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“would definitely return !”
Review of Villa Ichinose

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Villa Ichinose
Reviewed 14 March 2012

this is a great, clean, easy to stay in place with enough creature comforts to make a ski trip easy.
my wife and i stayed there in a tatami room in rm 303. the room was huge, and had an ensuite toilet and handbasin. There is also an excellent bath/ofururo downstairs which is very clean and a great way to relax after a days skiing.
We had no issues with the futons as we knew what to expect, and they were certainly comfortable enough and we never needed the heater at night.
The staff there, are all very polite and helpful, and you will have no problems getting their help with any questions or queries you might have. Sato-san is an excellent host, and we had above and beyond help from Kim as well while we were staying there.
The villa is almost ski in- ski out...just a small 20m walk up the hill behind the hotel in the morning and you can start to ski your way around to the lifts.

All the resorts (incl Ichinose) are showing their age, but its been a while since the 1998 Olympics, and the best thing everyone can do to make sure there are plenty of good resorts and hotels at Shiga in the future, is to come over and have an excellent skiing holiday at Ichinose !! :-)

-if you have good ski/snowboard gear than take it !, and just get them delivered to the hotel. The range in Ichinose, including at the hotel and the rental shops in town isnt that extensive and not worth the cost. It only cost us 1600Y to ship a ski bag to Ichinose from Narita airport with Yamato (the little cats :) ) which is much cheaper than hiring on mountain.
There are not too many restaurants in town, but the cafe/restaurant on the ground has good beer and pretty good gyoza and yakisoba :-) and there is also a great little izakaya down the road which makes a great break from the Villa. Ask them for therir Nozawa-na pickles..they're pretty good :-) and excellent karage chicken too.
- with 5 days of skiing, we were able to see around 90% of all the resorts and the runs, and we never got bored with the terrain or variety. Shiga doesnt offer much in the way of off piste snow action, but it isnt Niseko and doesnt pretend to be ;-)

Room Tip: go for a tatami room we still got wireless in the room on the 3rd floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank zetlandSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 32 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2012

I stayed 6N at the villa, booked directly via the shiga kogen website. Prior to arrivingn, from changing dates to helping me to find out about local bus and overnight bus to Osaka to ski pass and rental to translating strange japanese email received, the manager Yuichi Sato, a remarkably friendly and helpful man was always happy to help.

When I arrived, I find the room clean and spacious, the location perfect (just a few minute walk to the Ichionse family ski area), the restaurant serving reasonably good food. The Nepalese restaurant next door also has yummy curry and tandoori chicken. The hotel sells discounted ski pass and also have rentals, all very well priced. 3 day consecutive pass at 10,000 yen and 6 day ski rental 11,500. Sato also knows the ski runs really well, and everyday b4 setting out, he patiently answered all my questions re the slopes and the ski bus. He speaks very good English having studied a year in Canada.

Then on Day 6 I injured my ankle badly, and the hotel stuff could not have helped me more. They transported me back from the clinic, paid my bill (clinic only accepts cash), lend me the crutches, made numerous phone calls for me, fax documents to insurance, paid my taxi fare to the hospital (again I had no cash), liaised with the insurance co. for my flights home etc etc.

So Sato if you are reading this review, thank you for all your help, and the old gentleman and Kim and all the hotel stuff and some guests.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Mum_Wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2012

My wife and I stayed for 5 nights in Feb 2012 for our ski trip in Shiga Kogen.

The hotel is perfectly located in Ichinose
- The bus stop for the Nagano Express Bus, the bus from Yudanaka Station, and the Shiga Kogen Village bus is less than 20m from its doorstep.
- On its ground floor is one of the few convenience stores in town.
- There is a restaurant on the ground floor opposite to the convenience store. It was one of a handful that were open to the public at night during our stay. It served nice noodles and rice dishes at reasonable prices. It also did a very nice Shabu-shabu for 3,000 Yen per person (which we had). Shabu-shabu and Sukiyaki requires booking a day ahead.
- Downhill almost the whole way to the ski lifts. It backs onto the slops so one can ski right back to the lodge (right behind the ticket booth - see map)

Ichinose itself is very centrally located in Shiga Kogen. The slops there have good variety and are well suited for both family and beginners. We found it very easy to ski from it and back to other parts of Shiga Kogen - just one word of caution. While skiing to Hasuike direction from Ichinose has "Green" route options, skiing back requires going on "Black" and "Red/Blue" runs. The last free village bus finishes before the last lifts of the day so one needs to be aware of the time for the last bus if one plans to catch the bus back instead of skiing back.

The staff were very helpful. Yuichi Sato spoke very good English as did one of the staff there. A lady from Perth as well as another guest from HK hurt themselves when we were there and Sato-san sorted them out with the local clinic (and in the case of the lady helped her liaise with the travel insurance company).

It has an in-house tuning shop that will wax your skis/board for free. Handy if required. It also provides all guests with complementary ski/board storage lockers.

