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Hagi Takayama Winter Stay by Eileen from Singapore

March 5th, 2013 by Jeff Aasgaard

Our stay was from February 15, 2013. Thanks to Japanese Guest Houses, our reservations at Hagi Takayama were all taken care of. They arranged our shuttle pick up at 3:05pm (pick up is just outside the Washington Hotel, across the road on the right side, from the Takayama Station). Its about a 15 minute ride.

Hagi Takayama, by Eileen L. from Singapore

Hagi Takayama, by Eileen L. from Singapore

The ryokan has lovely views of the landscape because its located higher up on a hill. We were treated to beautiful snowy scenes from the large windows around the ryokan, as well as from our 10 tatami mat room balcony on the 3rd floor. The whole place is very clean and cozy.

View from Hagi Takayama

View from Hagi Takayama

We would like to say a special thank you to Mr. Hiroshi Kawabe for his attentive & helpful service throughout our 5 night stay.

Good kaiseki dinners with portions that were just nice for both of us. Tender slices of Hida beef. Our meals were in the restaurant where great and friendly staff attended to the guests. When we were there during the winter, the latest dinner time was at 7pm. The cuisine was a good selection with very fresh ingredients and they changed the dishes every night for us, which was great.

Kaiseki, Ryokan

Dinner at the Hagi Takayama

Breakfast is between 7am-8.30am (that means it ends at 8.30am altho one can sit around for a while till about 8.45am). We are not used to having breakfast so early, but on hindsight it was good to have a much longer day ahead of us if we ate at 7.50am.. Again, very thoughtful of them to change the main dishes during our stay eg it was nice to have 2fried eggs with ham on our 3rd morning.

Breakfast is semi buffet – each of us had our own personal tray of special items and we could also help ourselves to the free flow of beverages, croquettes, salad, porridge etc at the side table.

1. They have a public INDOOR onsen with lovely views on the 4th floor (6am – 9.30am is for men, 3pm – midnight is for ladies). Interesting wall designs in the wash area.

On the same 4th floor is a private onsen bath where reservation and charge is needed. Morning 6am-9.45am are for the men and afternoon 4pm – 11.45pm are for the ladies. We didn’t try it so no comments.

There are another 2 public indoor & attached outdoor onsens near the annex – a short walkway from the ground floor (or a quick dash in the freezing cold). Each bath is interchanged between men and ladies daily. Morning times are 6am-9.30am & 3pm-midnight. We really enjoyed the outdoor rock pool esp with the snowy view.

The dressing rooms in the onsens have a very good selection of toiletries.

As it was snowing and pretty cold most of the days (around -5 degrees C to 10 degrees C) we were more than contented to stay in, relax, catch up on all our reading, soak in the onsen early, just enjoying the accommodation. The views from the large window panes were lovely.

Hida Folk Museum

Hida Folk Museum

We did visit the Night illumination of the Hida Folk Museum – blessed with nice clear sky that night – it was an enjoyable outing. The ryokan has its own shuttle that took us there at 7.30pm and fetched us back at 8.20pm.

Pros: High on a hill with lovely views from their large windows. Everything was great for us and we will definitely return again.

Lovely snowy landscapes in winter but a little too cold for strolling. So it depends what you are looking for. This season is great for us because we just want to rest and relax and get away from the noise and hustle bustle back home.

Hida Folk Museum

Hida Folk Museum

Cons: Its too far to walk down to the little streets. So you will have to depend on the morning shuttle to get down to the little city for your strolls (last shuttle 10am). The afternoon shuttle starts at 3.05pm. In between, you will need to take a taxi.

TIPS: If you are planning on taking a train to Takayama – take note if travelling on a weekend. We came directly from the International airport in Nagoya to Nagoya station on a Friday morning (Feb 15).

Our SIA flight from Singapore landed at 8.30am. We cleared customs and immigration quickly and caught the Sky Express train at 9:07am to Nagoya station.

We reached the Nagoya Train Reservation Ticketing counter at 10.05am and managed to catch the 10:47am Limited Express Wide Hida View to Takayama.

If we had not caught the 10:47am train, we would have had a very very long wait for the 4th train, arriving at Takayama very very late. That’s because the next 3 trains after ours were fully booked.

We arrived Takayama at 1:10pm. The scenery (later half) from the train windows during the journey are pretty scenic. We had lunch at a quaint soba/ramen shop opp the street (get a map from the Tourist Information office just outside the Takayama station).

On our return journey from Nagoya station to the airport – Our flights was 10:30am and we caught the 7:20am Sky Express.

Its really worth paying a little more for the Sky Express train. We noticed that the other trains and platforms were pretty packed by 7:15am.

By Eileen Lee

One response to “Hagi Takayama Winter Stay by Eileen from Singapore”

  1. […] journeyed from our 1st ryokan at Hagi Takayama (see separate review) to Gero Onsen on February 20, 2013. It’s a comfortable 46 minute ride from Takayama to Gero […]

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