1899 Fujiwara,Tone-gun, Minakami, Tone, Gunma, Japan
"First of all I must say, the location/onsen itself is amazing. Quite possibly one of the best in Japan, breathtaking views and also tattoo friendly. The food that was served to us on the other hand was a different story. Dinner was presented to us as a kaiseki meal, but instead of having everything coursed out like a normal kaiseki meal, it was all just strewn out on the table. Most of the food was clearly just frozen food thawed out and presented to us. Sashimi clearly smelled fouled, completely cold grilled fish, and duck meat that was chewy and tough like old boots. We decided to leave before the “Gohan” course of the meal which was the only thing coursed to us at the end of the meal. Our server asked us why we were leaving so soon as to which we told her that the meal was basically inedible. She responded with “I’m sorry” instead of trying to elevate the situation and give us something a bit more satisfactory, almost as if this is a commonality for her. With my 20+ years in the hospitality business I would be the first to tell you that you never apologize for anything because it’s clearly admitting that your food/service is sub pay at best. Later in the evening I spoke to some Thai tourists (I lived in Thailand for 2 years) asking them what they though of the food, and without any sort of hesitation told me they thought it was terrible. My wife, who is Japanese also spoke to some Japanese tourists that also said similar things but were a bit more reserved due to the culture nuances of Japanese people in general. The following day we made a complaint to the manager at the front desk about our experience and basically told us the same thing that our server the previous night told us “I’m sorry” and even went as far as telling us that other people have complained in the past and that “he would inform the kitchen of this matter. No comps for anything, no “we’ll make a better experience for you the next time on us” just “sorry” and basically shrugged his shoulders. Despite the amazing location or not, my wife and I spent lots of money and our valuable time to visit this place expecting an incredible experience. Needless to say it’s highly doubtful we would ever come back unless it’s complimentary on the house. Bring your own food, or go to another onsen"
"Takaragawa Onsen is like an onsen from fairytale during the winter. It is so picturesque when snow falls. The location is perfect being next to the river. Onsen with sounds of river flowing and water from Onsen was truly sublime under gentle falling snow. The onsen water was good, but not the best . The food at the onsen serves Japanese food in Western setting. It is buffet style with a basic kaseki dinner set. The actual time at the hotel is however limited for one night over nighter. This is because hitel bus take guests back to station at 9am, after arriving late at like 4pm . It is best to stay at least two nights to truly experience the onsen."
"If you like the wilderness, this place is Utopia. The water temperature was about 38°C or 100°F. The open air baths are mixed gender, so do not be surprised if someone of the opposite gender jumps into the pool with you. However, the resort does ask you to cover up your private area, and will supply you with a towel-like gown, free of charge. The only demerit was, these gowns “do not” come in children’s sizes. So, children seven years and younger are left to wear something of their own, or to run around the open air baths naked. Which a lot of children were doing... Dinner and breakfast was a Viking style, all you can eat buffet geared towards foreigners’ taste. Truly nothing out of the ordinary or traditional. Overall, this place was really clean and relaxing. Our nine-year-old twins loved it!"