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rosro
Melbourne, Australia

Friendly and great value ryokan

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 Apr 2015
We chose this ryokan near Gora station for it's value for money for a family. It's in a lovely quiet setting and all the rooms appear to have a view towards the garden (which unfortunately was looking a little ravaged after winter, but in a few week's time it will be lovely and green). Rooms are spacious and simple and spotlessly clean as everywhere in Japan appears to be. Futon beds were very flat and firm, and I like a firm bed, but these were not much softer than sleeping on the tatami. We found extra bedding in the cupboard and added this to our beds, making them much more comfortable. I'm sure you could ask for extra futons - this would also make a difference. Our kids loved bedding down all in a row together as a family - there was much discussion over who got to sleep next to who.

The onsen was spacious and included a rotenburo surrounded by natural rocks. Sadly, just outside the onsen was a games area including pinball type machines, which kind of killed the mood as you left the onsen. Only a minor gripe.

The only other gripe, as other reviewers have mentioned, is the lack of non-smoking rooms. Our room did smell pretty fresh, I must say, but when you went to bed, you realised the smell really cant be removed completely. Having said that, we didn't come across any smokers in corridors or at dinner.

Dinner was nicely prepared, simple Japanese food and included sushi and sashimi, some tempura and great soups and salads. The atmosphere in the dining room was a little lacking, but it was friendly and service was great.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay, and felt that Chiyodaso was really good value for a family of four. The location, close to Gora station, is also great. You can also easily walk there from several of the cable car stops.
Date of stay: March 2015
Trip type: Travelled with family
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Reviewed 26 March 2015

We chose this as one of the most affordable ryokans in the Hakone area. It was very close to Gora station, although we had a bit of trouble finding it. When you exit the station, go out the exit facing the shops, not the one facing the direction of the closed street leading away and parallel to the train tracks. Immediately make a sharp right down the stairs into the underpass of the tram going up the side of the hill. Continue in the same direction as the underpass straight up the street ahead, which then begins to curve to the left, past a high school. Keep going, walking in total about five minutes up the steep road until you see the hotel on your right hand side, with a Japanese flag flying near the road.

The lobby is spacious. The staff has limited English ability, but I can explain the procedure. Your room key needs to be turned horizontally before you can take it out of the lock. Your room has a light purple robe with white flowers on it. This you wear as a kimono, folding left side over right if you are female (I think!). The dark blue belt is wrapped around you. Then you wear the dark blue woven coat over top. Men and women wear the same thing. If they do not fit you, you can get the proper length at the front desk. You wear these clothes, with or without the overcoat, all over the resort, including to meals, if you want.

For the onsen, you wear your resort kimono down and bring your big towel from your room for drying, and optionally your small towel for modesty. You leave your clothes in the woven baskets and your big towel. Wash your body and hair thoroughly then enter the onsen. When you enter the water, you can fold your modesty towel and perch it on top of your head, to keep it dry. There are two indoor onsen, including a jacuzzi. There is one small outdoor one, separated from the men's by a wood wall. I was able to speak to my husband through the wall and I'm curious what their facilities looked like!

After you are done, wash again thoroughly then before entering the change room, dry off with the modesty towel.

We had a Japanese style tatami room. The room was beautiful, with a view of the wooded grounds. Unfortunately we had a smoking room. I do not know if there are any non-smoking rooms. The toilet area smelled. The vanity set for your room is extensive, including a hair brush. There is no bathtub or shower in your room. While you are having dinner, the maids come in to make your beds on the floor. We found this method of sleeping to be too hard on our middle aged backs and hips and we had to put extra padding under the mattresses. The hotel is very quiet.

The guests are, as far as I could see, all native Japanese. We ate in the communal dining hall for dinner and breakfast, with a multi course elaborate kaiseki meal for both. At checkin they ask if you want a Japanese or Chinese breakfast. We chose Japanese for our first breakfast, but my family opted for the Western breakfast after eyeing the Western breakfasts of the Japanese guests, but after having it, they felt it was a mistake as it was not as good as the Japanese breakfast, which I continued to have on my second day there. The Western breakfast includes coffee but the Japanese one does not. I really enjoyed both meals, although I could have done without the open flame keeping the soup boiling throughout my meals.

