524-1 Tanigawa, Minakami-cho, Tone-ku, Gunma
Ryokan Tanigawa sits alongside the Tanigawa river at the foot of Mount Tanigawa in Minakami in Gunma Prefecture. It was specially constructed to make the most of its fantastic views of the famous mountains that looms above it.
Nature at the Foot of an Infamous Mountain
The whole area stands inside the borders of the Joshinetsu National Park, and Mount Tanigawa, one of the famous peaks in Japan, towers over everything. The rooms at the hotel are designed to make the most of this view so you can relax and enjoy the pristine nature of the valley. It is an ever changing show with the seasonal variety giving it a different aspect as the months tick by. With its healing onsen and peaceful location it was a place writers and artists came to relax and seek inspiration.
Legendary Hospitality & Continual Improvement
The history of Ryokan Tanigawa started across the road where an old wooden accommodation stood. This was washed away and a previous incarnation of Ryokan Tanigawa was built instead. The one standing today is the improved version of its namesake. The current family of owners, now in their third generation in charge, have been improving constantly and Ryokan Tanigawa grew from its original eighteen rooms to the twenty eight of today. It was well known to have pioneered several new services that were all about making the stay of their treasured guests more comfortable, and several of these were adopted by the industry along the way.
Location, Location, Location
The original owners recognised the value of the fantastic location of the valley with the river running past and the mountain so prominent. They weren’t climbers but were more enchanted by the natural environment and helped to popularise this mountain and its distinctive shape, while still promoting respect for the mountain itself. They knew that customers could benefit from a stay here, taking the chance to reset their body, relax, and enjoy the fresh air. Even today there are many people who come time and time again.
Explore the life and culture of Yukiguni through one of the unique local experiences available.
The Long Shadow of the Mountain
Just off the lobby is an exhibition space displaying photographs and artwork related to Mount Tanigawa. It is a beautiful mountain, and with the ropeway up to Tenjindaira Ski Area on its flank it is also accessible to hikers. The mountain also has some highly rated summer climbing and unfortunately many people have lost their lives, making it one of the most dangerous mountains in the world.
As you would expect from a ryokan that is in a process of continual improvement, any stay here is going to be a comfortable one. Ryokan Tanigawa offers a classic experience of onsen and hospitality.
Room with a View
The structure of the building has been designed to give each room a spectacular view from the windows out onto the face of Mount Tanigawa and the nature of the valley all around.
Traditional Meets Modern
Ryokan Tanigawa has always been improving from its previous incarnations and even today the process continues. They have some classic ryokan style rooms with thick futons on the tatami flooring, but they also have some recently renovated options that offer a more modern styling and some extra facilities. The improvement process is ongoing though both styles are likely to remain as certain guests have a preference for one or the other.
Heritage of Traditional Ryokan Cuisine
One of the highlights of a stay in ryokan is the food. The multi-course, beautiful presented meals are a real experience. Ryokan Tanigawa has a great selection of food that is mainly sourced locally, uses fresh, seasonal ingredients, and fish from the rivers nearby.
Take a stroll around the quiet valley where the ryokan is located and you can discover Fuji-Sengen shrine, Tochinoki-Yakushido temple, old dosojin stones, literary monuments and some trail heads into the mountains. Both the mountain and the temple have their existence closely woven around the legends around the source of the Tanigawa hot spring and its healing properties.
There is a gallery with the ryokan dedicated to the works of Osamu Dezai who was one of the famous residents of the ryokan.
The irori hearth was always the center of a household in Yukiguni and there is one in the lobby at Ryokan Tanigawa. You can often taste local goods at the irori, such as flavored misos.
The sister establishment to Ryokan Tanigawa is Bettei Senjuan which continues along the path of continual improvement that has characterised this establishment.