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“'Traditional and Elegant Japanese Hospitality'” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hoshokaku

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Hoshokaku
Ranked #23 of 173 Hotels / Ryokan in Takayama
Cobourg, Ontario
Level Contributor
92 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“'Traditional and Elegant Japanese Hospitality'”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2013

This immaculate ryokan, on a hill overlooking charming Takayama, was an unforgettable highlight of our short trip to Japan. The hotel is maintained spotlessly throughout: shoes are handed to the concierge upon entry. The building is a modernised version of the traditional Japanese ryokan, and is the complete opposite of a Western hotel. Rooms are simple: no TV, but private spa is available. The interiors are designed for an atmosphere of serenity. House pyjamas (yukata) are provided, and the charming staff are also dressed in traditional clothes. We went for the breakfast-included rate, and arranged dinner separately. The local cuisine was sumptuous, and coupled with our private booth in the fabulous dining room, made for a culinary and sensual experience. It's worth going back to Takayama just for the Hida beef ! It's a short walk to the unique original shopping neighbourhood of the town; an authentic section well worth a visit. Note: English is virtually unspoken in the hotel, so it is recommended to book, if possible, through a Japanese-speaking travel agency. Japan is an expensive country to visit, but this hotel reflects good value for the quality offered. Yes, we would go back there.

Room Tip: There is a choice of Japanese-style rooms, with thin futons on the tatami-covered floor, or Western...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stanley F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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140 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sunningdale
Level Contributor
98 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2013

We booked Hoshokaku through JTB with our train tickets. We chose it for its onsen and because you don't dine in the room. We preferred dining in a restaurant setting.

Upon arrival, we were greeted in the full Japanese style -- respect and grace. Shoes off, straight to the room. Tour of the room and tea service was elegant, short and sweet. The indicated the "pajamas" which you can wear throughout the hotel, including meals and even outside. I was worried about size (I have curves) but no worries; the sizes are based on height alone. If you can ride an airplane without an extension, you will be fine.

The hotel lobby, lounge and hallways are full of ambiance and culture. It just felt very relaxing every time I entered the hotel or left my room. Plus, they have cool little "settings" all over the place.

We chose a Japanese-style room. As expected, the room was tatami-style with table and legless chairs. we were happy to have a sort of enclosed terrace with small table and legged-chairs by the window. It was nice to have the option. There was a TV (we turned it on once and found Alice in Wonderland with Depp in English) and a fridge.

The location of this hotel was excellent -- close enough to the good stuff but up on a hill so offered a nice view. We were on the 4th floor (top floor is 5th) and we enjoyed a striking view of Takayama from our enclosed balcony. We found the walk from the train station very easy with backpacks.

We scheduled dinner at 7. Note: you really cannot skip dinner if you book this hotel as they really do a lot of prep and planning for you. We arrived to two covered settings of traditional Japanese cold items -- both for breakfast and dinner. The server immediately arrived to light our hot plates (candles under beef, soup or fish) and take our drink order. We upgraded to the miso beef the second night for 2200 yen each. It was worth it but I must say it was all delicious. We didn't always know what to do but we always figured it out and always enjoyed. I love that about Japan.

The Onsen is great. The first time I went, I was alone so it was very peaceful. They have 3 pools, two of which are outside. Loved this. I also visited the 5th floor, women-only onsen. This was fantastic for the outside view and the massage chairs. For me, the experience was a bit tainted by the gaggle of young women giggling and using their cell phones (I was alone) but I found a way to relax and enjoy. I guess it's plain luck as far as how busy it is. I'm not skilled in tuning it out yet.

The obvious down-side of Japanese-style is that your bed is not available until evening time so if you expect naps, expect fussy -- you'd have to drag your futon and sheets out yourself. We found the sitting options to be just fine. If you want a Japanese hotel, I highly recommend Hoshokaku.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank artcaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
96 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2013

We stayed here for 2 night end Feb, which was in winter, and selected the room with private hot-tub.

Upon arrival, we called up from the Takayama train station and was promptly picked up by the hotel bus and driven to the hotel (about a 5 minute drive). We were greeted in typical Japanese fashion, politely and warmly by the reception. Her English was sufficient to be understood (we don't speak Japanese) and after checking in were shown to our rooms. A member of staff then walked through the room amenities using a prepared list in Japanese and English, so everything from where dinner and breakfast would be served to which clothes (provided) can be worn where, was explained as we sipped our green tea and ate our Japanese snack.

The room was very nice, a sitting / sleeping area, and a connecting shower/sofa area that leads out to the balcony where the outdoor hot tub (and view of the town) was located. Everything was spic and span, and we felt very comfortable and at home. There were common baths for men and women (separately on other floors), but neither of us used it as we had our own hot-tub. Nothing beats a good soak in the hot water as you sit next to the snow on the balcony! The 'bed' is set up as you have dinner, and it was very comfortable with thick soft blankets that was perfect for winter. It was a challenge waking ourselves up to go out!

