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“Disappointment”
Review of Yunoshimakan

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Yunoshimakan
Ranked #3 of 69 Hotels / Ryokan in Gero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We spent two nights at this Onsen in April. Before our arrival we were very excited because this had to be the best hotel of our stay in Japan. We chose a room with private outdoor bathroom (this way we could have a bath together sice the pulic bath is separeated by gender), and payed a plus to have A5 rank Hida Beef (the best quality of beef) in our dinner. The price was 50.000 yens per night (more than 350€, almost 500$), so we expected a very good hotel, a great experience.

What we found instead was a hotel that had not been renewed in the last 50 years. The carpets were full of stains and the walls, doors and windows were full of marks (I have uploaded some photos). At night we wanted to start the heater (it had 50 years at least), but it made a terrible noise. We called the front desk and they sent somebody to repair it, but he could not do it until the following day. They took a portable heater, as old as the fix one in the room, but this one at least worked. The following day we wanted to use the private outdoor bath. It as very hot so we tried to add some cold water to it, but the water that came out from the tap was very very hot, even if the position of the tap was in cool water. We called the front desk and they sent somebody, who could no nothing. They told us the water would refresh when it got dark. We had to use the indoor bath shower to get some cold water and refresh the outdoor bath.

The indoor bath was disgusting. It was full of lime.

There were also some good things. The public bath was very beautiful, surrounded by a garden and with beautiful views to the mountain. The service was very good, with a personal waiter that served us the dinner in our room. The two waiters we had were very nice and tried to help us in everything.

To sum it up, we will never go back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Gustavo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 January 2014

I decided to visit Gero onsen in Japan after had been too hard work for whole year.
Some hotel did not allow solo traveller to stay over at their hotel during New year holiday. Yunoshimakan did not let me felt disappointed, but the cost was also expensive.

First impression for Onsen. I visited 3 Onsen Ryokan during my shot trip, Yunoshimakan beat all my visiting Onsen places. The staff cannot speak english well, but they try the best.

The Keizansou room is full facilities with good private bathroom. Try to use public Open-air Onsen, it is really good. The breakfast was prepared in the public room and the dinner was prepared in your booking room. A lot of dishes for Japanese dinner in the private room with Japanese service made me felt so good and special.

The hotel is a bit far from downtown and it is located on the hill. However, there is pick up service from Gero station to hotel and there is van service with specific time from hotel to Gero station. If you are not comfortable to wait until specific time, Taxi will be your choice for you and your luggage. The Taxi costs about 740 Yen.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank CherryMnitan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

The hotel is old but still very traditional and clean.The staff are welcome and helpful even they can't speak english but they try their best to help. The hotel still remains their service and alway make us feel royalty. The food are also distinctive and delicious, the old building and new are well-connected you can walk to any are in the hotel easily. My family stay in the bekkan room type, which is Japanese style room with a small outdoor bath that fit 1 person comfortably, outdoor garden and living room. We also have dinner in the room which is really well organize and the staff can speak english very well.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank iklalanla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

This is a very old, big ryokan which used to be top class. There are photos of the Emperor who had been there probably in the '60. Now it's very outdated, the furnishings and especially the moquette are old and covered by spots, the walls need to be repainted. There is a lot of humidity also.
The service is outstanding. Every room has a hostess who takes care of your futons and dinner. The food is delicious, dozens of beautifully prepared dishes. We spent two nights and we had two different menus - both included Hida beef (Japanese breed similar to Kobe one). Our hostess Mina was lovely and professional.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Iordanka M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

We decided to stay Gero Onsen Yunoshimakan because it was rated as one of Japan’s three most famous hot springs. Combined with our desire to stay at a Traditional Ryokan, this seemed to be the perfect choice. It is a bit far and definitely far from the city... located in Gero of the Gifu Prefecture in Nagoya. A shuttle bus was there to pick us up from the train station and when we arrived, the staff took our shoes and we wore slippers for the remainder of our stay. A room staff allowed the women to choose their yukatas in the lobby area while the men only get the standard yukata provided in the room. The room staff escorts you to your room and makes tea for you and goes over all the info you need to know for your stay. We stayed in the Keizanso room because it had a private hot spring bath perfect for couples because the public baths are gender separated. It also allows you to enjoy the hot spring water without leaving the comfort of your room and the bath has a beautiful view of the mountains. Highly recommend this room for couples!

We were provided with a traditional Japanese dinner (full course meal) in the privacy of our room and opted for the Traditional Japanese breakfast option the following morning that takes place in the banquet hall. The meal was delicious! Full and detailed review of the ryokan along with photos of the meal can be found at http://skinnychopsticks.com/yunoshimakan/.

