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“Outstanding in Every Way”
Review of Kamesei Ryokan

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Kamesei Ryokan
Ranked #1 of 40 Hotels / Ryokan in Chikuma
Reviewed 2 June 2015

We spent two nights at Kamesei, and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our stay. Our room was spacious and clean, the breakfast and dinner were delicious, the onsen baths were nice and hot, and our hosts -- Mari and Tyler -- were most gracious and helpful (including driving us several times to the train station). We highly recommend Kamesei to anyone visiting Nagano prefecture; its proximity to the Shinano Railway Line makes it a perfect base of operations for exploring that area.

Room Tip: Book the deluxe room if you want to enjoy the private outdoor onsen during the off-hours at night.
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  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank VirginiaMitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, オーナー at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2015

Thank you for coming and staying at our onsen ryokan. We are grateful that you enjoyed our traditional Japanese-style guestrooms and our chef's creative cuisine. We are more than happy to take guests to and from Togura Station -- it's just a quick 5-minute drive. From Togura, it's a 25-minute hop to Nagano Station, gateway for the world-famous snow monkeys.
Or, going the other way, it's 15 minutes to Ueda, the nearest Hokuriku Shinkansen station.
Alternatively, we can provide shuttle service to/from Obasute Station, which is 45 minutes by JR local line to Matsumoto for guests that want to make a day trip to see the castle there.
So, yes, our onsen town Togura-Kamiyamada is very centrally located to the best of Nagano.

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34 - 38 of 141 reviews

Reviewed 30 May 2015

My boyfriend and I, along with another couple were recommended to stay here when we arrived from USA and WOW, we were so impressed and in love with this Ryokan! It was beautifully well kept and so traditional, I felt as if I were in a movie. Not only was the inn beautiful, we had an amazing culinary adventure when eating a the traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast. We also were able to experience an onsen for the first time, what a relaxing time! We truly had an amazing experience and were even more thankful that Tyler (owner and American!!!) was so hospitable and helpful teaching us about the Japanese culture and some history. I wish we could have stayed longer but alas the rest of Japan awaited us. This is on the bucket list of places I wanted to visit. Simply amazing!!

Room Tip: Let them choose for you
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  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Sandra R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, オーナー at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2015

Wow -- Thank you for the great review! I knew there was a reason we moved back here from the States 10 years ago to keep Kamesei Ryokan from being turned into a parking lot. We will keep trying to help other visitors enjoy the experience of staying at a real onsen inn. Thank you for your stay, and your support!

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Reviewed 5 May 2015 via mobile

The hosts were very helpful throughout in terms of communication. Their email replies were quick and the owner is American so speaks English.
Unfortunately when we arrived we called them to get the free pick up they offer from the train station but Tyler wasn't there and the Japanese staff just put the phone down on us so we had to get a taxi.

The ryokan itself is charming, our room was the backpacker discount one which is 6 tatami mat size, this is hard to quantify if you haven't been to Japan before but it isn't very large, especially with two big backpacks taking up room.

Tyler and his wife (the owners) were more than helpful, showed us places to eat and even took us there to give them in Japanese our dietary requests. The restaurants near by are lacklustre to put it kindly, more like converted living rooms than restaurants but we sort of expected that.

Other than this the town itself is quaint with little Japanese style houses and quiet streets, unfortunately too quiet for us. Would recommend for a couple of nights of relaxation but no more than that, especially because of the time it takes to get there.

Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
2  Thank George518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, オーナー at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2015

Thank you for coming to Kamesei Ryokan. We are always looking for ways to improve, and appreciate your suggestions. Especially about needing to improve our telephone reception. I apologize that you had to take a taxi. And we also apparently need to improve the way we recommend restaurant options and the town's nightlife scene. Our onsen town Togura-Kamiyamada doesn't have any Hard Rock Cafe or TGI-Friday's. Instead, we have dozens of hole-in-the-wall eateries, ranging from refined Japanese owner-chef 'kappou-ryouri' to yakitori joints run by entertaining ex-geisha. We provide our guests a gourmet guide highlighting 20 incredible nearby restaurants and their English menus. (Actually, an update is currently in the works to increase that number to 30 -- and not a single lackluster one.)
As for the night scene, our town literally has over 100 karaoke bars. We also have multiple "shateki" cork gun shooting parlors. Wearing a yukata robe and slipping on a pair of wooden 'geta' sandals to stroll the town and do shateki, or maybe soak your feet in an onsen footbath, or check out one of the many specialty stores tends to be something the majority of our guests from overseas appreciate.
And at 90 minutes by shinkansen + 15 minute local train, our onsen town is one of the closest to Tokyo. A lot of our guests from abroad combine a stay at our inn with side trips to see the snow monkeys or Matsumoto Castle. Now, with the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension to Kanazawa, we are a convenient stop on the way out to the Sea of Japan coast.

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Reviewed 29 April 2015

We enjoyed a second visit to Kamesei Ryokan, along with 2 tour guests from Australia. All 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Everything is great about staying here - huge attention to customer happiness - but it is the owners that make it a special experience. Please stay here if you get the chance!

  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JapanCustomToursNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, オーナー at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2015

We are grateful Japan Custom Tours has started including Kamesei Ryokan on more of your tours. Your clients seem to be yearning to go beyond the touristy surface of Japan and we are happy to be able to provide them (and you!) the experience of a traditional onsen inn, complete with hot spring mineral baths, quiet guestrooms with gardens throughout, and our chef's incredible kaiseki-style dinners. We look forward to meeting your next guests!

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Reviewed 24 April 2015

We have just returned from a wonderful visit to Japan and our stay at Kamesei Ryokan was a definite highlight. Our hosts went out of their way to ensure we found our way easily to the Ryokan, enjoyed the area and maximized the Japanese Inn experience.The lodgings and food were excellent. We highly recommended this establishment.
The Bakers. April 2015

  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank CaroleCayman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyler-KameseiRyokan, オーナー at Kamesei Ryokan, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2015

Thank you for including Kamesei Ryokan on your Japan itinerary. We are honored that you came and are happy you enjoyed your stay. Our inn still has many areas that need improvement, but slowly but surely we are fixing things up while maintaining the inns historical charm. And the excellent kaiseki-style meals by Chef Takei as well as the rejuvinating mineral water of Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen continue to be highlights. Thank you again for your stay.

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Additional Information about Kamesei Ryokan

Address: 2-15-1 Kamiyamada Onsen, Chikuma 389-0821, Nagano Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Chikuma > Togurakamiyamada Onsen
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 40 Hotels / Ryokan in Chikuma
Price Range: $90 - $267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kamesei Ryokan 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traditional ryokan featuring warm wood construction, gardens throughout, relaxing onsen baths and gourmet kaiseki meals. You can wear your yukata robe and use our wooden geta sandals to stroll around our onsen town, Togura Kamiyamada, and explore the many small shops and eateries. Our town also has geisha and we would be happy to arrange an interactive 30-min. geisha show Centrally located to the best of Nagano, such as the Snow Monkeys, Matsumoto Castle, Hakuba, Alpine Route and Karuizawa. Our American owner is happy to share this slice of the Japanese countryside with you. Free pick-up at Togura Station. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kamesei Ryokan Chikuma, Japan - Nagano Prefecture

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