This hotel is one of the cheapest and within walking distance from the railway station. This was the main reason for me to stay there as I wanted to leave early the next morning for Mt. Aso.
The room was quite small and the air was terrible. It wasn't possible to open the window and I had to use the airconditioning because it was definitely a smoking room. The aircon on the other hand was quite loud, so I had to use ear plugs. Facilities were on the corridor and I don't really remember them. I do remember though, that there was a washing machine and dryers outside behind the hotel which I used.
There was no breakfast included.
The Yumeoisou Ryokan resides in the Mt. Aso caldera, far from the noise and bustle of anything even remotely resembling a city. Here you will find the relaxed side of modern Japan, a ryokan full of kimono wearing Japanese enjoying their traditional foods and baths, along with an array of free drinks, massage machines, karaoke, and more. It is a place where the Japanese come to get away from it all, relax, get some mountain air, and then move on the next day. Very few people would spend more than one night in a ryokan like this, but one night is really enough. What I really really liked about this place was how relaxed the Japanese (as usual, I was the only foreigner) seemed to be. They sang karaoke and applauded, smoked too much, seemed so at home in their kimonos that I really felt I was seeing an uncommon aspect of Japan that lies just below the street level surface. Even though I spent a lot of time amongst the Japanese, in their homes, at their tables etc., this was something even more native to Japan than that.
The ryokan boasts eight large private baths as well as its main on-sen. There are no additional charges for using them and everything, such as towels and razors, is complimentary. The lighting in the baths tends to be somewhat subdued, an effect which, when combined with the steam and moonlight, is relaxing to the point of being surreal.
Dinner was a wonderful experience served in one of those private corners with the curtains drawn. All told they must have served 20 courses if you count every little side dish but the main course was served in a pan where you used a heat pack to cook it. They had everything on that table, sushi, rice, fish cakes, fish, you name it.
Breakfast was more of a disappointment. Although the buffet was large, it didn't seem to be very good, even to the Japanese who were accustomed to plates of dried minnows, seaweed salads and the like. There were a few things I found apperaling on the buffet, but not much. It was a poor finale for what was otherwise a fine stay.
Excellent baths, lots of perqs, (some) free drinks, great rooms, great views, great facilities. Great dinner but breakfast leaves something to be desired. They take and print two photos which are complimentary in small frames.
The Youth Hostel cost 2900 Yen per night which is quite cheap for accommodation in Japan.
The hostel is within walking distance of the gardens and Kumamoto castle.
Bedding is Japanese style with futons on the floor. The rooms are small but it is comfortable. There is a shared bath (onsen) available for use.
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