Takayama Ouan is conveniently located; turn right out of the train station, walk until you see a very tall building on your right and you're there. In the hotel you take off your shoes and walk around the tatami floored corridors bare-foot which I found quite fun, but even more novel are the rooftop onsen. I've never been to an onsen before, and it's like having this huge hot bath which you don't have to wait to fill up. Which you have naked. With lots of other naked people. Once you get over the nakedness it's actually pretty relaxing. There are separate male and female public onsen and three private onsen which you can use for 30mins at a time. Free ramen is also served from 10.30 to 11.30pm.
The rooms are clean and functional with small bathrooms. My view was of the temple, but also of the train tracks which I could hear from time to time, but didn't really bother me. The staff are very friendly but did make a couple of mistakes, messing up our massage bookings twice. On a side note, the hotel can get really busy so do book in with the massage spa (2nd floor) in advance if you want to have a treatment. On our second day we had to wait a bit before we were let into the restaurant for breakfast.
So on the whole a friendly and novel experience and you can do a day trip to Shirakawa-go quite easily. There's not a massive amount to do in Takayama itself though, so enjoy the onsen, but you probably only need to stay for a day or two.
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- Also Known As:
- Takayama Ouan Hotel Takayama