However, the hotel is let down mostly by its facilities and to a limited extent service.
The worst was uncomfortable bedding. We had the Japanese room. This is our second ski trip to Japan and the forth time we have stayed in a Japanese room sleeping on futons. All the futons we have slept on before Villa Ichinose were very comfortable. The futons at Villa Ichinose were very thin and very hard. I had to layer 3 futons and my wife 4 futon on top of each other to get some reasonable cushioning (see photo). One of the other guests layered 7 together! They do have Western rooms available (not sure how good or bad the mattresses are).

Villa Ichinose indicated that they only perform partial room services on a daily basis. We didn't mind if the beds weren't made every day or if we didn't get fresh sheets every day. However, we did expect the following daily, which was not the case.
- Toilet was not cleaned daily
- Hot water for tea was not replenished daily
- Dirty tea cups were not replaced and tea bags not replenished daily

Food. We were disappointed by the full board. Both the breakfast and dinner buffets were very simple - much simpler than what we had at Diamaru in Myoko Kogen (similar grade of Japanese run hotel at a ski resort) and had very little variety. The saving grace here is that there are a number of restaurants in the village open to the public. My recommendation is not go full board and dines out (such as dinning in the restaurant located on the ground floor of Villa Ichinose).

For first time visitors who don’t speak Japanese I would recommend Villa Ichinose despite its faults, predominately due to its English speaking owner (or son of the owner), has its own in-house onsen (not all the lodges do), and central location. For my wife and I, we plan to become more fluent in our Japanese before visiting Japan again so that we can overcome the language barrier. If we visit Shiga Kogen again while we are likely to stay in Ichinose town we most likely will stay in a different lodge.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lokky_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2012

Ichinose is an ideal base to explore Shigakogen. Central w easy access to a variety of terrain.

In researching places to stay, there were not many English reviews and it appeared that buffet dining WS the norm. I have to admit that I chose Villa Ichinose because there was one English review and it appeared to have a la carte dining.

Location wise, it's not quite ski out but it is a 2 min walk to Ichinose Family downhill and to Tanne uphill. You can ski back in.

We had a tatami room w bath and toilet. These came in handy, but we both preferred the public ofuro downstairs. Kerosene heater kept us v warm.

I was wrong about the included meals, which are buffet style. Breakfast (7.30 to 9) would be miso, rice, wieners, scrambled eggs, sweet buns, cold fish, hash brown and similar. Dinner (5.30 to 7) would be rice, miso, curry, meat, katsu, salad and fruit. A little variation, but a bit same-ish over a long stay. You can cancel your meal with notice. We did this one night and had shabu shabu in the restaurant downstairs whih also does good ramen. There is an Indian curry house next door with amazing naan.

Free wireless was great.

All in all, Villa Ichinose needs a refurb but it is great value and everyone was very polite and helpful.

Our observation is that Shigakogen is a very Japanese resort, lots of families and shool groups. scenic resort, fewer foreigners... We recommend a visit if u have already done Hakuba.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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2  Thank perthmarlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2009

Just back from Shiga Kogen, Nagano after a short 3 days stay at Ichinose. Must say that I really missed the food provided at Villa Ichinose. It was sumptuous and what can I say... GOOD! How good? So good that even people who are not staying at the hotel came to eat there. Villa Ichinose, like many other small scale inn-style accommodations in Shiga Kogen, is not luxurious. But the price is very competitive and the room very spacious, which is ideal for a small family. Other than the bigger heater, there is also a smaller one in the room so you will definitely be kept cozily warm in winter. I have stayed at another place and the room is still cold after heater is switched on so it was quite miserable. The hotel is conveniently located infront of the bus-stop whereby buses from the town, Yudanaka, stop. If you only speaks English, there is a Brazilian guy working at the hotel to help with the translation. All staff at the hotel are friendly so we felt very welcomed during our stay. Another thing to note is I have stayed at another place in Shiga Kogen whereby you can only watch the Tv in the room after purchasing a card which only allows you to watch the TV for a few hours. At Villa Ichinose, there is no such limitation and you can watch TV as much as you want. Why is this important? Well, the only entertainment you can get at night there is pretty much TV, so to me its very important. However, you can only get Japanese channels there though.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank flyingbuggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Ichinose

Address: 7149 Hirao, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun 381-0401, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Shimotakai-gun > Yamanouchi-machi
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 100 B&Bs / Inns in Yamanouchi-machi
Price Range: AU$157 - AU$250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We locates altitude 1700m, in front of bus stop and ski slope, it is a good location. The rooms are Japanese-style main there, even Western-style. Enjoy a buffet or dishes using seasonal ingredients meals. Relax in the spa large shared hot bath. There fireplace and sofa, free high-speed Internet connection in the lobby. You can enjoy snowboarding and skiing in winter from December to May. Convenient Yamazaki shop open limited in winter. Restaurant 101 offer Noodles and plates for lunch, Syabu-Syabu and sukiyaki for dinner(please book in advance).You can enjoy hiking and summering from spring to autumn. Even in midsummer, you can rest comfortably at night at around 25 ℃. In addition, You can enjoy the alpine garden at an altitude of 2000m. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Ichinose Japan/Yamanouchi-Machi, Nagano Prefecture

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