(a) Excellent hubbing place. The hotel straddles places like Kamikochi, Shinhotaka Ropeway, Takayama, etc. Right in front of the hotel is the bus stop. If you need to go to Kamikochi, you take the bus from the same side (as the hotel) to Hirayu and then transfer to the bus going to Kamikochi. Going to the Shinhotaka Ropeway is even quicker or approximately 15mins. The bus stop is now on the opposite side of the road.
Hence, if you need a central hubbing location from which to visit the different places of interest in the locality, this is the hotel to consider.
Note: Hirayu is a bus interchange, i.e., to change to buses going to other destinations. And if you need to get a four-day bus pass, Hirayu is the place to go.
(b) Customised meals. As I was there for five nights, there were few guests (in fact, the only guest) on some of the days. This is where I get some special treatment, such as coffee, fruits, etc.
(c) Exclusive use of outdoor onsen. One needs to place a wooden peg (measuring 10 by 20cm) on the door. This locks the door and allows one to use the onsen exclusively.
What could be better?
(a) Size of room. I paid more per night than another ryokan in Aso but I get half the space. For the Aso hotel, I even get a balcony. While the comparison may not be apple for apple, I think you get the idea.
(b) Lack of hot water. The second floor’s wash area has no hot water. I guessed if you are there during the warm weather, this may be a non-issue. But when the weather was cold, my hands lasted only at most 30s in the cold running water. And the height of the basin is so low that I (not a tall person) need to kneel down at times to brush my teeth or shave myself. A novel experience !
(c) No disposable cups. At the second floor’s wash area, there is a blue mug for the guys and a pink one for the ladies. Yucks! Perhaps the hotel management would like to consider providing disposable cups.
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