[Hotel Review] Nagano: Aburaya Tousen Ryokan (Yudanaka) - あぶらや燈千 - Vikingess Voyages

Friday, February 12, 2016

[Hotel Review] Nagano: Aburaya Tousen Ryokan (Yudanaka) - あぶらや燈千

Room with private onsen bath
During my recent trip to see the bathing Snow Monkeys in Jigokudani I had the pleasure of spending a night at the renowned ryokan (traditional Japanese style hotel) Aburaya Tousen (あぶらや燈千) with a group of friends. The ryokan was located only 5 minutes away from Yudanaka Station by foot, but when we arrived at the station a representative of the hotel was already there to pick us up.

A few minutes later we were at the hotel, ready for check in. 
Wagashi sweets & green tea
At first we were seated at a table by the reception where we got some delicious green tea and traditional wagashi sweets. While enjoying the tea one of the ladies from the hotel gave us some introductory information about the ryokan and the area. We decided to visit the Monkey Park the following day, and the lady made us a reservation for the hotel's minibus.

Bed Rooms

Aburaya Tousen has a total of 35 rooms, including both Japanese and Western style rooms. and a few of the rooms come with a private hot spring (for example the room in the picture below taken from hotel's official page). However, even if you chose a regular room you will be able to rent a private hot spring room for 2.160 yen/50 minutes.
Regular Japanese-style room
We stayed at a regular Japanese style room, which is a really great option when traveling in bigger groups as it is possible to add more futon mattresses if more friends decide to join after the booking is done. As like most Japanese hotels the room was equipped with all necessary amenities, including free WiFi.
Toothbrush and other amenities 
The room also had a small selection of green and red yukata gowns that had been organised by size inside the closet. We were free to use these gowns, and I even used mine as a pyjamas for the night.
View from our room

Kaiseki Ryori Dinner

We had booked our room with a plan that included both dinner and breakfast, and in the evening we went down to the third floor to find a big private dining room reserved for us. The dinner consisted of a course with various small dishes, all in a Japanese style called Kaiseki Ryori. Delicious!
During our dinner the hotel's owner, a sweet Japanese lady dressed in kimono, came to greet us and wish us a pleasant stay. We were very touched by this kind gesture. 
Private room with table with food prepared for our group 
The hotel had actually contacted us in advance to ask us wether we had any allergies or not. The standard plan does come with sea food etc, so if you happen to be allergic to something specific you might want to mention that if you book a room that includes a dinner plan.

When we got back to our room after dinner our beds had been prepared by the staff:

Buffet Breakfast

At the hotel's breakfast buffet we enjoyed a wide selection of Western and Japanese food. 

We all went to breakfast in our yukatas

Decoration in the dining hall

Hot Spring Bath (Onsen):

On the 7th floor of the hotels there were two large hot springs: one for men and one for women. The ryokan changed the room every day, so in order to try out both hot springs we used the onsen both in the evening and the following day. I found the onsen to the right of the elevator the best, as it had a bigger outdoor onsen with good view towards the valley.
Although there is no sign in English telling you which is the guys/girls bath you can easily figure it out by the colour. In the background of the picture below you can see the girls' hot spring.
Entrance to the hot spring bath
We actually visited the hot spring before going to breakfast, which was something we in Norwegian would call a real chess move (in other words; a wise decision). There were literarily nobody else in the hot spring but us, and I could sneak some pictures of the room.

The changing room
As written earlier in this post it is also possible to rent a private hot spring room for 2.160 yen/50 minutes if you prefer to avoid possibly sharing the hot spring with strangers.

From Aburaya Tousen to the Jigokudani Monkey Park

The next day it was time to visit the bathing snow monkeys, and as mentioned we had arranged the hotel to take us to the entrance to the monkey park. As we checked out the owner of the hotel came to greet us farewell, and she even followed us all the way to the bus and waited patiently while all passenger and luggage took place in the minibus.
The hotel had a special arrangement with a cafe close to Yudanaka Station, and they kept our luggage safe at the cafe for us while we went sightseeing in Jigokudani. We had a comfortable stay at Aburaya Tousen, and would love to come back again if we get the chance.

Basic Info

Name of Hotel: Aburaya Tousen (あぶらや燈千)
Star Rating: ★★★★
Access ① 70 minutes by train to Yudanaka Station
② 5 minutes walk from the station
Check in: Check In 2:30PM to 7PM
Check Out Until 11AM

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This page contains affiliate links, and if you follow a link and make a hotel reservation through these links you help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your kind support!

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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