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“One of my favourite ryokan of all time. Excellent water quality.”

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Tobira Onsen Myojinkan
Ranked #7 of 185 Hotels / Ryokan in Matsumoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 December 2011

The ryokan has excellent service. The room was spacious. The water quality of Tobira onsen was really good and made me feel like I had softer skin after bathe and the food was superb.

I'm writing this review after a year to the ryokan. This trip I travelled with my husband for Mutsumoto-Takayama-Hakone and back to Tokyo during the last week of Oct-10. We booked all the ryokans through Ryokan Collection. Our flight landed at Narita airport in early morning. We then took a train to Mutsumoto ariving around noon, left our languages at train station then took a few hour tours in town and got on to the ryokan’s pick up at 15.30.

We booked deluxe with private bath room 318. The room was spacious and the view from our open air bath was stunning and at the time of our travel, the leaves start to turn red. We stayed there for two nights and tried all the public baths. The ryokan was so private that most of the time we entered the public bath, there was no one in there at all. For the standing bath, we can hear the sound of waterfall too, which was very soothing.

Food-wise was also excellent. First night we had Japanese kaiseki and second night we had French. The way they cook really preserve the natural taste of those organic ingredients. Apart from how good the food taste, we were also impressed by the cutlery used for French food which was by Noritake. Also, the free wine/ umeshu/sake before dinner really make good aperitif. The ryokan also provide late night onigiri in our room too. Apparently the ogami-san said to us that bathing can make us feel hungry. Also, the ryokan took really good care of us by placing us in different restaurants each morning for breakfast so that we could experience different views.

During the day time, at first we planned to go in town or to wasabi farm, but because the onsen in the ryokan were so impressive, we changed our plan and stayed in the ryokan and took a few hours walk around the ryokan instead. We took a walk small walk to a stream next to the ryokan then along the local road to a dam nearby (map available from the ryokan). The view was great and very relaxing.

All in all, this is one of my all-time favourite ryokan. What I like most among all the ryokans I’ve been to was the water quality. No wonder why it seems like this Tobira onsen can cure any illness. I will definitely go back there again and will stay for a longer time next time.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank NumWan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 January 2011

Yes undoubtedly, a stay at Myojinkan will not be inexpensive. It was comparable to having a night's stay at the Park Hyatt at Tokyo or other glitzy five/six stars hotel in NY or London. However, going on a holiday in Japan, and if able to afford it, a night's stay at a ryokan, especially an onsen one, is a must.

In my holiday to Japan in December 2010 - January 2011, we had two night's stay at two vastly different onsen ryokans. Myojinkan was way superior (the other was so bad it was probably the worst stay in a hotel I ever had - even worse than some hostels I used to stay when I was younger).

First, I made my booking many months in advance, as the Christmas/New Year period in japan is a popular time for many locals to go on holidays, especially to onsen ryokans. I wanted a room with a private wooden onsen, but those were already booked (in July 2010!!), so I had to stretch my budget a bit to get a night's stay in a much larger room with a stone onsen set in the ground level, overlooking a river with views of the woods - mostly snow capped. It was expensive, but a treat - about Y80,000 for two persons for a night, including breakfast and dinner. (We booked through Luxury Ryokan, and the service/email exchanges were also top notch - very accommodating, very quick replies).

Let's start with the service: you meet at Matsumoto train station at either 3pm or later, and there will be coaches to ferry you to Myojinkan (up in the mountains!), a 30 minute ride away. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a lovely Japanese woman who spoke good English - and this was despite the fact that there were many other guests arriving at the same time - EVERY guest was greeted and either whisked away to be checked in in their rooms or at the lobby.

We were served tea/coffee, did the paper work, and shown around the ryokan - the various hotel onsens, and then to our room. The room was VERY, very large, and all the more incredible given that we were in Japan and space is a premium. It wasn't new - the corridors, the carpet and some furniture were showing signs of wear and tear, but, it was immaculately tidied, clean and beautiful. The lighting in the entire ryokan was very low-key, glowy, and romantic. The beds (we could not get the Japanese futon room) were very comfortable and we slept very well. Sound proofing was good.

