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“Sublime relaxation for mind and body”

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Tobira Onsen Myojinkan
Ranked #10 of 185 Hotels / Ryokan in Matsumoto
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Sublime relaxation for mind and body”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

This traditional long established ryokan (japanese inn) is set in verdant tree covered mountains in of one of Japan's most beautiful protected forests close to Matsumoto/Nagano County.
It has natural hot springs, one public which is used by men and women mixed and 3 baths inside the premises of which each have a men's and a woman's section. Rooms are either Japanese or western style and available at different rates and sizes. This place reflects all you expect from a traditional ryokan. In addition you get breathtaking views, especially in spring and autumn-time.
The 3 restaurants specialized in either Modern Japanese, Kaiseki (traditional Japanese set menu) or French Organic offer top notch cuisine that deserves Michelin Stars - it is however only available to hotel guests. The gourmet experience, setting and attentive service alone is worth the trip. You may remain in your kimono offered by the hotel throughout your stay, should you visit the onsens, the lobby, the restaurants or simply in your room. You'll actually feel a bit declassed wearing western style clothes since 90% of guests wear the Kimono, also at dinnertime. Even though this place is associated with "Relais&Chateaux" it's not pretentious and definitely not a hotel to show off. This place ain't cheap but rates include breakfast and dinner plus you feel pampered by staff throughout your stay so it is good value.

highs:
- unique setting and more than attentive service (English spoken!!)
- traditional onsen experience (leave your swimsuits at home)
- the ryokan has its own organic farm - and their harvest is used throughout the cuisine
- 2 days and nights are enough to feel totally reborn
- top notch healthy culinary experience (for the eyes, taste buds and body)
lows:
- not easy to get to but their shuttle bus takes only 30 mins from Matsumoto station
- not many young people (no kids at all), this is not really a party place
- Japanese futon on tatami ain't everyone's thing but they have western style rooms too
- no "a la carte" dining but they respect dietary restrictions and allergies
- no wifi except in the library area
don't:
- enter the hotel with your shoes. At arrival you will be equipped with hotel slippers.
- wear swimwear in the onsen - it's against the etiquette
- talk loud or shout - it just doesn't fit the culture
- turn up late for brekkie or dinner, they have set times and these will be arranged when you check-in

After all this is one of the most restorative stays in a long time.
Taking the inward turn. Very enjoyable.
Will be back :-)

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ViatorNarra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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263 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2013

We arrived here in the middle of the summer heat. It was the first time in a traditional ryokan with the whole family (two teenagers aged 13 and 17) and we were quite successful in getting the whole family to enjoy the baths. We were assigned a hostess who spoke excellent English (I had exchanged emails beforehand, which helped a lot) and she helped us throughout the stay. We also enjoyed the food and opted for the multi course kaiseki). The dinner was a challenge for our western sensitivities but it was excellently prepared and a memorable event. The big surprise was next mornings breakfast. We had opted for the western option, and was surprised to get what I would describe as Michelin star level Japanese interpretation of a western breakfast. The rooms were also very nice. The whole family stayed in a Japanese style room, which was very convenient and felt very spacious. The overall cost was high but wHen you consider what we got for it, it was in fact quite cheap.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank KViking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
103 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2013

One of my bucket list items is to visit a true-blue onsen ryokan, and we are thankful our tour agency picked this for us. Perched on top of a snowy mountain in the heart of winter at 500m above the castle town of Matsumoto, Myiojinkan presented us an unforgettable mountain top experience.

We took a 2-hour express train from Tokyo direct to Matsumoto, where the ryokan's shuttle bus was waiting. Everything about Myiojinkan smacks of taste, including the bus driver/attendant who was in a flowing winter cape with a jaunty hat. When we arrived after a careful 40-minute journey (in winter it takes longer than the usual 30 min ride), nothing quite prepared us for the warm welcome by a row of staff all bowing deeply as the bus came to a stop. We all had to swop our shoes for the ryokan's slippers before we proceeded inside for the seamless check in - our bags were already in the room when we got there.

We wanted a Japanese room with its private onsen, and were given 318 which had a breathtaking view of the forest glistening with snow. The standing public onsen was also conveniently on the same floor just round the corner, with an equally wondrous view. They have separate public baths for men and women, which suited us fine, but most times we availed ourselves of our in-room onsen which similarly overlooked the snow-clad forest. There is nothing like being able to conveniently dip into your own private bath to make the most of your time in this exquisite ryokan.

Food is the other attribute a good ryokan must have, and Myiojinkan scored on this count as well. We opted for French and modern kaiseki for the 2 nights we stayed there, and we found the French cuisine exceptionally delightful, with vegetables coming from their own organic farm.
The meals were served in their respective dining rooms. To complete our experience, we asked to have breakfast in their traditional kaiseki dining room which they kindly obliged.

The dining experience was enhanced by their dress code which was the standard issue of yukata for both men and women, along with tabi socks and slippers. Complimentary pre-dinner cocktails, including local sake, were offered in the lounge downstairs. The lounge area is also where free wi-fi is available, and where their solitary Apple computer is located for guest use, but in the rarefied air of Myiojinkan, who would want to waste time going online?

Because this was our first visit to Matsumoto, we spent time going down to the town with the ryokan bus to visit its famed castle, but the next time we return, we would want to just take nearby walks and luxuriate in the comfort of this ryokan which was designed to please the senses.

