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“We had a crush on this place”
Review of Takefue

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Takefue
Certificate of Excellence
Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“We had a crush on this place”
Reviewed 10 August 2013

No word or picture can do justice to this beautiful place.
It's not just a hotel or a simple ryokan, it's more like a retreat.
It was a long drive from Kyoto and there were closer "onsen" cities, but we don't regret our choice!

We stayed in the Bijo-an and the kokyu-an. We prefered the last one and our butler told us it was probably the favorite room of all.

Food was a real surprise as it was one of the best we had. Even the deserts were good which is not usual in Japan. Lot of local beef and vegetables. Different from what you can eat in the other islands but excellent.

The staff was incredibly charming and helpful. They even offered us the private use of the main onsen at midnight and some gifts to bring back in Belgium.

A visit to Aso-san is also a must as it's not everday that you can see an active volcano so close to you. We didn't had enough time to explore the rest of the region but it seemed nice. The autumn colors were amazing. I think it's the best season.

Such a shame it's so far from Belgium! I'm missing the hot springs...Hope to return one day...

Room Tip: Kokyu-an room. But if you can, try more than one room as they are all different
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Georges_AS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Laguna Niguel, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2013

Takefue was among the many highlights of our honeymoon in Japan, but as far as resorts go, this has to be the best from the trip of many, many great stays, as well as among the best resorts we've stayed at ever. From the moment we got off the bus, we were catered to and pampered as if we were royalty. The following is a two day breakdown of our great highlights from the stay:

Day 1:

They picked us up from the local highway bus station without us having to wait for them. They had umbrellas that they covered us with, as it was a little drizzly out. Upon checking in, they took a photo of us, and as it was our honeymoon, they gave us a stuffed teddy bear of the local mascot bear in Kyushu (it's all over the train stations upon arriving in Hakata). They also took our picture with the bear (I'll explain why upon checkout). Check in was very courteous and professional, and since hubby spoke a bit of Japanese, it was a little bit easier to communicate, although they really try their best to speak English. Kuni San was our attendant the first day, and he was great! His English was impeccable, and he was very professional, friendly, and polite. He made sure our needs were not just met, but that our expectations were exceeded by miles apart. The only recommendation I have is to go for the local foods, like the horse meat sashimi, and the local soup that they ask if you would be okay with during check in. It's a respectful nod to their culture in Kyushu to try their foods, and since they go so much out of their way to make you at home, hubby and I felt that it'd be fun to be adventurous, and also respect their culture. Don't worry about the horse meat sashimi, honestly, it tastes just like tuna or beef tartare, not too gamey or anything. Actually, it was a pretty decadent piece of meat, as there was extremely good marbling throughout the piece. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After check-in, we were led to our rooms, which were, really, more like small houses. We had the Yutukiyo and it was beautiful! Extremely spacious, and every amenity you could ever want, was thought of, and made available in the highest quality. The indoor spa was extremely pleasant, particularly, in the early mornings, when it was rather cold or drizzly to be going outside. The outdoor private spa was extraordinary. It was no hassle at all to do our part and shower thoroughly with soap and shampoo before going into the baths.

Dinner was a multi-course marathon of merry delectables. There was, yes, the horse sashimi, but also, kobe beef, abalone, creme brulee and a ton of other wonderfully delicious, and michelin star prepared food.

After dinner, we tried the baths, and it was extremely refreshing after a long day of travel.

Day 2:

Breakfast was yet another multicourse marathon (all the meals are). We honestly couldn't finish all the food, and had to leave some of the local soup and rice, as it was a huge amount of food, and we couldn't finish. I hope the staff weren't slighted, we loved all the food, but it was so much, that we just couldn't eat it all.

After some more onsen time, we had signed up for some massages. We absolutely loved our massages! However, if you're unused to heavy, heavy pressure, then go in informed, because when they say "push-u push-u" they really do push you very, very firmly. I'm normally the type that likes a very, very gentle massage, so it came to me as quite a surprise...but afterwards, I felt amazing and I don't regret it one bit! In fact, once I got back to the States, I kind of craved that kind of massage, because they seriously got all the kinks and knots out for days afterwards. They have a thorough knowledge of what they're doing to reach the right pressure points, and even though it got me breathing pretty heavily during the massage, I felt really, really, really great afterwards. However, I would save the massage for a night time activity after you've done the onsen experience, as we made the mistake of going to one of the larger resort onsens about an hour or two after (and not hydrating nearly enough), and we nearly passed out after much less than an hour in the onsen. So, note: after the massage, definitely drink a lot, and give yourself plenty of space after bathing (and definitely hydrate yourself plentifully after the main resort onsens as they are much hotter than the onsens in your room) before doing the massage at night.

