Capturing the mundane to create interesting stories

Review: Ryokan Funamisou

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A room at Ryokan Funamisou — with a killer view



Note: last week, I & Q have the opportunity to stay at Ryokan Funamisou at Nikko, Tochigi. It was a free stay in exchange for review. Despite the situation, the followings are my honest opinion on said ryokan .



Nikko is one of the famous tourist destination in Japan. It is located about 150 km from Tokyo. It took about 2.5 hours to reach the place if you are using the rapid train service. If you are on budget, you can take the regular train but it will takes about 3-3.5 hours.

There are a lot of touristy spots to visit around Nikko. I might cover them in other posts. In this post, I will focus on the ryokan .



Location

The ryokan is within walking distance from Kosagoe station. It takes about 10-15 minutes walk to reach the place. You can get informative direction from their official site.

Kosagoe itself is a small station. I don’t think there’s a lot to see around there.

The good news, it is only one station away (5 minutes) from Kinugawa-onsen station which offers much more variety in terms of tourist attractions, and also about 30 minutes away from Tobu-Nikko (the main station in the area). Things that must be considered is that train frequency is low. So, make sure you know the train timetable to optimize your schedule.


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Building and Room

On the first impression, the building didn’t look impressive. It looked rather old, cold, and gloomy. It’s probably because of the weather, though — it was raining when we came that night. Once we step inside, it’s all better. The place is clean, dry and warm.

It looks a bit better the next morning.


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The lady at front desk who welcomed us was very nice and informative. She speaks English and gave a lot of information, including suggestions to places that we can visit the next day — brochures and train timetable was also provided, so that was very convenient.

The room was Japanese style room. We slept on the floor (on futon , of course). The room is completed with TV, refrigerator, toilet+shower, and balcony with amazing view to the river.

Stitched photos of the room are available at photosynth (photo 1, photo 2).

Two sets of Yukata are provided for free (not sure if you can take it home, though :D). It’s very comfortable and practical to use when moving about the ryokan, especially when you are going for onsen. For a lot of people, wearing Yukata can also be a cultural experience.


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Other Facilities

The ryokan has onsen (public bath), private onsen, and gym. There’s free internet connection (Wifi) in the lobby (not in the room), but I couldn’t get connected. I wasn’t desperately need it, so I didn’t check with the staff.


So, what did I do during our stay?

I came to Nikko to relax, so gym was definitely crossed from the list :D.


That night, we took the private onsen. You can book it when you check in (free for 1 hour). The private onsen was nice and quite spacey (two is good, three is okay). It is also equipped with handrail for seniors or disabled person


In the morning, we took public onsen. I have to say that it wasn’t special. It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t call it special. The space isn’t that big if we consider it as public onsen. 5-7 people would have the maximum number, I think. View to the river is excellent, but it is rather hard to see when you are inside the pool. The view is great on the men side, but Q told me that she can’t see anything on the women side.

Another small thing that is notable is the massage chair at the lobby. Q loves it very much :D… It’s JPY 200 for 15 minutes of nice massage.


If you are interested, there are a couple of spots where you can sit and enjoy the river view. Please be very careful when you walk on the wooden bridge. It’s very slippery. Q had a little accident there and broke the hood of Tokina 116.


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The Food

I intentionally leave this one for the last, because it… was… AWESOME!

Our package came with Sukiyaki dinner, and it was super excellent. The local beef (wagyu) from Tochigi prefecture was super-soft and very tasty, and it comes with large volume of other side-dishes.


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If this is your first time eating Sukiyaki and you don’t know how to cook it, don’t worry. The staff will tell you how to enjoy your meal.

I’m having a hard time finishing it — not because it’s hard to swallow, but because there’s a lot of them. I was full, but I don’t want to leave anything behind :D. It was that good.

I would say that dinner was the highlight of our stay at Ryokan Funamisou



For breakfast, we got standard Japanese breakfast.


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It was delicious, but I couldn’t say it’s special… especially after the big, excellent dinner. Yes, I really need to emphasize how great the dinner was.

Hey, have I mention the dinner was great? :D



Summary

Funamisou Ryokan is a nice place to stay. The location is okay. The facilities are good. I couldn’t say it’s special in terms of location and facilities, but I don’t have anything to complain, too. Everything that you’d expect from a ryokan are there.

The staffs are helpful and communicative. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Japanese, because they can speak English very well… that’s huge plus point!

Some improvements on the onsen would be perfection.

The meal, especially Sukiyaki dinner, was awesome.

The meal, especially Sukiyaki dinner, was awesome.

*Yes, I deliberately wrote that down twice. It was THAT good. This alone would make me recommend this ryokan:-).

For more information on the ryokan, check out their website: Ryokan Funamisou .



*Ryokan Funamisou, Nikko, Tochigi, Japan


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8 responses

  1. What a nice trip Mister! Beautiful place + delicious food = awesome :D
    Sedikit out of topic, teman kuliah saya ada yang blasteran Indo Jepang, dan tempat tinggal dia di Jepang di Tochigi.. :)

    November 13, 2011 at 01:07

    • It certainly was a nice trip :D…
      Hooo… Tochigi itu luas loh, jadi daerah mana tuh? Mana tahu berkunjung ke sana lagi, kan jadi bisa dapet tumpangan gratis lagi hehehe…

      November 22, 2011 at 21:47

  2. You lucky guy! :) Lovely view and a great room full of services! :)

    November 22, 2011 at 20:51

    • I’m lucky, and it sure is great :D…

      November 22, 2011 at 21:47

  3. irene

    what? free stay for exchange for a review? hell i’d be glad to review all ryokans in japan! ahahhahaha… great review!

    November 24, 2011 at 11:51

    • Hahahahaha… well, do you have a blog? If you do, you can register for the same opportunity. Let me know if you are interested, and I will send you the information :-).

      November 24, 2011 at 14:10

      • irene

        of course i have! but i don’t write much! hahaha check this out -> http://iris-photoworks.com/

        November 24, 2011 at 14:55

        • Haha… alright, I’ll send you the information :-)… Well, probably it’s a bit too late to arrange something for your visit now, but perhaps for the one(s) after this? :D…

          November 24, 2011 at 15:10

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