We stayed at the Yudanaka Seifu-so Hotel for 2 nights during our 10 day trip to central Japan. We were here specifically for the Jigokudani snow monkeys.
We arrived late on a winter evening after a 2 hour drive from Karuizawa. It was already dark and streets were dimly lit. That did not help as my car’s GPS could not pin point the exact location of the hotel. Fortunately we located a map of the area at the Yudanaka station. Enter through the small road directly across the Yudanaka station and the hotel is located along a narrow nondescript road. The hotel is prominent even at night so we had no problem identifying it.
We chose Yudanaka Seifu-so as it is just 10 minutes drive to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. It is a traditional Japanese style guesthouse. Other than free wi-fi, TV and a fridge in the room, there are no other modern amenities. The shared toilets and bath look their age but very clean by Japanese standards. Complimentary green tea and delicious red bean mochis are provided daily in each room. There are onsens (indoor as well as outdoors) that are open 24 hours. You can request for a private one that can be locked from the inside. The hot soak felt really great after a long and cold day out at the monkey park.
Room rates are US$123 per room (for 2 people) per night including full Japanese breakfast served in a private room. There is also a dinner option at ¥3500 (US$30) per head for a 10 course Kaiseki dinner. Quality is average. If you are lazy to head out on a cold night in this small town this is not a bad option.
This modest accommodation is made all the more special by the friendly owners that make you feel welcome, comfortable and well taken care of. They will drive you to the monkey park, and even provide snow boots, useful for the 1.6km trek into the monkey park if you don’t want to dirty your new sneakers.
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