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Houshi

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

The stay in a Ryokan is a great oriental experience. It is a total immersion in the traditional Japanese culture with tasty food and very nice staff. Try the onsen, it will surprise you. Absolutely recommendable!

we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Hoshi. yes there's a few bits of carpet that need replacing here and there and some paint touch ups but we had such a great experience, received such great service, enjoyed the hot spring baths and our delightful room so much, the little imperfections were easy to forget. we stayed in a lovely traditional room right on the garden, it was spacious and very pretty. we received gracious service and excellent food each night and each breakfast in our private dinning room (i'm not a big fan of traditional japanese breakfast but my wife is, so i just went with the flow). we had several private baths and eventually took the plunge and went to the communal baths as well, we especially liked the outdoor baths in the cold weather. the atmosphere, the surroundings and decor were all delightful, we felt truly immersed in old world Japan. day trips to local towns and temples provided us with a nice glimpse into rural life and scenery. thoroughly recommended for the japanophile, not recommended for those who seek western amenities and familiar accommodations.

We had seen the mini-documentary on this place on Vimeo and were very curious to check it out. We stayed in a traditional room (apparently there are also "Modern" ones in a separate 7 story building next to the older complex - we never went there though). We slept on tatami mats on the floor, which is more comfortable than expected but - alas - not as comfortable as a western bed. As others have remarked, some parts appear dated and could use some repairs, including the Koh stage, which had a sad, depressing aura to it. Maybe this looks better in the summer? If you are inside the baths or the rooms, it is not really bothersome though. The main challenges are the food and generally communication. There are no menus or explanations in English (or indeed in latin characters), and most staff speaks no English. They do however all have smartphones with translation apps, and are eager to help. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I would not hesitate to recommend it for a brief stay.

Reading the reviews, it seemed hit or miss but I wanted to visit this old establishment. Yes, it's old...I mean, 1300 years old. It's been expanded and is huge. Does it need some fixing up? Yes, but I've been to plenty of regular hotels that have way more wear and tear and only decades old, not centuries. Anyway, the people working here were very nice and accommodating!!! There's very little English but they try their best. The owner or staff come out to greet any guests coming in. Upon check in, I was taken to room with a view of the gardens for the traditional tea service...not a ceremony. I was in room 103 which was lovely with a private deck over the koi pond. It also had a private bath and toilet along with a flat screen TV and refrigerator. On the table was a tea set with green tea and snacks to enjoy before your soak. After they made my bed later that evening, they refreshed my tea service and added another kind of tea. This Ryokan has an indoor and outdoor onsen for each sex. The facilities are nice but this was my first so I can't compare. The place is huge and walking around inside, you'll see plenty of art. The area is known for their arts and crafts. There's an arts and crafts village about 20 minutes walking distance. Outside the garden is serene and a pleasure to wander around in. Additional info: I didn't eat at the ryokan but there is an izakaya around the left of the ryokan (good luck as there's no English and no pictures) and a sushi place down the street to the right. There's also a grocery store and a couple convenience stores also to the right. They have a shuttle to/from the Awazu station. Contact them for available times as you need to reserve this. I came in too early so I took a taxi which was 1480 yen. They'll also shuttle you to the craft village nearby.

Stayed at room 812 which is the largest and grandest room in the property. Personal attendant was very kind and professional but everything is mediocre at best. Food quality and presentation was nothing special and facility needs serious updates. Garden looked very tired and building need serious updates. Wifi only works in lobby and public bath area. It's very hard to say but I would not recommend this place.

