Ro-62 Sugitanimachi Yamanaka Onsen, Kaga, Ishikawa, Japan
"My wife and I enjoy visiting Ishikawa-ken because it is away from the typical tourist crush...it is quiet, refined, clean, and unhurried. We keep searching for those ryokans which cater to couples rather than to large tour groups, and to couples rather than families with loud and unruly children. Also, we look to find ryokans which offer private, in-room rotemburos. Kuriya Yasohachi seems to have it all — an air of quiet elegance, a nice modern room with a private rotemburo, excellent food in measured quantities, and top notch service. We stayed three nights and did not feel like we were getting repeats from the kitchen — each dinner and each breakfast was different, delicious, and satisfying, without being overwhelming. The service was excellent and management went out of its way to cater to all of our needs, even those which were not a ryokan issue (a dysfunctional GPS navigator on our rental car, for instance). Cleanliness was top notch, and we never felt like tings could be a little cleaner or a little more tidy: a perfectionist would be in heaven. We were sad to leave as we felt so welcomed in the inn. We never saw the public baths because our own private rotemburo was wonderful to bathe in. We had views of the ravine, the river below, and bamboo trees — complete privacy, and the sound of the river lulled one to sleep. What is not to like? 1. The exterior of the building could stand a good cleaning and painting. While the interior has been impeccably maintained, the exterior gives the impression of age and decay — don’t worry, the inside is wonderful. 2. The ryokan charges for coffee. Many of the luxury ryokans in which we have stayed offer coffee, usually self-service, but complementary. Yasohachi charges JPY500 per cup, which to be fair, is freshly brewed for each client. 3. Yasohachi provides a beautiful selection of yukatas for the ladies. We wish there had been a greater selection for small ladies — there was much greater variety for taller and larger women than for the petite ladies. We’ll be back!"