Food was also excellent, with varieties of local cuisine consisting of rice and miso, assorted sashimi, and the very tender Hida beef. Overall, it was pricey, but we felt that for the room and the service provided (and the food!), it was worth the money. The ryokan is located on a hill, and its a stone's throw from town. Its a very nice walk down the hill during winter to explore eateries around town (though we were lucky that our stay was just after a period of very heavy heavy snowfall). Highly recommended for honeymoons (which we were on), or a place to just stay in a chill out.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gymrat76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2013

We really enjoyed our stay at Hoshokaku. The location is excellent and close to the famous bridge, temple market and old town. While expensive, I think it's good value when you consider the meals that are included. Our room was very comfortable with amenities such as a free mini-bar, coffee machine and excellent toiletries. We were on the 5th (top) floor and had our own outdoor hot spring bath on the balcony. One of the highlights of the stay was taking a bath on the balcony with snow falling all around.

The maid who brought us to our room did not have good English, but we have even worse Japanese. Between the three of us, we worked it out. The food was excellent, and we had Hida beef for both meals. They check with you each night and morning to confirm what time you would like to eat.

It's worth trying all the different available baths, even if you have your own private one. Japanese baths are one of the great pleasures in life, and the Hoshokaku ones are lovely.

Room Tip: It's worth splurging on a room with a private bath, particularly if you are a little nervous abo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank miloqk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2012

We splurged one night at the Hoshokaku to get a 'roten boro' means 'a private onsen bath on your balcony over looking the city. It doesn't get any better than this, not even the awesome Hida beef and the multi-course meal could top the relaxation and experience of sitting in your own onsen bath drinking beer or wine while a light cool rain comes down overhead.
Though quite expensive, it was very much worth the price and we were not disappointed in any way during our stay, the beds were great, and the staff were very friendly and courteous, attending to all needs flawlessly. The food was spectacular and well presented, a truly authentic and charming place, we would go back anytime, just need to start saving some more money. I had originally worried about the location, but it is actually very well placed, just a short walk down the hill to the bustling streets and markets, oh and did I mention the hida beef?

Room Tip: Suggest one on the upper floors overlooking the city, but I think they all had this view. The one o...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BD_Singapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
298 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 356 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2011

After an extensive research on Japanese website around Hida, Hoshokaku was by far the best hotel. We stayed 2 nights in a newly renovated room with private onsen. It was the first hotel I encountered in Japan that offered free drinks in its mini-bar! Our room was tatami style , but still got large sofa sitting area, long bench with double basin, plasma TV, shower with sliding door leading to double levels of balcony… Whilst enjoying our own outdoor onsen, the spectacular view of Hida Takayama city and a traditional Japanese temple was captured below our eyes.
Our room was located at the 5th floor (the rooftop), the same floor with the newly built 'ladies-only' onsen, an extremely romantic out-door foot-bath (with cocktail lighting at night, but only opened on good weather) and a free DVD rental library (I watched MJ’s “This is it” for hours). Inside the ”ladies-only” onsen was couples of large Rotemburo, a planetarium room to enjoy at your own leisure and fully equipped with massage chairs. Guests at 5th floor would have free access to the ‘ladies-only’ onsen, or else, 1500 yen would be charged. The traditional male/ female public baths were located at the 1st floor.

On our first night, we had a Kaiseki dinner with succulent BBQ Hida beef. For a healthier change, we had a delicious shabu shabu dinner on the second night, with a complementary bottle of hotel’s labeled red wine. Guests would also be given a card for complementary refreshments in the lobby lounge anytime. The location of this hotel was good, just a few minutes walk from the preserved areas with old private house. Next to it was the scenic red Nakabashi Bridge, the morning market and the Sanmachi conventional building. You could spend an hour or so walking along those small shops with varieties of hand-made souvenirs and handicrafts.

If you wish, the hotel could pick you up from the train station from 14:00 to 18:00, so don't hesitate to tell them your arrival time! There is also a shuttle bus to take guests to the train station after check-out from 8 – 10 am.

Booking Tip: Check on its' homepage in Japanese, it often offer a discounted rate.

Highly recommend Hoshokaku, Value for Money.

Room Tip: Two types of rooms on 5/F with private onsen, Japanese or Japanese-Western (2 single beds), have th...
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  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GGHolliday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
Level Contributor
41 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2009

I was very torn about where to book in Takayama, but this ryokan was very good. It is a very Japanese experience, and in fact, there were many Japanese staying there at the same time we were. The rates included dinner & breakfasts that were excellent!! We were able to pay additional to reserve the private onsen and used both the ceramic one as well as the cedar one. Both were fabulous! Room was a bit dated with some of the extra seating we had and the toilet closet separate from the bath with plastic fixtures--but it was clean and I don't expect that it was out of the ordinary for the location. I would highly recommend for anyone seeking a traditional ryokan experience. Location is minutes away from the river and historical houses. Take time to explore the park up the mountain from the hotel--it was beautiful.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank India_Pia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hoshokaku

Property: Hoshokaku
Address: 1-88 Babacho, Takayama 506-0838, Gifu Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Takayama > Hidatakayama Onsen
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 173 Hotels / Ryokan in Takayama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hoshokaku 3*
Number of rooms: 62
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