All in all the stay was a wonderful getaway from the big city. It was really relaxing and the public baths were clean. Definitely get the full breakfast and dinner meal option. A few of their staff do speak English here but the majority don't.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank rabbitluver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2013

I stayed at Yunoshimakan with my husband and parents in May 2013, for 2 nights.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay, firstly, the staff made us feel like royalty, and could not have been more helpful or kind. We particularly loved Maho, our personal room assistant who served us our evening meal both nights. The process of staying at the hotel is carefully and gently explained over a cup of hot tea in our room on arrival, and you are given every opportunity to ask questions.
We loved the 'bed-ninjas' who arrived after dinner to set up our futons... I just wish I'd videoed them, but we were too shy.
We loved the forest setting, in amongst giant cedars, surround by birdlife, and all the noises of a forest. We loved the 'Musasabi' who came to visit one night, perched on the windowsill outside, before gliding off into the trees. By the way, a Musasabi is a Giant Japanese Flying Squirrel, and it's the size of a large cat. Do not sleep with the windows open!
We loved the Onsen Baths, which were easy to use and gave us a chance to find peace and calm at the beginning and end of each day. Do try them, and don't worry about the issue of nakedness in front of other people, nobody's looking at you, and it really is the whole point of staying at this hotel.
With that in mind, do not pay the extra for the rooms with a private bath, as we did. We did not use them even once, and I must admit the Cedar tub in our room was a little run down, and had some green slime at the corners which didn't tempt me to try it. The public baths were spotless, and I had no such qualms.
The room itself was very spacious with all the power points necessary, and was in a traditional style, tatami mats, and beautifully decorated. The condition of the hotel is as you would expect in an older building, the floors creak and are a bit uneven, and the place looks as though it could do with a re-vamp sometime soon. However, that said, it all adds to the atmosphere, and you do feel as though you're getting an insight to a little piece of history here.
We were approached by a lady in the corridor one evening, who introduced herself as the original owners' grand daughter. She explained that her grand father had built the hotel. Some had called him crazy, as a previous earthquake had destroyed the original hot springs, and he had re-excavated the springs to build his hotel. Once it was built though, the town was rejuvenated, and other hotels sprung up, creating the resort town of Gero. It was a nice encounter for us, and a good chance for the owner to promote her hotel to us I think!
The evening meal and breakfast are in a traditional Japanese style, Kaiseki, multiple courses and far too much food really. All fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented. Prepare to be blown away. However, I don't think I could have coped with more than 2 nights of that kind of decadence, and Japanese style breakfast is quite tough on Western preferences. No cereal bowls here folks, but that's not why you came is it?
The town of Gero itself is not really exciting, although it is pretty for a walk. Bear in mind that the hotel is at the top of a steep hill, with stairs an alternative to the road approach. It was a 15 minute climb back from the town centre which would test anybody's endurance. There are plenty of taxis about which would be an option for those less fit and able. The hotel provides a shuttle bus at specific times, which is very handy, and will uplift from the train station if you advise them of your arrival time.
I recommend a day trip to Takayama, about 40 minutes by train further into the mountains. We really enjoyed walking around the preserved historic streets of this larger town, and had a lovely lunch of Soba and Udon noodles, by the river.
I would love to say I would stay at this hotel again, and we did really enjoy our experience here. However it is an expensive option at about £250 per night, per room. The hotel does not skimp on the quality of the dining and onsen experience, however I think there may be better value options out there which will still be the highlight of your trip to Japan. I am glad we stayed here though, and will always have happy memories of this very peaceful place.
Thank you again to Maho for really making our stay special!

Room Tip: Don't pay extra for a private bath tub! Use the public baths which are much nicer.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank CakeGenie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2013

We stayed 1 night at Yunoshimakan early this April and it has been overall a nice experience. The resort has two seperate open-air public bath rooms, one for ladies and the other for the gentleman. The resort staff will switch the bath rooms everyday to ensure everyone can enjoy the beautiful views of both hot spring baths. :)

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank tong w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yunoshimakan

Address: 645 Yunoshima, Gero 509-2207, Gifu Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Chubu > Gifu Prefecture > Gero > Gero Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 69 Hotels / Ryokan in Gero
Price Range: £218 - £398 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Yunoshimakan 4.5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yunoshimakan is a long-standing ryokan (Japanese-style inn) in Gero Onsen. The ryokan was established in 1931 and has had the honor of accommodating the previous Emperor Showa and the current Emperor Akihito. The more than 80-years-old wooden structure in a traditional sukiya-style took three years to be built by artisans of Hida, who are local artisans famous for their skillful techniques. The building is designated as a National Tangible Cultural Asset. Since the hotel stands in the great forest, each room commands a view of natural beauty. Guests here can experience the real Japan by staying at this historical main building surrounded by nature. Our ryokan is the best choice for those who want to touch and sample the ambience of real Japan. ... more   less 
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