The bathroom was very well stocked! It led out to the terrace, which had the onsen with steam curling up over it, and patches of snow just beyond the onsen. It was truly wonderful - the highlight of our holiday. It was very cold, (-4 degrees C), so the onsen was even better that way (not too hot, but definitely warm!). The view was amazing - bare trees but snow all around, and you could only hear the gushing of the river down below (couldn't see it from the onsen but if you walked to the edge you could). It was a magical and intensely relaxing experience to soak in the onsen and enjoy the surroundings. At night, there were stars overhead.. it was just wonderful.

There was very good coffee available in the room, and even better, VERY high quality green tea leaves and some Chinese tea. The biscuit they provided in the room - there were two - something red bean - was so damn good, that I kept looking for the same biscuit when I was in Tokyo but was extremely disappointed I could not find the biscuit ever again!

At night, after dinner, they turned down the room and provided a pretty box of rice 'cakes' just in case we got hungry - not that it would be possible after the delicious and filling dinner!

Now, the onsens - there are TWO of each type of onsen, the standing one, the lying down one etc, one for men and other for women. I was initially confused - I thought each onsen had certain timings made available for men and women (as was usually the case for most onsens or onsen ryokans), but at Myojinkan, they literally had two of each! And the best thing was, they were made available the entire evening, so you could even use it at 3am if you so wish.

The whole communal bathing thing unnerved me a little, but I did not think too much about it and did what the locals did. Once scrubbed and cleaned, I stepped into the onsens and they were all fantastic. The standing one - which had a view framed by the large rectangular architecture - was amazing. Beautiful and breathtaking. The lying down one was also superb. Nothing quite beats the experience of being kept warm by water from deep in the earth while you feel the cold air stinging your cheeks, and having a view to admire and only the sound of a gushing river.

Now for dinner. I am a foodie, through and through. I know what good food is, from a bowl of US$2 noodles in SE Asia to michelin starred restaurant food. The kaiseki dinner (you could choose between Japanese modern, French, or kaiseki) we had was truly spectacular. We were shown and led to a private room, sat on the floor (on chairs). The room had gorgeously designed doors - laquer? I can still remember it vividly. And then the food - there were about 10+ courses, each course better than the next, tastefully, very carefully thought about and prepared, and exquisitely presented in bowls. My partner said he had the best beef in his life during the dinner, while I enjoyed the clear soups (could taste the hint of charcoal used to boil the soup, and yet it was rich but very clean tasting at the same time), the rice (the very best rice from Niigata) (it was so delicious, I could have very very happily had that plain rice for dinner and be satisfied), an egg dish, the fruits, and of course, the really good sashimi. While drinks had to be paid in extra, we had a bottle of sake and that was enough (and not too expensive). The staff somehow knew I was on my honeymoon and at the end of the dinner, took a picture of us, and when we checked out the next day, presented us the picture! What a wonderful gesture, very very thoughtful. Also, I had a very specific dietary restriction, and the staff were very conscious about it and made sure not one bit of the food was used in the kaiseki dinner, not even for soup stock. It was the details that they paid attention to, and which I was duly impressed by.

Breakfast the next day was at a different location, and we had a table next to the glass windows overlooking the river and snow capped mountains and trees. We had Japanese breakfast, and again, it was delicious, very clean tasting food, well prepared, and well thought of. Again, the rice was so good, I could have ten bowls if I could only eat that much!

There is a study/library at the ryokan, and there was an apple computer you could serve the internet with (for free of course). We were also somehow given access to the club lounge (or something like that), where we could have sake, champagne or many other alcohol beverages for free (served to us by the very friendly waitress). There was also food - good ones - like cheese, fruits, which we could help ourselves to. The lounge was tastefully decorated, if a little unnerving to walk into as there are many other Japanese guests there.

Check out the next day at 10sih was smooth, and we took the 11am bus back to Matsumoto. If I live/work in Tokyo, I would definiteily return to Myojinkan as often as I could and afford to! It certainly whetted our appetite for more luxury ryokans in the future.

