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“Lovely place to stay and experience a beautiful part of rural Japan”

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Minshuku Koshinzuka
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lovely place to stay and experience a beautiful part of rural Japan”
Reviewed 13 October 2013

Possibly the nicest place we stayed in our 2 week adventure around Japan, this is a very local and rustic minshuku (japanese inn). It's traditional with the owners extremely friendly but speaking very little English, that's ok though and you can bumble through everything easily enough.

Highlights:

- The food, you'd be silly to not take advantage of their meals (dinner and breakfast), diinner in particular takes in lots of local specialities, they farm their own river fish so you can imagine how tasty that is, lots of food that you really wouldn't get a chance to try anywhere else in Japan. After dinner the owner sang a local folk song, and while the hearth smoked and the food was digested, it really felt like you'd stepped back in time.

- The room, try to ask for one that's overlooking the back of the house, they only have 3 or 4 rooms, and this is the cutest with a small little gabled area where you can sit, read and listen to the river flowing by.

- The price: you can go to kyoto etc and spend hundreds of pounds on a ryokan experience but here at Koshinzuka you pay a very reasonable and fair rate for a much more personal and satisfying experience. I can't recommend it any more highly.

- Location, Koshinzuka is a little out of town, it's 30 min walk but don't let that put you off. that's actually very convenient for a couple reasons. Firstly you can take a bus from Nagiso train station direct to a stop outside the inn. The bus stop is actually called 'Koshinzuka'. you can walk down the walking route into town which is very pleasant.

Then if you are doing the walking train through to magome, then contrary to info in lonely planet, the luggage forwarding service works throughout the autumn period. koshinzuka acts as a pick up point so if you ask them and hand over 500 yen for each bag they'll arrange for it to be transported to Magome while you walk.

Oh if you're doing the walk then stop at the old staging post about 2/3rds along the route, and ask if you can try the old guy there's home made umeshu plum wine. Powerful stuff!! : )

have a great time!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank SSSEAGERSSS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

My mother and I stayed a night at Minshuku Koshinzuka and what an amazing experience!!! We were lucky that the taxi driver at the Nagiso station knew Minshuku Koshinzuka so we didn't have to tell him where it is. Turns out that Minshuku Koshinzuka has been around and been hosting visitors for decades!! We were also lucky to be the only guests that night so the lovely hosts converted three rooms (split by sliding doors) into one so we could have a large living space. We arrived around 3pm and the wife drove us into Tsumago where we looked around and took a taxi to Magome to do the hike back to Tsumago. The minshuku is located along the Nakasendo trail so it was nice and easy for us especially as we were afraid it was getting dark and we were afraid of possible bears.

The minshuku itself is spotlessly clean and really authentic. It was probably one of our favourite experiences in Japan. We had a shower though we didn't get to try their wooden hot bath then sat down for dinner. it was BY FAR the BEST meal we had during our whole Japan trip. The fact that it was so authentic, home cooked, home grown (yes everything is home grown including the fish from the river in their back garden!), organic and so much of it made it absolutely delicious. The wife did an amazing job in meeting our dietary requirements. Then after dinner the husband sat down with us and showed us old photos and the history of the place. They both had limited english but it was perfectly fine. Then he sang us the MOST beautiful folk song about the Kiso Valley which really transported us to another time. I just cannot describe what a wonderful experience we had with them.

The next day, the wife was so kind she drove us to the train station. But before that she surprised us by taking us on a little side trip to see a beautiful bridge in Nagiso where we took some gorgeous photos. The whole experience was amazing though the accommodation itself is basic, the hospitality, service and warmth we received made the whole stay our favourite in Japan. We hope to come back again!!

P.S: Please note the luggage transfer service between Magome and Tsumago ends at 11am!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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5 Thank Clarey21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2013

This minshuku is located along the trail from Tsumago to Magome. (about 2.2km going the Tsumago to Magome route) which was very useful for us as it broke our hike into two parts. (We wouldn't have made it if we had done it at one go!).

