Hoshokaku is a traditional Japanese inn located in Takayama. The location is steps away from tourist sites like Sanmachi Street, the Morning Market, and the historically renowned Old Town. The ryokan offers traditional multi-course meals known as the kaiseki dinner, where guests can have a full experience of the Japanese cuisine. All meals at the ryokan are served in the dining room of the inn.
The ryokan has its guest rooms designed in traditional Japanese style, which cost about 15,000 to 30,000 JPY per night, including open-air hot spring baths in some of the rooms. There are also available hot spring baths with the options to either bathe indoors or outdoors. Foot baths are also offered to visitors where they can view sceneries on the top floor. Takayama is currently a place restricted for traveling due to the coronavirus, but tourists are welcome to plan their activities once border restrictions are lifted by the Government of Japan. A free shuttle is provided at the JR Takayama Train Station.
This was our second stay in a Ryokan on a tour around Japan, the accommodation was extremely clean, the service was 10 out of 10, we were seriously impressed by it, the food was good. The only negative was the lounge and the smell of smoke, there are no smoking signs all over the hotel including the lounge, but there is a smoking room in close proximity to the lounge, so it did smell of cigarette smoke at times (definitely not all the the time) but as smoking rooms are a cultural thing in Japan, I just took it as part of the experience. I would ignore any reviews that are negative towards the breakfast, for the British, it’s an unusual breakfast but a very traditional one, and the second one like this we had, but definitely the better of the two breakfasts, if you can’t stomach the fish you can have croissants and fruit, but you need to tell them in advance, like 48 hours before. We had a private onsen so never used the public one, we did have a look in the public, it did look good and clean, but the private one over looked the houses and had a great view of the mountains. The Japanese are extremely polite and respectful, so once you’ve finished food, they don’t come back, you eat and then you leave, it’s the way it’s done in Japan. I also saw some negative reviews of the lounge opening times, well it’s the same in every place in Takayama, they don’t really do bars during the day, so they don’t tend to open until late. It’s quite normal, if you want a drink the sake shops and breweries do have drinking rooms, this is where you need to head too.
I Really enjoyed Takayama, if your new to Japan, get a tour, it’s not alway obvious which buildings are museums (honestly some just look like a house on a residential street surrounded by other houses) it’s an amazing place, lots of choice to eat and drink in the evenings
Wonderful traditional hotel
We loved it here! We got a true feel of Japanese culture from the style of the rooms to the food provided. Our room was beautiful with a private onsen, and we had a traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast whilst we stayed. This gave us a delicious insight into Japanese food. Definitely more adventurous than western food naturally, but when in Japan! 😉
The staff were extremely polite and respectful, especially of our privacy during dinners or lounging. We were careful to respect their practises and made sure to adhere to the rules of the hotel, in line with Japanese culture. A further plus was how close we were to the town.
Overall a wonderful taste of Japanese culture. Thank you!
Good location, decent meals & amazing view from the room
The location is within walking distance to the famous Takayama Old Street. For that, it's really convenient. Complimentary pick-up to/from the Takayama JR Station to the ryokan is available with prior reservations. We tried to communicate with the staff over the phone but the lady who picked up the phone couldn't explain clearly on the pick-up location. However, we managed to resolve it with the help of the kind staff at the station's Tourist Information Center. Turned out that the meeting point for the pick-up is at the waiting room (Level 2) of Takayama JR Station. A hotel staff would be holding a placard stating 'Hoshokaku' and you can approach him to confirm your reservation name.
Since it snowed heavily on the day of our arrival, we had an amazing 'winter wonderland' view from the bay window of our room (see picture).
We had also opted in for the dinner + breakfast option, and they were decent. If you'd opted for a traditional room like we did, the staff will be setting up the futons while you are having your dinner. With that, we came back to our room with a neatly set up bed ready for the night's rest.
Overall, a good comfortable stay at Hoshokaku though personally, I'd wish there is a private onsen but the public ones were good enough.
Amazing traditional experience
This was our first traditional Japanese experience and it was perfect ! Amazing mountain views from our traditional room with amazing service ! Highly recommend ! Great walking distance to Old Town and other sites.
Our family decided to cancel our booking after seeing that the accommodation did not match our expectations based on the hotel website. Reasons: view of car park, not town; no balcony; no private onsen; plastic moulded bathroom; outdated furniture. We believe the rooms was not accurately represented on the website and was defintely not worth the high price paid.
It is possible that the rooms for couples are nicer and are shown on the website. These were not available for us due to family size.