*About Shimaya Ryokan*
☆★We provide free shuttle service to Snow Monkey Park☆★
Welcome to our web site. We, the staff of Shimaya Ryokan, are here to
make your stay at Yudanaka Onsen (spa) pleasant and memorable.
Located in the center of town, we are only an 8-minute walk from
Yudanaka Station (of the Nagano Dentetsu Line). Within a short walk
of the ryokan, you will find many reasonably priced restaurants and
sushi bars, a 24-hour convenience store, a coin-operated laundromat,
and ATM machine, and a post office.
When requested, we provide free 'on-demand' shuttle services to and
from the Shimaya Ryokan to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and the
Yudanaka train station. If you have heavy luggage, please notify us
in advance so we can help you. We are also happy to offer suggestions
about local restaurants and attractions.
At our hotel, you can enjoy our public Onsen (hot spring bath) filled
with 100% natural hot spring water.
If you wish to experience an open-air bath (Roten-buro) with a
spectacular view of the mountains at sunset, we can also drive you to
'Tomi-no-yu,' which is a five-minute drive from the hotel.
We promise to help you make the most of your stay at Yudanaka Onsen Nagano.
We have 12 guest rooms (9 with private shower and toilet) with tatami
mats. All guest rooms have air conditioning and TV. Amenities
include soap, shampoo, towels, yukata (light Japanese robe), and
in-room safes. Parking is available.
We also have an on-site Onsen.
Check-in is 3pm and check-out is 11am. Traditional, multi-course
Japanese dinner available upon request. Please contact us in advance
to arrange dinner. Breakfast can be arranged at check-in (Japanese,
1350 Yen; Western, 800 Yen per person).
We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Snow Monkey Photo Exhibition
--Monkeys of snow valley--
2008.12.19 Fri~2009.3.31 Tue
Do you know there is a huge photography exhibit going on at the Shiga-kogen Roman Museum near here?
Ten photographers who love the Monkey Park contributed their work on the Snow Monkey.
It is very informative and you might enjoy the one hundred eleven images of the monkeys shown there now.
The museum is on the way to the Monkey Park.
If you wish to spend some time at the museum, I can come back to fetch you later.
○■ Shimaya Ryokan Yudanaka Review 2008○■
I stayed at Shimaya Ryokan in Yudanaka for several nights this winter in January and I have high praise for the husband and wife team that run this facility. Ichirou Yumoto (man) and Mitsue (wife) are very welcoming hosts! By prior arrangement Ichirou met my mid-afternoon express train at the Yudanaka Station and delivered me directly to Shimaya. While we were making this short journey he asked if I would like to go to the Snow Monkey Park that afternoon . . . if so, he’d be glad to drive me. I said, “Yes!”
I was glad I did this because the winter weather in Yudanaka can change quickly and next morning it was snowing and it would have been difficult to photograph the monkeys in snowy conditions. No matter what my questions, or need for local transportation, Ichirou was there to assist. He suggested a small restaurant about 1 block away that serves pork cutlet as a specialty . . . it was very good and the food there was reasonably priced too.
Ichirou and Mitsue’s hospitality was amply demonstrated when they prepared an authentic Japanese feast for me one evening. This meal was easily the most memorable one of my two week trip to Japan. Ichirou suggested that I dress in authentic Japanese garb which made the evening even more festive.
Shimaya itself is a rectangular concrete structure of three stories height, plus a basement where there’s a player piano and where breakfast is served. The ground floor consists of reception, small seating area, kitchen and down a corridor the indoor thermal pools and private dining rooms (one of which I had for my Japanese feast). Upstairs are the guest rooms and mine was on the top floor.
When I used one of the thermal pools one evening I had it all to myself allowing me to quietly reflect on my excellent experiences in Yudanaka.
My room was Japanese style with a futon on the tatami mat floor. By Japanese standards this room was very good sized. Near the main window was a carpeted area with sink and on the side opposite the sink, a door leading to the toilet. This area where the sink was located could be screened off by sliding doors with paper inset into the wood frame. In a separate room to the right as you entered from the outside corridor was a deep bath and shower. There was on the floor seating at low table and the cushioned “chairs” had backs on them, but no legs owing to the typically low dining like table height.
In the winter when I was there, the common areas including hallways can be quite cool/cold to those who are used to living in 72°F or 22°C temperatures. My room was heated by an electronically controlled heater that burned a fluid that I’m guessing was kerosene. The futon had a thick well insulated top, but cover was quite light being filled, perhaps, by goose down that kept me comfortably warm at night.
I found that the toilet area could be quite cold if the door to it was kept closed due to no heating there and north facing walls. During the first night that I used it steam came from my stream as I relieved myself.
So, my overall analysis of Shimaya? Pros: Definitely the proprietors, Ichirou and Mitsue thank you so much for your hospitality. The free transportation to Monkey Park (twice both ways) was very much welcomed especially in cold and snowy conditions that existed while I was there. Ditto transportation to and from the Yudanaka Station. The Japanese feast they prepared for me was excellent as were Ichirou’s suggestions regarding local eating, etc. Also they have a good inventory of rubber boots that they happily lend to their customers which came in very hand on the icy path to the Monkey Park. Cons: Areas of the Ryokan can be chilly in winter and the appearance of corridors and stairway is basic concrete.
Conclusion? High praise for this reasonably priced facility with a nightly rate for the room of 8,500 Yen per night in January 2008. Would I stay there again? Definitely!
Also, while you’re in Yudanaka make sure and see the Monkey Park! A large number of Snow Monkeys freely come and go to the hot pools in winter. Really an amazing experience and I was fortunate to run into several professional photographers there as well as a documentary team from the BBC that is doing a show about the four seasons and the Snow Monkeys. I understand that the monkeys spend the night in trees in the rugged mountainous terrain above the river and hot pools.
Ellerslie, Auckland New Zealand