The only drawbacks were this: after relaxing soaks in onsen and the cold weather, I felt soooo sleepy I could not concentrate on the kaiseki dinner as I usually would for food! Still, it was so good it made a deep impression. Also, the other guests at Myojinkan are mostly Japanese - most of them, I presume, to be upper class and rather wealthy, so they may be a tad snooty, but that is no fault of the hotel. I had the distinct impression that the other guests were not too happy that there were gaijins around... and we even met the most insecure gaijin couple there ever, boasting about the number of times they've stayed at myojinkan! hilarious! The ryokan was also showing its age - it is not a new one - but, to its credit, was always kept clean and tidy.

Bravo, and definitely worth the cost. This is a true, real Japanese ryokan, not the tourist-trap, kitschy, disgusting sort like Kokuya Ryokan at Shibu Onsen!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank areisende
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2010

My husband and I booked a 2 night stay at the Myojinkan Matsumoto in April 2010 as a treat for ourselves after spending 5 days walking the Nakasendo Highway (a fascinating experience). Our first 24 hours were fabulous, but on the second day I received an email to say that my father had suffered a stroke in England, so we unfortunately had to cancel our second night's stay and fly immediately to the UK.

This would have been a nightmare scenario had it not been for Sanae Onoda, the Myojinkan's charming Marketing Manager. I cannot thank her enough for her extraordinary kindness and help once my husband told her what had happened. She immediately found out about trains to Tokyo for us, offered to book us a hotel in Tokyo and organised a complimentary car to drive us straight to Matsumoto Station, which meant that we were able to check out and leave for the station within just 30 minutes of receiving the email. She kindly waived various charges and, after we had left, even contacted our travel agent to notify him of what had happened and to ask him to cancel all forward reservations as, in our haste, we had forgotten to do this ourselves. She has since sent me several emails enquiring after my Dad's health (fortunately he has made a remarkable recovery) and really is a wonderful asset to the Myojinkan especially for non-Japanese speaking guests as she speaks excellent English and makes a point of taking non-Japanese guests under her wing. So, I would not hesitate to recommend the Myojinkan, even to non-Japanese speaking guests like ourselves, as we were made to feel supremely welcome and received excellent service from several members of staff.

Although the ryokan is a 30-40 minute drive outside the charming city of Matsumoto, the ryokan provides very efficient complimentary transfers from the train station and the ryokan's rural setting is supremely relaxing and well worth the transfer time. Upon arrival, Sanae offered us a complimentary drink in the bar, showed us to our Japanese style room with private outdoor cedar bath overlooking a mountain stream and then gave us a comprehensive tour of the ryokan's facilities. After a relaxing soak in several of the (very hot) onsen, we enjoyed being able to saunter into dinner in the ryokan's stylish yukata instead of having to dress up for dinner. We chose the kaiseki dinner in the Japanese restaurant and, contrary to some other Tripadvisor reports, found the food to be delicious. We were given a table in the window overlooking the lovely stream and enjoyed a delightful evening with great service - there were even electric blankets on our chairs in case we felt chilly!

This is a great place to chill out and relax with the one you love. We can't wait to return for a longer stay on our next visit to Japan.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AussieTraveller7771
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2010

I love to travel and am fortunate to often have the opportunity. I recently spent two incredible nights at Myojinkan, a ryokan in the mountains outside of Matsumoto, Japan (I wish I had spent four).

Upon arriving in Matsumoto, I was met at the train station by a very friendly, English speaking driver from the ryokan who transported me and a few other guests by van about 40 minutes drive up into the mountains. Once we arrived at the ryokan I was greeted by another English speaking staff member who graciously invited me to sit and relax in the lounge to enjoy a (complimentary) glass of champagne or sake while I was checked in. I have to add; unlike some other ryokan experiences I’ve had, my inability to speak Japanese was never a problem here. After enjoying my respite I was given a tour of the many facilities and shown to my room where I found my luggage waiting.

