- Also Known As:
- Minshuku Koshinzuka Japan/Nagiso-Machi, Kiso-Gun
62 - 68 of 98 reviews
Stayed one night. About 20 minute walk from Tsumago. The room was authentic old school Japanese complete with tatami mats, sleeping mats, sliding walls and yukata to wear. It was quite chilly when we were there in April, but the heated floor kept us toasty warm. Shared but immaculately clean facilities. The incredible multi-course meals were delicious and well presented in the common dining area just outside the room. Although the proprietors spoke very little English, everything worked out fine. The husband drove us back to Tsumago in the morning. Definitely recommend.
Lovely old building,You really feel like you are going back in time. Wonderful kind hosts and excellent homely food.
We walked from Tsumago and it took around 20 minutes carrying our backpacks
It helps if you can speak some Japanese as you can absorb the atmosphere better and learn more about the family.
We were fortunate on our first night there was a good mixture of people there, but the second night was ruined by a group of Japanese women, who seemed to think of the place as theirs and made for an uncomfortable evening.
Also be aware as it is an old building it can be very draughty and once we turned the heater off the room was bitter cold.( we were there in April and temperatures hovered around-3c)
The rooms are adjoining and on several occasions people from the next room opened the sliding door to our room ( so if privacy is important be aware of this)
Smoking was allowed in the communal area.
I've traveled in Japan alone a number of times before, and wanted to showcase the country to my wife on this trip.
Koshinzuka turned out to be a real gem of a place - we couldn't have made a better choice in terms of kicking off our three week journey through the country.
The place is a rustic, traditional old house with charmful patina - just the kind of place we'd been looking for our stay in the Kiso region.
Do note that "rustic and traditional" in this case also means next to no insulation, so keep that in mind if you're planning a visit during the colder months (mid-march for us) - plan your clothing accordingly, and remember the temperature difference between the costal & mountain regions of the country can be significant.
In our case, warmth was provided by a kerosene heater & electrical blanket to warm the futons. It works out well and we had no trouble sleeping, but it's good to make notice that if the heater turns off for some reason the room temperature will drop to near outside ambient in an hour or so.
We had the room in the back overlooking the stream, with a nice little balcony with chairs & table above a tiny pond, which we unfortunately couldn't put to much use due to the outside temperature. A+ for atmosphere though, even if the greenery wasn't quite that green this time of the year.
What really makes this place special are the people running it - we met many exceedingly friendly & kind people during our 3-week stay in the country, but at Koshinzuka we found a warmth & welcoming pleasant friendliness that we didn't quite come across elsewhere during our trip.
The owners go to great lengths to make to make you have a pleasant stay, telling stories and anecdotes about the region and local history. For this it really helps if you have even a basic command of Japanese as the owners don't do much english - without sufficient language ability something inevitably gets lost in the translation, but even with the case of me speaking a very meager japanese and the owner speaking even more meager english, it all was an enjoyable experience, with both doing the best to get the meanings across. In our case we had a stroke of luck as on our second day there was a friendly father & son duo visiting the place as well, and the son with an (unusually by japanese standards) excellent command of english kindly filled the gaps for us where my own tourist N5++ level Japanese failed.
Every review here seems to mention the food, and it'd be difficult not to - what a feast! You think you're finished, when suddenly, bam, more food appears on the table.
It was not the fanciest or most extravagant meals we had during our 3 week journey, but none the less it was some of the absolute best food we had during our stay in Japan. Not only was the food plentiful, the meals at Koshinzuka were unpretentiously simple, fresh, and above all excellently prepared. The rice was from the owners own lot, and depending on the season you're apparently likely to be served other homegrown things as well.
Transport: If you don't want to wait for the (infrequent) local bus, you can take a taxi from the Nagiso station, which will run about ~2000 yen. On the day of departure, the owners were kind enough to drop us off at the station.
O-Tsumago and Koshinzuka is 20-30 minute walk from Tsumago proper, but don't let this slightly off-side location keep you from coming here, it's definitively worth the slight extra effort. It's also directly on route for the walk between Tsumago & Magome, so it's not really a bad place to be - We did the hike to Magome directly from Koshinzuka, and then took a taxi back to Tsumago (~3000 yen, bus service also available) for a look at the town, and then walked the short stint back to Koshinzuka in the evening.
All in all, our stay at Koshinzuka was an excellent experience, and the price was extremely reasonable given what we got out of it.
I've stayed in several Ryokans and minshukus in my trips to Japan but let me say that Koshinzuka emerges as top in terms of my experience with japanese inns.
Food: I'm not exaggerating but Yumi-san prepares the BEST shokuji meals EVER. Before Kiso I was staying in a 4 star Ryokan at Kinosakionsen but even the food there (a 15 course kaiseiki meal) cannot hold a candle to what Yumi-san whips up. Food is cooked with love and care, and although it's not a kaiseiki meal, I found everything satisfying and very very very delicious. I'm missing it already =( you will not go hungry because she keeps bringing out stuff!!! Lovely. 100stars!
People: I've nothing but praise for Yumi-san and her husband. Although my command of Japanese is pathetic, they were accommodating and made sure I was well-taken care. In the end we had very decent conversations by means of gesticulating and trying our best on both sides.
On the 1st night Yumi-san drove me out to Tsumago-juku and said I could take a walk while she waited in the car. There was no one in town and the streets were lit by lanterns outside the stores and houses. It was hauntingly beautiful.
On the 2nd night I met Yumi-san's husband who shared so many things with me and taught me so many traditions of Japan, even though I was the only guest and he didn't have to entertain me. He then sang me japanese folk songs and yes, he has the BEST VOICE EVER.
On the morning I left Yumi-san volunteered to drive me to Nagiso station and halfway through she stopped by a beautiful bridge so I could talk a stroll and take pictures =)
I feel VERY blessed and if you're reading this please know that they're very lovely people and please do not take for granted that they must do this for EVERY single traveller! I would have given them the same glowing review even if they did not do these "additionals" for me =)
Cost: Around $200 for 2 nights. Absolutely reasonable.
Location: It's located at Otsumago, halfway between Tsumago-juku and Magome-juku. Please get there by stopping at Nagiso train station, and take a bus that stops at Koshinzuka-mae. It stops right across their Inn. Easy!
I'm glad I stayed two nights although I wished to have stayed even longer =(
Please do your best to be a nice and considerate guest when you visit Koshinzuka.
There are really beautiful people staying there.
I've traveled around Japan a fair bit, and stayed in a lot of ryokan/minshuku, but without a doubt, this was one of the nicest I've been in. The food was great, and the owner was very welcoming. It looks like he's hosted quite a number of guests over the years judging by the guestbooks he showed us, full of enthusiastic complements (which I completely agree with). I was fortunate to have the room looking out the back, and it was a nice relaxing view. Perfect after having been on the road a while. I highly recommend staying here.
It was a true Japanese experience. It is a pleasant and easy 30 minute walk from Tsumago. You sleep on a futon, in Japan a Futon is not a foldaway bed, it is a thin mattress on the floor. We found it comfortable, but it is like having a "sleep over". We asked for a towel and the owner gave us two hand towels. It appears you have to bring your own bath towel, for the price you cannot complain. We had two evening meals at Koshinuka and they were best meals we had during our stay. The owner entertained us with history of the minshuku and with local songs.
The shared facilities were no problem.
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