You come away from a stay here with a total sense of well-being and a yearning to return, as once again, a row of ryokan staff line up outside to bow you on your way to your next destination. Myiojinkan is the standard bearer by which I will measure future visits to other onsen ryokans.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank lilacfields
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2012

This was the second time we returned to Myojinkan. Last time when we were here, we cancelled all our outside schedule because the ryokan was so comfortable and we decided to stroll around the ryokan and bathed instead. So, this time we stayed for three nights so that there was a day for relaxing in the ryokan and another day for Dio wasabi farm trip in Azumino area.

Because we stayed for three nights, we tried all different types of meals: traditional japanese, modern japanese, and organic french. It was pretty amazing for us to find out that what we enjoyed most was modern Japanese, which we didn't try last time. The meal was still very Japanese, but with a touch of modern decorations / presentation and infusion of some western ingredients. Another amusing thing was that the western breakfast wasn't that western as such and still contained a lot of vegetables and not the usual heavy continental breakfast like egg, sausage and bacon kind of thing. Also, the portion was not as big, so it was suitable for the day that you woke up and still feel very full from last night. We were not that impressed with the traditional Japanese meal although it was considered pretty good, may be because we have been staying at other ryokans for several days already.

This time, because the room was so full, we stayed in room no. 423 and 312. Room 423 was just above room 318 where we stayed last time and was a corner room. The view and the layout was really nice, but being one floor above the view was higher than tree level and was not as nice as room 318. We had to move to room 312 on our last night, and we didn't like the layout and the view of room as much as the previous two. Also, there was faint cigarette smell in the room, could be because the precious guess was such a heavy smoker. We didn't complain because we were find with it, but if you are allergic or sensitive to cigarette smell, we recommend you to inform the ryokan beforehand. Anyhow, having in-room onsen in all these rooms are a big plus. It is so nice to be able to have a hot bath before go to bed and/or after you got up in a cold morning then staying in bath rope to cool down in an arm chair next to the bath, looking at the view outside with mild wind blowing while having a glass of tea before getting dressed.

Overall atmosphere at the ryokan was still relaxing and comfortable. We still love the standing hot bath here where the temperature was pretty hot, which was good for my husband's backache.

Room Tip: If you are a non-smoker and is allergic to cigarette smell, please inform the ryokan beforehand.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank NumWan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
surrey
Level Contributor
67 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2012

We stayed for 1 night here - great food and excellent service. The hotel is about 25-30 mins from Matsumoto (there is a complimentary shuttle bus running between the hotel and station - useful for shopping). Our Japanese-style room was spacious, and had a very pleasant lounge area with woodland views, a sofa and reclining arm chairs (this is where I have found many cheaper ryokans are lacking - there's often nowhere really comfy to put your feet up during the day time). Yakata, tabi socks and slippers all provided. The public areas are well appointed, comfortable and cosy (it was snowing outside) with complimentary sparkling wine and other drinks offered in the early evening. Good onsen facilities.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank a m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

in June 2011 stayed two nights with my husband in a "standard" western room at this onsen ryokan . Room was far from standard. Beautifully appointed and in fact more of a suite with a huge bathroom, bedroom and a sitting room and entrance hall, which could be separated from the bedroom with sliding doors. Lovely tranquil views into the forest from the comfortable arm chairs in the sitting room. You are given 2 "yakata" (kimono) and sandals to wear whilst at the ryokan and it is perfectly acceptable to wear these around the ryokan at all times, even to dinner.

Breakfast and dinner are included.There is a choice of western or japanese breakfast. The Japanese breakfast was far more lavish and generous than the western, but you do have to like eating pickles and cold fish in the morning to enjoy it. Choice of three restaurants for dinner, French, traditional japanese or modern japanese. We ate French and modern japanese and the food in both was exquisitely prepared and served.

As it was summer during our visit we didn't appreciate the hot baths as much as we could have if there had been snow outside, but it was still an amazing experience bathing in the traditional japanese manner. It is not inexpensive staying at this ryokan but the whole experience was unforgettable, and the absolute highlight of our two weeks in Japan.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carpetshark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

My partner and I stayed at room 426 for 1 night in January 2012. It was a western style bedroom with a private open-air wooden bath tub. The view was spectacular as it just snowed the day before we arrived. We had the same view in the room as the view of the public standing onsen. The best time to enjoy the onsen was during middle of the night when the temperature was negative. We found the onsen too hot during other time.

We had kaiseki for dinner and I found the meal insufficient. Indeed I was left feeling unsatisfied and hungry after dinner, nevertheless, the waitresses were very friendly and considerate. Just to clarify that a single bowl of ramen is sufficient to fill my stomach but the portion of the kaiseki were so tiny that I was not full after 8/9 courses.

The room was pretty bare for Japanese standard. Some of the lights were not functioning and we regretted having this room because we didn't need most of the space. The beds were soft and comfortable and we enjoyed watching tv in bed.

The only time when I was not happy with the service was when we arrived at the ryokan. Despite that there were a row of people standing in front of the main door to welcome us, the welcome process was not smooth. One of them wanted to take us to the left side while the other wanted to take us to the right, we were left standing at the front door while they discussed.

All in all, it was an enjoyable trip at the ryokan, I love the snow view but it might be best to go for a smaller room, unless it's important for you to have a private bath tub.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
4 Thank Andorm
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

Property: Tobira Onsen Myojinkan
Address: 8967 Iriyamabe, Matsumoto 390-0222, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Matsumoto
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Matsumoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tobira Onsen Myojinkan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 45
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Myojinkan Matsumoto Hotel Matsumoto

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