The room was spectacular! I chose a Japanese style tatami room (no bed, I slept on a very comfortable futon, however, western style rooms with beds are available). My room had a private garden that included an outdoor onsen (hot springs bath). The room was kept immaculately clean for my entire stay. Fresh yukata were provided daily as is the custom at a ryokan. I was also surprised everyday with sweets or some other treat that I would find in my room upon returning in the afternoon -- really a nice touch.

Breakfast and dinner are included in the nightly rate and are served in three different restaurants; a traditional kaiseki, a modern Japanese, and also a French. I travel to Japan about once a year for vacation and love kaiseki dining which I’ve enjoyed at many different ryokan and restaurants in many different Japanese cities including Tokyo, Kyoto, Shimoda, and Osaka. The offerings at Myojinkan were some of the best I’ve ever enjoyed; breakfast was especially opulent, varied, and exquisitely presented.

I also dined in the modern Japanese restaurant which was wonderful. The dining room is beautiful, the service was, as it was in the rest of the ryokan, excellent and the food was sumptuous. The spectacular view of the mountain stream below was not to be believed!

Also included in the rate was a beverage service in the lounge/lobby; coffee, tea, juices, etc. during the day and then the addition of sake, wine and champagne in the evening. All served by elegant, often kimono clad staff.

During the day I used the free shuttle service provided to go into town to explore and to shop. There are many things to do in the area. The castle in town is a must, shopping is diverse and there are many other sites in the area that are easily reached by train or automobile. I believe the ryokan also offers car and bus tours.

I had a chance to do some hiking too; the ryokan is situated in a national park and the environs are stunning. There were several hiking trails just outside the front door.

The onsen at this property are also very beautiful, very clean, and all have striking views. There are four public onsen including one outside next to a rushing mountain stream.

The whole experience was extraordinary and I can’t wait to return. I highly recommend Myojinkan!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AY212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2009

We stayed at Myojinkan for 2 nights this February in a room with outdoor bath. Reservation was smooth as we prefered to go through Luxury Ryokan Collection rather than directly through Myojinkan reservation service.

We arrived by train at Matsumoto at 14h00 and took the free Myojinkan shuttle bus at 15h00 right in front of the station. The driver already had the list of all arriving guests and the bus took off right on time as always in Japan.
The drive up to Myojinkan took 30 minutes and the driver introduced much of the scenery we passed by, which was great.
Once we arrived at Myojinkan, dozens of staff was already lined up waiting to check everyone in. As with most respectable ryokans, each guest had a personal check in with a personal staff leading you to your room then explaing the location of each of the 4 bath. The staff then made some tea and gave us some japanese okashis before leaving us to have a feel of the room. Service was fine and smooth and for us without language problems as fortunately we can speak japanese. (by the way i dont think there is any need of tipping or kokoroduke at Myojinkan since there is no personal staff taking care of you throughout your whole stay unlike some other ryokans)

The room was simple but nice with a great outdoor bath facing the forest and overlooking the river in front of Myojinkan. We had especially chosen one of the few rooms with outdoor bath mostly as they looked much newer than the rest which seemed to be the right choice as indeed most of the standard rooms did look quite dated to us.

There are 4 different baths at Myojinkan: the normal Yu, the standing bath, the lying bath and the outdoor which is mixed except for 2 hours each day when it is reserved for ladies.
All baths were great, though i would warn ladies about the outdoor bath. First of all during mixed hours, there are only guys. Secondly, I noticed that people can have a good look at this bath when they arrive by car at Myojinkan so well for ladies i would advise going only during ladies only hours and at night only. All the other baths are indoor facing the forest and the river. Water is very hot though, more than other onsens i found. Not easy to last much longer than 15 mn in the indoor baths.

