again and we do look forward to your return to the hotel where we look forward to extending you a very warm welcome and to meet your expectations once again.

Best regards,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager.

PS : I'm just wondering why after a so nice review, you rate us as "poor" ? Maybe a mis-click ?
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 21 February 2014

I only stayed in Kawamotoya for three days but I wish I had stayed a lot longer. As soon as we walked through the door the hotel staff were friendly and welcoming. We stayed on the third floor where we chose a Japanese Style Room. It was beautiful, with a small area for your boots to be left at the entrance of the room. Tatami mats lay across the spacious room, we had a great heater which was easy to control the tempurature (best we had on our whole trip). We had a beautiful large window which over looked the village and ski field. We also had an area where we could lay out our gear to air. There was an amazing large tv in our room but we didn't even get to use it as it was so peaceful relaxing in our room listening to the running water outside. The futon beds I loved as they were very comfortable.
We also were able to pick a beautiful onsen bag that we were offered which had a small towel, lavender soaps for the ladies along with other beautiful goodies and the men were able to choose a different bag selection which had other wonderful goodies in it.
The Onsen which is located on ground level was beautiful. We were explained that there are many onsens situated around the town area but the one in the hotel was great so we didn't go anywhere else.
We ordered breakfast every morning which was great. There was a wonderful selection of hot breakfasts along with fresh fruits and breads. There was also homemade yoghurt which was delicious with the muesli and fruit. We never got to try the dinner as it was quite a popular restaurant in town. We had heard great things about the food so we will be back to try this next time.
The hotel wasn't too far from the local bus stop. It took us about 10 mins to walk down to the hotel. The locals were very friendly as well and were able to help us find our directions to the hotel. It was a 10min walk up the hill to the ski field which I found as a great warm up for my muscles before hitting the slopes.
I can't wait to come back to this place it was a great hotel, and recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: I recommend choosing the Japanese Private Rooms as they were so spacious and relaxing. You also have...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CharlieJorge
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, 26 February 2014
Dear CharlieJorge,

I was thrilled to read your kind words following your recent stay at Kawamotoya Ryokan. As you mentioned you enjoyed all the facilities of the hotel but the most important aspect is the service which I was please to read met with your expectations. I have passed on your feedback to my brilliant team and really do hope that you will come and stay with us again soon.

My kindest regards,

Arnaud Devillers
General Manager
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Sydney
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

In Feb 2013 I spent 7 nights at Kawamotoya with 3 friends. (4 middle aged women!) We shared rooom 501 which was on the top floor with a view over the village as well as one down the valley. We had 4 futons which took up a lot of the floor space but still had room to move around. The room had an ensuite with heated toilet seat :) !!. As in previous reviews the water pressure was a bit dubious at times, but we found if you just waitied a few minutes it always came back!! We used a mix of the hotels onsen and the rooms shower and in the end were prefering the experience of the onsen. The room was warm and the doona's comfy but did request and extra mattress for the futons after the first night. The staff were more than happy to assist as they were with every request we made. This included making restaurant reservations for us - which we found was best to do a day in advance but not always necessary.
The Tamon restaurant restaurant at Kawamotoya is a must for at least one evening. The have a couple of set menus to choose from. We had the 6,500 yen option and found the 7 courses exceptionally good. I would expect to pay at least $150 pp for a similar quality in Sydney. There is also a great restaurant on the cormer next to Kawamotoya which is run by a family. It does not take bookings and mainly serves noodle and japanese savoury type pancakes. It is very cheap and so good we went twice!!
Kawamotoya's breakfast buffet was great and whilst it was the same for the 7 days we were there we never tired of it. There is both Japanese and western food to choose from.
Kawamotoya is about a 5-10 minute walk uphill to the moving walkway. If you are fit enough to ski you are easily fit enough for this walk. The walk is very nice as you walk straight up the centre of the village. We hired our gear from St Anton which is at Hikage Gondola. That way you do not need to carry ski gear up and down the hill. You can leave your Apre boots at the hire centre. I would not want to have to do the walk in ski boots or carrying ski's. One of our group had her own ski boots but, as she hired her ski's & poles from St Anton they were happy for her to leave her own ski boots at night with ours. Alternatively if you are bringing all your own ski gear I suggest you hire a locker in the Hikage Centre near where you purchase/collect your lift tickets.
The Nozawa Physio is also located at Kawamotoya which is great as she (nice Australian girl) also runs yoga and muscle relaxing classes at 7am and 5pm. It was great to ski all day, do a stretch class at 5pm then soak in the onsen before heading out for dinner!
We had a great experience and are very happy with our choice of accomodation in Nozawa.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bernadette P
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, 21 February 2014
Dear Guest,

I was thrilled to read your kind words following your recent stay at Kawamotoya. As you mentioned you enjoyed all the facilities of the hotel but the most important aspect is the service which I was please to read met with your expectations. I have passed on your feedback to my brilliant team and really do hope that you will come and stay with us again soon.
My 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
Sydney
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We have just returned from 5 days at NozawaOnsen staying at Kawamotoya. Firstly the staff were lovely and tried their hardest to make our stay as confortable as possible. We were staying on the top floor with an en suite bathroom. We found the room to be large and comfortable. We expected futons and found them to be very comfortable. The ryokan is a reasonable walk uphill to the travelator but as we left our ski equipment up at the lifts we didn't find this to be a problem. Our only disappointment was the lack of water pressure in our en suite. In fact we did not ever use the shower as water simply didn't reach our bathroom most of the time. On a few occasions I had to wait for several minutes for enough water to come through to simply wash my hands. We loved the onsen so I would suggest you save your money and elect for a room without an ensuite. Friends stayed in a room without en suite. They had a heated toilet (ours was an old unheated one) and a hand basin which is all that is required if you are happy to use the onsen. We were given a 30% discount on the additional cost of having an ensuite but as we simply could not use the shower or bath we felt this was not moeny weel spent.

Room Tip: Higher floor have views but very poor water pressure
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bellamilie
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 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your kind feedback which is genuinely appreciated as we use this to review what improvements we can make to our product and service. I am delighted to note that you felt that you were looked after by our team in general very well and this is absolutely central to our service ethos.
I have noted that you found the shower pressure could have been stronger. We notice since the beginning of the winter season that the water pressure provide by the town became very low maybe because of popularity of the resort this year. We are planning some construction work to improve the water presure in our Roykan for the next winter..
I very much hope that I can persuade you to consider trying us once more.
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
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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:
Ranked #13 of 46 Hotels / Ryokan 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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