One element I did not like was the overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke in the hallways. We were unfortunately on the third floor, with the smoking booth in our hallway, on the same level as the dining hall. I still cannot get used to the ubiquitous smoking in Japanese restaurants and hotels.

There were beautiful grounds but I did not walk them. There are many restaurants along the street if you turn right and walk uphill from the station at the end of the pedestrian only stretch of the main train station road. We only needed to eat there for lunch on our first day before we headed up the mountain for sightseeing.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first ryokan experience even if we did not get to dine in our room. It was great value compared to other ryokans in the area at double the price, and our family of four was able to share a room thanks to the tatami option.

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank TheRollingCanuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 9 December 2014

The Chiyodaso had decent, if plain tatami rooms - and very efficient maids who came in before we even left for the onsen to lay the futons in double-quick time. Amazing to watch - they've got their routine down to a T! The futons were very comfortable and probably ranked among the best sleep we've had in our 10 days of traveling through Japan.

However, the food was a letdown. Dinner and breakfast was served in a dining room and not in our room. Quality was so-so. Perhaps I've been spoiled by other ryokan experiences throughout Japan but I found the Chiyodaso food approach to be perfunctory, serviceable but several notches off in quality from what I've had elsewhere. Quite a disappointment since the dining experience is a huge part of the ryokan stay.

The onsen was okay with an indoor and outdoor bath area. The women's outdoor bath was separated from the men's by a flimsy bamboo fence and some rocks. We could carry on a conversation with the guys in our party on the other side! Not a bad thing I guess.

Date of stay: November 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank chongbrood
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We stayed in this well located ryokan for one night. It felt like a real Japanese experience - we liked being the only foreigners there. The highlight is the onsen (there is outdoor, indoor and private), and the experience of wearing your yukata throughout the property, including dinner. The kaiseki (served in a dining room) is decent. There is minimal English, but the staff are extremely helpful.

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ciaoaileen
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Stayed one night at Hakone chiyodaso and it was a good experience. It is actually well located, not far from Gora station. The map on their website is not the clearest, when you step out of the station, look for the small underground passage on your right then keep walking straight for 4-5 mins. The hotel will be on your right.
The hotel is quite big and clean, and the public onsen is great. Dinner was amazing, 9 courses of great quality. The Japanese breakfast was a bit "aggressive" to our taste, lots of very strong flavors, our European tastebuds were not prepared for this! Still interesting to try out, and if you are not adventurous there is a western breakfast available. Service was good, staff does its best to speak English, but it can be challenging at times. The clientele seems to be mostly older Japanese ladies.

I wouls recommend it if you are looking for a quiet getaway from Tokyo and want to experience one night in a Japanese ryokan with onsen.

Date of stay: May 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Kevin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 6 January 2014

My family of 4 stayed in this hotel on Christmas Eve and we enjoyed it very much. The distance from the Gora station is relatively close although you have to walk through a short underpass before going up a slope to reach the place. The main entrance looks very modern although the lobby was very quiet. Service at the reception was good and efficient and they tried their best to converse in English. Room was huge and clean, with tea and yukata ready. As one of the robes was too big, we contacted the staff to replace it and they did it within a flash! There was separate hot bath for ladies and men as well as a private bath for families. We used the private bath only as we were too shy to use the rest (although I did take a peek in the bath for ladies). As mentioned by other reviewers, the temperature of the private hot bath was very high and my boys were not used to it but it was a great experience for us. There were also massage chairs outside the hot bath for free usage and kids could play at the open area with games and some toys. There was also a mahjong room and karaoke room. Dinner was huge & good, although there may be some dishes that we could not appreciate. For breakfast, you could choose between western or Japanese breakfast. I think this is a place mainly for local families as we see several families with young children and grandparents. The hotel is huge and the scenery must be very nice during other seasons. Will recommend to stay considering the reasonable price compared to other hotels in the area.

Date of stay: December 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Mummania
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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