During our stay we had one kaiseki dinner and the other day, a what they called modern japanese....
Well to be honest, this was the drawback of our stay. Food looked great and was really nicely presented and all, but it just tasted really plain and without any taste. We were wondering if it was just too luxurious for us to understand the taste of it, which could actually be the case since I have never liked any kaiseki dinner i ve had so far despite the fact it is supposed to be the ultimate of japanese food....Modern Japanese was as blend despite again wonderful presentation. It was so blend that we really had to force down the food in our throat....
Service at the modern japanese was great and friendly right from the start. As for the kaiseki, we noticed that service was friendlier only once she knew that we could speak japanese. Before she found out we could speak japanese, she was just pulling a long face all along without even bothering to introduce the food she was bringing. Once she knew we could speak japanese then only she started smiling and explaining in details the different dishes, which is a must in any respectable kaiseki. We found that to be a bit disappointing, service should be the same level whether the client understands or not the local language.

During our stay we went to Matsumoto castle and the museum of fomer high schools. I would definitely recommend both. Matsumoto castle is splendid with a fantastic background made of mountains, and the museum of high schools lets you have a great insight of japan before the war.
When we went back to Myojinkan that day, we were suprised to find out that again a staff was waiting for us to show us back to our room, make us tea and give us some sweets. That was really great.

Overall, i would recommend myojinkan. Service was really great in general and the baths were also great. Going there was also very easy as Matsumoto is a major station and the myojinkan shutlle bus was really convenient.
The only drawback was food which was maybe so luxurious that it tasted blend to us.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FERU06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2006

Go to (--) and click on the icon on the far left and you will enter the world of Myojinkan Tobira Onsen in Matsumoto.

My son and I spent two lovely nights there. From Tokyo's Shinjuku station it was a 2 1/2 hrs train ride to Matsumoto. We stored our bags at the station locker and spent four hours or so visiting Matsumoto Castle and the UKiyo-e museum before the bus pick up at 3 pm.

The hot spring & spa resort is 1000+ ft above sea level. On the journey to the resort were beautiful rivers and trees, a very relaxing 30-minute ride. Once at the resort, we were quickly checked into our room, led by a charming Japanese lady in Kimono. Due to the fact that the resort is already 20+ years old, my room (traditional tatami type) was a little dated, and upon my request, we changed to a lovely Western room with two beds with promise that we would be transferred to a traditional room the next day.

The river was right down below our room, what a view! We qucikly changed into our Kimono and tried the first of the four onsens availlable in the resort. It consists of a huge indoor onsen and a small outdoor onsen. It was the first time for my 8-yr old (I tried the Hakone onsens before) and he found the water to be too hot at first but once his body was totally in it, relaxed and felt it to be a great experience. After 15 minutes or so, we switched to an even better one, a hot spring that is shaped as a swimming pool, with the far end overlooking a magificant river down below. There is also a Tori next to the river. I could stay in there forever. The third one is a outdoor onsen next to the hotel. And the forth one is a reclining one that looks out to the calm forest.

As to the food, if you are looking for true Japanese cusine this is the place. There are two restaurants (French and Japanese) and the daily rate includes breakfast and dinner. Words cannot describe how delicious those meals they served at the Japanese restaurant. Apparently they changed the menu daily. I pride myself to have tasted the best Japanese restaurants in Tokyo and Hong Kong but nothing matched this. They also made an effort to cater to my son's liking such as added in some teriyaki chicken, etc.

I also tried the Japanese spa. Unfortunately the massage lady (from another spa due to a shortage of staff during high season at Myojinkan) has rough/worn hands and so the overall experience was not as great as expected. Neverthless after speaking to the hotel, they apologized profusely and waived the charge accordingly. A small flaw.

As to the service, I could confirm it to be to-notch. We were the only foreigners there (!) and just a handful of the hotel staff could speak English. My special thanks to Yamamoto-san for treating us like loyalties during the two days. And to Izumi-san for taking us in although the hotel was already full. We spent around US$330 per night for two persons and found it to be money well spent.

I would like to return when the entire forest turns red in October. This is one onsen experience I will never forget.

5  Thank JTHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
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1  Thank okumy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

Address: 8967 Iriyamabe, 390-0222, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Matsumoto
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Matsumoto
Price Range: £307 - £569 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tobira Onsen Myojinkan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 45
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