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“Taikanso: enjoyable, slice-of-Japanese-life experience”

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Hotel Matsushima Taikanso
Certificate of Excellence
Aomori, Japan
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
111 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
“Taikanso: enjoyable, slice-of-Japanese-life experience”
Reviewed 19 August 2013

Bottom line up front: comfortable and commodious lodgings and amenities and tasty food, located on a picturesque bluff overlooking Matsushima Bay.

Details: son and I stayed overnight in August 2013. Arriving at Matsushima via train from Sendai, we caught the twice-hourly courtesy bus. Hotel Taikanso is reasonably big. The staff was very courteous, and were gracious in connecting to visitors like us who lacked Japanese language skills. A staff member escorted us to our spacious room. It overlooked the Bay and its many cedar-filled small islands.

We enjoyed a delicous multi-course prix fixe dinner at the on-site French restaurant Shiosai (other dining options are available, too). It was fun and tasty to sample the fusion of French and Japanese cuisines. Service was great. The following morning, our included buffet breakfast was extravagant in the range and quality of its offerings. For American travelers: think Courtyard Marriott and incredibly well beyond!

Taikanso's public baths (inside and outside) were pleasant as well. Our hotel room stocked yukatas (summer-weight kimonos) and sandals to be worn to and from the baths and optionally at meals. How fun -- just give in to the force and do it!

Our holiday-period overnight tariff for two travelers (one large twin room, dinner, and breakfast, was approx. $320 (not including a bottle of French wine at dinner)). Dirt cheap? No. Reasonable? I believe so, if you factor in the quality of furnishings, service, and amenities.

IHotel Taiksanso is a good choice for travelers who look to spend the night in Matsushima.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Tokyo, Japan
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2013

I came here with my family (85-year-old grandmother, sister, and Canadian brother-in-law) at the end of June 2013. We booked two separate rooms in the Annex Building (Combined Western/Japanese Room), but probably could have just booked one, as the room that I shared with my grandmother had two beds and then a tatami mat area with enough futon/blankets/pillows in the closet for at least three more people. The rooms were both very spacious, clean, and comfortable. Although we had the "Forest View" room, there was still quite a spectacular view from the large windows. Although there are nice public hot baths, each room also has a nice private bath/shower unit, etc.

The only downside was that the bed was quite short (just big enough for me to fit at 161 cm).

The dinner (my grandmother and I ordered the "Japanese Full Course Meal" and my sister ordered the "French Full Course Meal") was also wonderful, and the breakfast buffet was good. The hot public baths were also clean and big. The baths outside had a spectacular view.

Room Tip: Though you may be worried about getting a "Forest View" room instead of a "Sea View&q...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tolivegreens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Kawartha, Ontario
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 28 March 2013

We were helping friends establish an arts program for the survivors of the tsunami in Sendai. This was her favourite hotel to stay in while working up here. It is very spacious and elegant and the staff are young and very happy to please. After a hard day I took a public hot baths downstairs and enjoyed hot tubs both inside and out For supper we had a Japanese traditional set meal. These are special full-course meals with strictly selected local and seasonal ingredients served at "Tensho" the Japanese restaurant. I always rise very early in the morning and watched the sun rise over the bay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the sea side of the building.. Sunrise is fantastic.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Sandy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2011

Although Matsushima is on the coast near Sendai, it was NOT damaged in the tsunami...but the tourists have still stayed away which is a real pity. Matsushima is a beautiful place with pine-clad islands dotting the bay, a couple of historic temples, and you can enjoy it all staying at Hotel Taikansoo. Although it is a large hotel and I was travelling by myself I had a wonderful stay. The fixed price was incredibly reasonable and included a spectacular Japanese meal, a large Japanese style room with a great view of the bay, and access to the wonderful public bath. The bath is a real highlight - segregated, exceptionally clean, and you can soak in the hot water and admire the sunset and sunrise - it's open from 4:30am to 1am! Breakfast was a very generous buffet. There is a free shuttle down from the hilltop it is located on to the nearby JR train station of Matsushima Kaigan. The staff were great, and the souvenir shop is selling cookies and t-shirts to support the tsunami recovery. A number of volunteers are still staying at the hotel.

