Shimaya Ryokan, Yudanaka, JapanThis simple ryokan hotel has just 12 Japanese-style rooms, nine of which have their own private bath and toilet. Although the communal areas appear a little grubby when you first walk in and it doesn't look particularly attractive from the outside, the rooms themselves are fine, if a little dated. The couple that run the Shimaya are quite eccentric and add a lot of warmth to the stay. The wife is head chef and the local, seasonal food is a real highlight of staying here. The husband provides a free shuttle service up to Jigokudani, from where you walk to see the monkeys. He can also take you to 'Toumi no Yu', a nearby outdoor onsen resort with breathtaking views over the valleys and mountains - especially at sunset! The friendly staff, fantastic service and delicious food more than make up for the slightly dated rooms that are perhaps in need of a little TLC.
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Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.