We spent a night here (we wished we had stayed longer!) and it was by far the best experience we had in our 14 day holiday in Japan. The food was excellent and really delicious! There were lots of small dishes but it kept us very full! Breakfast was the same. The host entertained us by singing some old folk songs and all the guests participated. It was great fun.

The room we had is a tatami room and it was quite comfortable. We had the room that overlooks the river and forest. There is also a koi pond. Sitting on the little balcony drinking green tea and relaxing - especially after a wonderful hot bath in the bath room was terrific.

The toilets and bathroom are very clean. The Japanese bath is made of wood and it is really nice to soak in it after walking from Tsumago to Koshinzuka.

If you want a Japanese country living experience, this is the place to go. We had previously stayed at a Ryokan in Miyajima which was twice the price and half as good. We have no hesitation in recommending this Minshuku to anyone who is looking for somewhere to stay in the Kiso Valley.

Room Tip: Ask for the room at the back, overlooking the koi pond.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mentaiko77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2012

We certainly got a different experience at Koshinzuka. If you are planning to hike through the Kiso valley, do consider staying here. It is not very far from Tsumago and in fact if you know the local bus schedule (infrequent) beforehand, the bus stop is just right outside. We actually used the luggage delivery service at Magome which delivers to Koshinzuka in Otsumago as well. So that was really handy.

The owner and his family don't speak a lot of English and this is one of those places where you would appreciate even more if you could speak some Japanese. We spent 2 nights here and it was definitely special. The breakfast and dinner is absolutely delicious and it felt like it never ended as they kept bringing out dish after dish.

The dinner experience is dependent on whether there are other guests who are sociable around or not. The first night, we had a fantastic group of people around having dinner with us as the owner told stories about the minshuku and the Kiso valley. He also sang old folk songs from the valley. Everybody shared sake they had bought with each other. We had an unforgettable time.

The room is basic Japanese style but really comfortable. In the afternoons, they serve tea with a little sweet. And it is lovely having tea while looking over the river flowing next to the minshuku.

The bath was the loveliest bath made out of wood. And it felt good to have a soak after hiking through the valley.

On the day we departed, the owner's wife offered us a lift to the train station as well which was very kind of her.

Everybody here were absolutely lovely to us and we had a special time.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank smeng78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2010

I just got back from my first trip to Japan; we were there for three weeks and hit quite a bit of central Honshu.

This was our first ryokan. It ruined us for all others, because it certainly was the best.

It was hard to get to. You had to take local buses and didn't have any Japanese and the website didn't have the best directions for a non-Japanese speaker. However, we got there just fine with some preparation.

Koshinzuka is right on the hiking course from Magome to Tsumago (which was a delightful hike, even in the rain.) It's surrounded by wilderness and small towns. From our balcony in our room we could see bamboo forest, a little creek and a pond at the based of the hotel full of fish.

It had a little onsen/hot tub made out of local wood (like a wooden bathtub) that was a delightful soak. There was also a traditional fire pit in the dining area that had seen years of service, not the pristine versions other inns have for show.

The staff/proprietors were amazing and very friendly. They spoke little English, but we got along fine. They were very helpful—she drove us to the train station when we left—and they even had their daughter drive us to a spoke to see fireflies one night.

But, even with all of these highlights to speak well of the place, the best thing by far was the food. I can say that it is certainly one of the top three meals I've eaten in my life.

The proprietor knew I was vegetarian and she catered to my requirements (mostly, there were some dried fish flakes on some of the meals and I'm sure the misa was fish based.) There were so many courses I lost count and was too full to finish all of it. The vegetables were locally harvested and grown, same with the fish. All hand crafted in their kitchen with great care. Amazing.

I wish we had hit this place at the end of our trip, because it put most other places we stayed at to shame.

If you are willing to go out of your way, you must go to Koshinzuka. It will definitely be worth your time.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank winnett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Minshuku Koshinzuka

Property: Minshuku Koshinzuka
Address: 1775 Azuma | Tumagojuku, Kiso-gun, Nagiso-machi 399-5302, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kiso-gun > Nagiso-machi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Nagiso-machi
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Minshuku Koshinzuka Japan/Nagiso-Machi, Kiso-Gun

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