Room Tip: There are both Western and Japanese style rooms. Make sure you ask for one with a view of the Matsus...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank WoodyCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yokosuka
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2011

The Matsushima Taikaso hotel is very convenient for volunteers working in Ishinomaki area. It is very foreigner-friendly. The rooms are clean and well kept. The staff is extremely friendly and courteous and the food is Great!! Evening meal is served in several locations from which a guest may choose, and the morning meal is buffet-style and EXCELLENT. If you are fortunate enough to get a room on the bay side, the view is exquisite, especially in the morning at sunrise. The bath is very nice, with both inside and roten-buro. The price is good for the stay.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the ocean have an absolutely wonderful view of Matsushima Bay and the islands, plus the...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank indian1617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
170 reviews
134 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2010

I was travelling with my family on JR East Rail passes, consisting of myself, my wife, a toddler and my mother in law. We all stayed in one room at the hotel. Having had a chance to go through the hotel website, we chose to get a combined western/japanese room in the new East Wing when we called to make a reservation.

We arrived in Matsushima Kaigan station by the JR Senseki line, which takes about 35 minutes from Sendai on one of the less frequent 'rapid' services. The intermediate stations I must say did not look that promising, but the view from the approach to our station of the Bay changed everything. It is as spectacular as the guidebooks say, and was beautiful (and not too cold) even in February.

The hotel is walkable if you are travelling light, but if not the best way to get to the hotel from the station is by the Loop Line bus, which comes 1-2x per hour during the day, at least in February. By a magnificent act of generosity, a very, very kind stranger gave us and all of our bags a lift to the hotel.

When we arrived, we checked in, initially for 1 night (we liked it enough to extend an extra night). That was when we realized that the Taikanso really is quite a big hotel, with quite a lot of rooms, and at least when we were there, catering to quite a lot of group tours (mostly from Hong Kong and Taiwan at that time over Chinese New Year). But there were also a fair number of Japanese, and anyway we didn't mind too much either way.

The East Wing rooms facing the sea have a spectacular view, with a magnificent panorama unfolding before you in floor to ceiling windows, and which one can sit and appreciate with tea and the provided mochi. I loved the Scandinavian wood look and feel, which I thought was very attractive. I later saw one of the mountain view rooms - those views are actually also very dramatic, so perhaps you aren't short-changing yourself that much by taking one of those rooms, but I must say the room had one of the most amazing views I've had at any hotel.

We then went to check out the public bathing facilities. The baths on the male side (all segregated bathing here) were slightly crowded at 6:30pm, but not enough to be unpleasant. There is one large indoor bath, a smaller outdoor bath with nice views and another small bath with the 'flavor of the month' (february was lemons). Temperatures were nice, the changing area was clean and modern. I liked the lemon water offered afterwards, and one can get massage or pedicure services. Very refreshing!

The food was amazing at the seafood buffet, which I had actually accidentally signed up for the first night. There were, expertly prepared, all you can eat crab legs, Matsushima oysters (breaded/fried as well as steamed), gyu-tan, all manner of sushi and a number of other wonderful delicacies. It was expensive, and not sustainable unless you have a massive appetite, but was very impressive. The other meals are also quite reasonable at the a la carte restaurants there. Breakfast was mostly Japanese, but I appreciated the local produce for the salads and liked some of the items very much, especially the seaweed and grated yams (an acquired taste, admittedly).

Without bags it was easy to walk down from the hotel down the hill to all the sights, which in my view are easily coverable in 3 hours or so. I can't imagine going back to the city of Matsushima in the near future (perhaps in a different season), but would definitely recommend the hotel. Despite having group tourists, the hotel does retain some charm and reserve, and the rooms and food make up for a lot.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Public_Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Matsushima Taikanso

Property: Hotel Matsushima Taikanso
Address: 10-76 Matsushima, Miyagi-gun, Matsushima-machi 981-0213, Miyagi Prefecture
Region: Japan > Tohoku > Miyagi Prefecture > Miyagi-gun > Matsushima-machi
Amenities:
Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 Hotels / Ryokan in Matsushima-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Matsushima Taikanso 3.5*
Number of rooms: 237
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Taikanso Hotel Matsushima Machi

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