We stayed at a whole bunch of lovely Ryokans over the course of two weeks' travel in Japan, and Wanosato was far and away the best.
We arrived there by car, and as we were first passing it without realizing at first that it was our hotel, one of our group remarked that the property looked absolutely stunning, and he wondered what it was. It is equally gorgeous up close -- a series of beautiful, traditional, 150-year-old buildings nestled in the woods, next to a stream with a watermill and little boxes for storing the fish caught for dinner (in the stream where the were caught -- genius!). Gorgeous onsen, beautiful main room with a traditional fireplace (also with a genius design -- the pot is held up by friction and lateral force alone), lovely dining rooms, etc.
Our room was extremely spacious, well furnished (I don't know what to say to the one negative reviewer other than that none of his/her complaints hit the mark for me at all. Maybe they really fixed stuff up after his review?). It faced the stream on one side, had its own lovely fireplace, and was traditionally constructed, with doorways built out of naturally curved tree branches. Lovely.
Also, incredible service. Dinner was great (maybe #2 or #3 in perhaps 10 top-notch kaiseki meals we had), and punctuated by a visit by the property owner herself, who was extremely gracious. After dinner, like something out of a arthouse film, there was an old man (who'd grown up around the property) who stopped us by the main fireplace for warm sake and magic tricks.
Yeah, it's 20 minutes out of town, but this wasn't a real problem at all. We just scheduled pick-up/drop-off. And when we left, the whole family of the owner took us out to the road to wave us away. And yes. It's quite pricey, obviously. But if you want a place to splurge, I'd vote for this. Just a totally awesome experience. 500 stars.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Odigeo, Expedia, Ctrip TA, Agoda, Rakuten and JAPANiCAN so you can book your Wanosato reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.