If you stay multiple nights here, they seem to like to top their previous night's standard of food. The second night, we got a full abalone, and just an even more delicious meal than the previous night We had a different attendant the second night, and unfortunately, his English wasn't as strong as Kuni san's, but he was able to tell us the basic type of foods each dish was, just not the special uniqueness of each one, like Kuni san did. But he was a great attendant, too: he remembered that we liked lavendar oil to be scented in our room, which we had requested with Kuni san the previous night. We got multiple desserts, including a cake that they gave us, with "Happy Honeymoon" written on our plate.

Day 3 (Check out Day):

We had a quick, but again, plentiful multicourse breakfast. We had the sweetest pineapple and fruits throughout our stay here (there wasn't a hint of tartness, just a mild sweetness). Oh, word of warning: with each of the meals, they like to serve this sour cherry that's been soaked in vinegar. We ate them to be polite, but if sour/vinegar really isn't your thing, then you can avoid it. It's incredibly potent in the vinegar taste, and it's a common palate refresher that we found throughout Japan, not just here, but if you really don't enjoy sour cherries, then skip this.

After breakfast, they checked us out, but not without treating us to more gifts. They gave us the photo that they took of us in a nice simple, yet elegant frame; a photo book of the resort, and also, a tasty cake from a local high end bakery for our honeymoon gifts. They then dropped us off at the bus station, but not without the staff going out in the rain to say good bye.

All in all, it was an extremely pleasant stay, with the best service, food, spas, rooms, and amenities, that you could possibly ask for! If you don't mind the splurge, and you're going all out for a special occasion, then definitely pick here to enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2013

We chose Takefue to celebrate my and my girlfriend`s birthday and it was possibly the best place we could wish for. The service was impeccable and kaiseki food delicious. The staff serving our meals was young and fun to talk to. We stayed in the room Sayo and I must say that must have been the best hotel room I have ever stayed at. The natural outdoor bath was a size of a swimming pool. You could throw a basket of yuzu (kind of japanese citrus) for a better smell. The view over a perfect bamboo grove made us want to soak in the bath forever ;) The bedroom and the futon was very comfortable and so clean you could eat off the floor. There was also indoor bath , a separate TV room with glass walls so that you could see the bamboo (how can people concentrate on watching TV in such scenery?). Everything was beautifully lit up at night. Congartulations to the staff for a great job. We`ll definitely be back one day.

Room Tip: Sayo is the best and worth a few extra yen.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank marekr659
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2013

My wife and I (we are at our late 30s and from Hong Kong) went there in May 2013, this time without bringing any kid. Having been to other onsens in Japan and hotspring hotels in other Asian countries, we did find a completely different experience in Takefue. Our top ratings given here on various aspects are self-explanatory to tell you how satisfied we are, but the one thing that truly makes Takefue stands out from the others is, I think, their commitment in providing total privacy to customers. With only 11 rooms (or "houses" I should say) which are located far apart from each other (except the two to three most economical rooms), most of them are equipped with their own indoor and outdoor onsens. The outdoor one is surrounded by bamboos that separate you completely from the rest of the world. Besides the private onsens in your room, there are four more outdoor onsens of different tastes that can be reserved for use by customers exclusively. It's regretful that we only had time to try two of these during our short one-night stay. We checked from the online booking system the day before our visit and learnt that on the night we were staying, about 8 to 9 rooms were occupied but throughout our entire stay of about 21 hours, we could hardly see other customers!! Japan is a quiet place but Takefue is quieter than the rest of it. Other than the time we spent on having the sumptuous Japanese dinner and breakfast as well as the most relaxing spa treatment, there was in fact not much for us to do there. Yet, it was exactly the tranquilness that rejuvenated us from the hustle and bustle of city life of where we came.

It's comparatively expensive, but worth it.

Room Tip: Each of the 11 rooms has its own price tag. While you don't have to choose the most expensive o...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Raymond C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
beijing, china
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank AFHamm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
256 reviews
155 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 322 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank BeachSwaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Fussykitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Takefue

Property: Takefue
Address: 5725-1 Manganji, Aso-gun, Minamioguni-machi 869-2402, Kumamoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kyushu-Okinawa > Kumamoto Prefecture > Aso-gun > Minamioguni-machi > Kurokawa Onsen
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Minamioguni-machi
#2 Luxury Hotel in Minamioguni-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Takefue 4*
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
Takefue Japan/Kumamoto Prefecture - Aso-Gun

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