I read the recent negative reviews of Hoshi the day before my husband and I were to arrive there and to say I panicked is an understatement. I tried to cancel, but couldn't do so without a 100% penalty. So we took the train to Kaga Onsen and were picked up promptly by the hotel shuttle and ferried to the ryokan. It was wonderful. Our room on the 8th floor was apartment-like and had a splendid view of the town. No, it wasn't polished and perfect--I noticed nicks in the screens and a hole in the upholstery of one chair, but frankly, it made little difference to our enjoyment. There isn't wifi in the room, but if you must log on, it works perfectly well in the lobby. Hoshi is not the Hyatt, but then again, no one at the Hyatt is serving us tea. The food was excellent, albeit challenging if you don't like fish or items on your plate that you don't recognise; you either rise to the occasion or don't eat. We ate and we were impressed. Yes, the dining room is huge, but so what. The ryokan itself is very large and caters to a thoroughly Japanese clientele (which is probably why almost no one speaks English). It's different. That's what makes it an experience you won't get anywhere else. However, I do agree that the karaoke bar should be avoided as it's expensive as well as dull. The communal bath is not to be missed, though. We stayed in two ryokans during our trip to Japan and Hoshi was the better of the two and similar in price. I'm so glad we didn't cancel.

I suspect this must be the lowest point in Hoshi's long history. It desperately needs thorough remodeling and professional management. Carpets in hallways and other public areas are worn and horribly stained, threadbare in places. Meals are served in a large, non-descript hall, in a slap-the-plates-down-when-we-please fashion. The quality of the food is mediocre. The ceiling in the otherwise enjoyable onsen is badly stained with mold. Although one doesn't expect Finnish standards of construction in a sauna in Japan, a ceiling of manufactured tiles, like one finds in an office, is not only inappropriate, but unhealthy, inviting off-gassing in the heat. The hallways are a confusing, endless up-down-and-around rabbit warren. The staff is friendly, but seemingly indifferent, and lacking in initiative and common sense. The cafe and bar were unused on the Saturday night we stayed, a handful of guests visiting the karaoke lounge for an evening drink. There were holes in the shoji panels in our room, and the windows overlooking the garden lacked screens, allowing mosquitos entry. On the plus side, the welcoming tea and wagashi were pleasant and the garden is pleasing. We were keenly disappointed in what we were hoping would be a quintessential experience of Japanese hospitality, charm, and grace. When the pond koi seem to be the happiest creatures in the place, you can surely do better elsewhere for $300 per night. Stay away.

This hotel definitely shows its age; decor is dated and tired-looking, the whole place definitely needs a major update. Food was ok, ingredients were good quality but nothing to write home about. Staff speaks very little English but they are courteous and friendly. There's a small outdoor onsen and an indoor one. Waking up to birds chirping and absolute quietness was great. All in all it is a very traditional Japanese ryokan experience.

Having read the reviews I was really looking forward to our 2 night stay. Staying at one of the world's oldest hotels with all the tradition - excellent! However the reality was that the ryokan was in desperate need of an upgrade, the room was enormous but it was tired and had big cracks in the sink, water stains in the bath and just not great. We didn't book dinner and therefore were not offered dinner on our first night. All the catering facilities were closed (the on site pub never opened whilst we were there). The ryokan had the feeling of a once very popular and grand venue, but had fallen on hard times. Also despite free wifi being advertised in all rooms, there was none. Only in reception area. Annoying. Despite all this the staff were friendly and the spa facilities very, very nice. On checking out despite asking for help, none was given with our bags and despite about 8 staff all bowing and saying good bye, not one of them helped with our luggage. All in all, I won't be returning nor recommending it.

Although the location might be a bit offputting (nothing much to see or do in the area), the hotel itself makes up for it. The room was massive - balcony with a lovely view to the garden, tea room, sleeping area, toilet, large bathroom etc. The onsen was really relaxing as well. However, try to follow the general etiquette and if you're not sure, do as other people do. If you have tattoos, ask the staff kindly if it's ok. We have some and since we asked them before going to the onsens, it wasn't a problem. The breakfast was ok but nothing special. Tip: the hotel has a shuttle bus taking you to and from the hotel but it requires a reservation. Tip#2: When you get to your room and find that there are beds missing, don't worry. They will re-organise your room during your stay in the onsens.

Room options

Japanese-Style Deluxe Room

Twin 6 | Sleeps 6

Traditional Room (Fall)

Twin 6 | Sleeps 6

Traditional Room (Summer)

Twin 5 | Sleeps 5

Traditional Room (Historical)

Twin 6 | Sleeps 6

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

50% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 111 reviews