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“Must stay in Kyushu”
Review of Takefue

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Takefue
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 June 2013

Situated in a bamboo forest, Takefue is an oasis in the onsen area of Kyushu. The rooms were of course amazing, each with their own onsen (indoor & outdoor for most rooms). We particularly enjoyed having a separate dining area and the elaborate kaiseki meals that were served. Our host Kuni spoke perfect english and attend to every detail, like setting up for breakfast/dinner and picking the scent/aroma for the room. We even found him waiting outside at the hotel entrance for us one evening just to greet us.

Our dinner meals usually consisted of shoju/plum wine, various small appetizers, sashimi, beef or horse sashimi salad (the horse meat is actually a delicacy in Japan and was delicious at takefue), tempura, something grilled like beef/abalone, shabu shabu of beef or chicken, something stewed like chicken or beef, egg custard, rice served in bamboo, and various desserts. Breakfasts were also equally as elaborate - hard to imagine, really.

We took a few great hikes and drives while staying at Takefue. We drove to Mt. Aso and hiked (more like walked) around the park there. We also took a hike behind the hotel into the woods. The roads around the hotel are very scenic, with the occasional ice cream store or mushroom market on the side of the road.

Overall, a true luxury onsen experience with wonderful food, service and rooms and highly recommended.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank AFHamm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 April 2013

This is one of the best boutique hotel experiences that we have had. It truly is an amazing place with a staff that go out of their way to do everything that they possibly can to make your visit as enjoyable as possible. Every little detail receives their full attention. That said, many of the staff are not proficient in English, but they really try. Communication can take some effort at times but when you consider where you are who cares! The only way to describe the accommodations would be as grand suites. The design and attention to detail is just fantastic, both in the rooms and for the resort itself.

Virtually no two of the rooms are the same. We tried two: Amato and Yutsukiyo. We preferred Amato simply because it had an small outdoor deck with a couple of comfortable western style chairs on it which made for a great place to read etc in the afternoons/evenings. If I was to book again I would ask for a room layout diagram and think carefully about just what I wanted.

In terms of the food, well this is a true foodies paradise, albeit that we found some of it a bit challenging at times. But having stayed in Ryokans all over Japan, this was by far the best in terms of the range of culinary experiences offered.

Regarding location, for non-Japanese speakers Takefue might be a bit difficult to find, especially as there is a new main road not marked on all of the maps. We used an iPad with a 3G sim card and the mapped location on tripadvisor to get us there and had no trouble at all. But without both of those it would have been a bit of a challenge. That said Takefue is excellently located to explore central Kyushu. The Aso volcano was erupting the first day we were there and closed for access, albeit that it made a spectacular site. We were able to do a proper visit a few days later. It is also worth considering visiting Beppu with its bizarre collection of steam vents turned into anything from bubbling mud baths to tropical hot springs.

We would visit again at a moments notice if given the chance and very strongly recommend it

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank BeachSwaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2013

This ryokan is truly amazing. The location is beautiful, rooms are spectacular, but the staff truly make it a memorable stay. Nothing is too hard - we got lost on our way driving there so they called a taxi to come and meet us to take us there. Kuni San was wonderful and everyone made a huge effort. Plus they give you so many nice gifts. Spend the extra $$ for the bigger rooms, you will not be disappointed. Everything was perfect.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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5  Thank Fussykitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2013

This resort is really nice. Everything is organized perfectly. We had a spa session and it was really good and we enjoyed every second of it. It was snowing lightly during our stay and the surrounding was so beautiful. Kuni-San who can speak English was taking care of us really well. He made sure everything is perfectly arranged and we are comfortable. We highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Cheng_KJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2013

A modern but yet traditional 'Onsen' villa. A 3-Michelin star equivalent in the natural hot spring resort industry. Enjoy the tranquillity of the area, the Japanese' hospitality and their attention to detail of everything. But be minded there's no chunky burger and chips, only traditional Japanese breakfast and Kaiseki dinner is served in the resort. Even if you're not too fancy with raw seafood, you'll definitely appreciate the food presentation-it's just an art for your eye to see.

Takefue has just set the bar to a completely different level.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Adrian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2013

This place is stunningly beautiful! It was better than I expected. A traditional ryokan, it is the total experience. Forget about all the 5 star international chains. From the time you enter this gorgeous Japanese ryokan, you are met with over whelming hospitality. This property has 11 villas and 7 of them have their own indoor and outdoor hotsprings. After checking in at the reception, we were invited to choose a yakuta to wear during our stay. We had a choice of two different snack boxes when checking in. One was high calorie and one was low. I picked the one with low calorie. We even brought the empty snack box back home. Suzuki was our room attendant. She was superp. She escorted us to our villa, Bijo-an. It had two private onsen baths, one indoor and one outdoor. The outdoor hot spring bath was a beautiful rock pool with beautiful view over the surrounding bamboo forest. It was unbelievable. Our meals were brought to our room, beautifully presented in a large irori (traditional sunken hearth). They began the kaiseki dinner (many small courses) by heating up the irori in the middle of our private living room. The food was delicious.

Takefue’s certainly provided us with a memorable experience of a lifetime. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank pandy2026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2012

Takefue onsen ryokan is truly a magical place. It's a natural hot springs resort in the middle of a bambo grove. Far from everything and very peaceful. If you do find the strength to venture outside the property, there are some beautiful country walks to take.

We were a group of 4 people and shared a villa together -- the only way for us to afford the luxury of the resort (it is rather expensive, but worth every yen). First we stayed in the Shien-an villa for one night -- highlights: both the outdoor and indoor baths are fantastic. Then we moved to the Sayo villa for two nights. The Sayo villa is Takefue's top villa, and for good reasons: it is absolutely stunning (its most striking feature being its outdoor bath&terrace right by the bambo forest).

Our package included breakfast and dinner (served in the villa), which is something i strongly recommend for the meals in Takefue are an experience not be missed.

I'd also recommend trying some of the public baths. You can book any bath for 45 mins. We tried a different one each night, picking the last slot of the evening. There are quite a few so If you only have time for one, go for the Chikurin No Yu open-air bath.

Sidenote: we stayed in Takefue end of Oct when the foliage changes colour: the days were sunny and warm, the evenings/nights were cool (the perfect time for a hot bath in the open air).

(very) Hot springs + bamboo grove + food porn + Suzuki, our wonderful room attendant + tranquility + Japanese countryside

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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9  Thank sami_aknine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Takefue

Address: 5725-1 Manganji, Minamioguni-machi, Aso-gun 869-2402, Kumamoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kyushu-Okinawa > Kumamoto Prefecture > Aso-gun > Minamioguni-machi > Kurokawa Onsen
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 52 Hotels / Ryokan in Minamioguni-machi
Price Range: £713 - £2,182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Takefue 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
Takefue Japan/Kumamoto Prefecture - Aso-Gun

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