I actually stayed here a year ago in Dec 2010 for 2 nights. This was my base for exploring the Mt Aso area and also to take a scenic drive down to Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki.
At first, I was a tad disappointed that the hotel looked a little old and out of place. But once inside, the homely and welcoming atmosphere threw those disappointment out of the window. I never felt so at home in a hotel before. Most of the staff spoke little english but tried their best to accommodate to our every little request. A manager, i think his name is Akira-san spoke pretty good english and he was the one who settled us in. After settling us in, Akira-san told us that every night they hold a tournament in the games room and we can try different games with the coupons he passed us. We didnt manage to try as our journeys during the day completely exhausted us and all we wanted to do was have a gd quiet meal and go back for a dip in the onsen.
The front desk staff were excellent in helping us with our horse riding appointment at one of the ranches at Mt Aso. They were also great helping us book a Kirin Beer tour near Fukuoka which we were going to visit enroute back to Fukuoka. All these were done with minimal english from them and minimal japanese from me.
The hotel offers DVD rentals which were great for the nights when we had nothing to do. Altho we had our own personal onsen in our room, the hotel also offered us special private onsens to try for free. They also rent yukatas for free near the reception area and a photo will be taken for you and at the end of the trip, 2 framed pictures will be presented as a memento. I love the granny in charge of the yukata shop, she speaks no english but somehow we could understand everything she said as she was helping us get dressed up in the yukatas.
Food wise, it was reasonable, not mind blowing but definitely fresh and more than edible.
The staff of this hotel are what makes it top class. Everyone was ready to serve and their humility is beyond even the usual Japanese standard. Highly recommended and I will definitely stay here again. Mt Aso was the best stop in my Kyushu trip :)
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