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“Excellent reward after a wonderful 6 mile hike”
Review of Matsushiroya

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Matsushiroya
Del Mar, CA
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Excellent reward after a wonderful 6 mile hike”
Reviewed 20 October 2013

This 200 year old ryokan run by the 9th generation owner was a wonderful reward for our gorgeous 6 mile hike from Magome. We'd been somewhat disappointed in our Magome ryokan, but not here in Tsumago. The owner greeted us warmly and showed us to our upstairs two room suite, stopping to show us our private dining room for our included kaseki (11 courses, all delicious ) dinner. We had the upstairs modern toilet facilities to ourselves and enjoyed the traditional baths downstairs, where he provided multiple (albeit small) towels and even a hair dryer . Donning our starched yukatas for dinner, we put on the warm traditional overcoats afterwards and walked Tsumago's deserted streets, under full moon, paper lantern in hand--magic! Our beds had been made up during the meal and we slept to the sound of rain the roof. The owner personally walked us to the bus stop in the morning and provided umbrellas for our walk. A memorable experience!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DelMartravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Alameda, California
Level Contributor
96 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2013

Our group of 4 friends stayed one night at Matsushiroya in Tsumago. The inn is just a minute's walk from the Tsumagobashi bus stop, so dropping off luggage was easy after catching the bus from Nagiso station. We then hopped back on the bus, rode down to Magome, and spent the day hiking the Nakasendo back up to Tsumago. We had a large tatami room which had dividers that could be drawn to separate into two rooms for sleeping. The inn is a beautiful old Japanese building, in keeping with the historic nature of Tsumago. Dinner was a fabulous multi-course meal featuring carp sashimi and teriyaki. It was my friend's birthday, and a brief request earlier in the day to the owner produced a lovely strawberry cake for dessert. The great thing about staying overnight in Tsumago is that the town is quiet after all the day-trippers have left, and the owner supplied us with a paper lantern to carry about as we explore the quiet streets.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank gwashley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2013

We were very keen to stay at a place in the old town, but it's hard to work out using the english-language options. We rang Japanese Guesthouse directly and they booked this place for us without any fuss. We arrived very early on the day and left the bags there as we wanted to walk the trail from Magome to Tsumago. We arrived back just before dinner. It was a very impressive reception with excellent, very attentive service. Every request was accomodated right away.

The dinner and breakfast were sumptuous and delicious. It's hard to imagine a better experience. This Ryokan is not ranked that high, so the others must be unbelievably great!

The Japanese traditional bath (onsen) was very good and we both enjoyed it very much.

This was certainly the highlight of our recent trip to Japan.

Very highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MarcusTravels11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2011

So glad my friend insisted we come and stay at a traditional ryokan and whilst I was a little nervous, I really loved the experience. It was a welcome respite from the hubub of osaka, tokyo and millions of people. I was forced a little out of my comfort zone, which was fine and the feast that was included at dinner and breakfast was immense (if a little late at breakfast time)-(and a little awkward if you're not that great at sitting on the floor - but definitely oput of the usual for a westerner. Tsumago is a quite little town and there isn't much to do. If going again I would do the hike from Magome and a few long walks. If you are used to staying up late and chatting this probably aint for you and I fear my snoring probably disrupted other guests (you do hear everything). Particularly enjoyed reading the guest book (pic attached) some amazing stories people write when they are left to refect for a few hours. Loved it.

Room Tip: Could be a little much if it was very full.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank argonaut64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2009

I stayed here recently and was underwhelmed. We paid 21,000 for a room for two, or about $230. I understand that the place is historic and old, etc. etc. However, I've also stayed at ryokans before. Generally the dividers seperating the rooms are of a more cardboard-y material. At Matsushiroya they used this sort of material for the closet doors, but then had the walls between rooms are made of actual paper.

This may seem cute and quaint until you have a Japanese family in the next room talking at full volume until midnight and then farting and coughing all night (yes, you can hear) and then waking up at 5am again at full volume. However beautiful this place was, it was not worth getting no sleep! I understand that this is how the house is built, but I think it's the staff's responsibility to remind guests that the walls are made of paper and that they should lower their voices accordingly. Most people already know this, but not this family and the staff would not say anything to them.

The dinner and breakfast was plentiful, but not very good. I got the sense that the only man I saw working was doing everything, and it's just too much work for one person to do well. By the time food came out to us it was already cold because he had been passing out everyone else's. He was really, really nice, but overall I didn't think this was great value for money. Would have been fine for half the price, but not at 10k a person.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank fersure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2007

OK, so you've come to Tsumago to walk the highway and experience "old Japan", right? Well, Matsushiro-ya is a great place to do it. It's not fancy, it's not high on amenities, but what it does have is an incredibly authentic atmosphere, and the perfect location. There's a reason why so many of the photos of Tsumago have Matsushiro-ya in them.
We spent one night, enjoyed the food and the wooden bath but most of all just enjoyed the "feel" of the (very old) place. If you're looking for high comfort and pampering, you should probably look elsewhere (like Kyoto!), but for a unique and memorable experience in Tsumago this is the place to be.
Photos of Tsumago coming soon on Flickr (same user name).

  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank thisyearsboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Matsushiroya

Property: Matsushiroya
Address: 807 Tsumago Azuma, Kiso-gun, Nagiso-machi 399-5302 , Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kiso-gun > Nagiso-machi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels / Ryokan in Nagiso-machi
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Matsushiroya Japan/Nagiso-Machi, Kiso-Gun

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