Monday, September 10, 2007

Cloudy River Hotel - Tochigi

Map Location
After our great trip to Sandogoya we decided to try another overnight Onsen Hotel this weekend. So we headed up into Shiobara to climb our own local Mt. Fuji with plans to stay overnight.

Its a bit hard to say how good this hotel was since we don't have much to compare it with. We were recommended a local hotel by some people we met on the walk, but the price of 6-8000 yen a head made us think the meal might not be that good so we opted to go a bit more upmarket.


We checked in at The Cloudy River Hotel (rough translation). The price of 16,000 yen a head was a bit high for me, but we had a special event to celebrate so we splashed out a bit. At first I was a bit disappointed, the hotel was clean and neat but it felt in decline. The onsen was nice but not sensational. The people were very nice. And when dinner arrived (and kept arriving) I revised my opinion. It was a really good dinner.

There were male and female onsens, plus two little private rooms about the right size for a couple. In one of the private rooms the water was too hot for us to get in. We preferred the private room but if the hotel was busy it might be hard to get into that room.

Our room was nice. Judging by what I have seen on TV it was fairly standard for a ryokan room.

Our dinner must have had at least 15 little dishes. They were all excellent, the highlight was a little beef barbeque. The sashimi and tempura was also very good. I enjoyed breakfast too (though I am not a big fan of Japanese breakfasts). Unfortunately, we failed to get pictures of dinner.

I think I'll reserve final judgement till we have been to more onsen hotels. But it was certainly and enjoyable weekend away. The food and service were particularly good.


owenandbenjamin said...

If you ever stay in Nikko over night, my in-laws own a really nice small hotel in Nikko called Nikko-Hanabusa. Here is their website.

They only speak Japanese however.

davidfromoz said...

Wow, thats a beautiful looking place. As usual I am attracted to the food section which is really nice.

Its a little expensive for us, but perhaps for a birthday or special occasion we will look them up. I do want to go back to Nikko before winter. I don't think we have explored it enough.

My wife's Japanese is starting to get to the level where we can try to deal with telephone reservations.