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All reviews rice relaxing place river view soup one night baths waterfall courses half middle japan ryokan dinner garden onsen
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Reviewed 27 October 2015

My wife visited Sanso Tensui in May this year with some friends, and decided we should come here as part of my birthday trip to Fukuoka. Getting here from Fukuoka was easy - just a two hour JR train ride from Hakata station, and the hotel has a free shuttle to meet you.

Service was fabulous and hotel staff are invariably friendly and very polite and go out of their way to make your stay a special one. Our server at dinner - Kajiwara-san - was a case in point. He only works here part time during dinner, having a shop in the village preparing and selling locally made spices such as the citrus peppers that you have at mealtimes here. While having to serve dinner in three different bedrooms, he took the time to share local stories, as well as describe the dishes, which were mostly made from local produce. He also encouraged us to slow down and enjoy the meal. On learning that I had an upcoming birthday, he met us after dinner at the lounge, where he drew a birthday wish and wrote a short Japanese saying for us on a huge card.

The bedrooms have a nice river view, and a balcony where you can sit, sip tea and enjoy the surroundings. There are no beds per se - instead, staff will lay out futons on the tatami mats. Rooms might be spartan by Western standards, but are comfortable and have tea making facilities, aircon and free wifi.

There are no bathing facilities in the rooms, though you can use the segregated public baths or book private baths, which are located a short distance away from the main building. The hot mountain spring waters were so enjoyable that we booked three separate private bath times in the space of 18 hours.

Do visit the gift shop to buy locally made Japanese rice cakes and accessories, and walk around the compound which is dotted about with beautiful stone carvings of frogs, monks and owls.

Yes, it is slightly on the pricier side, but this lovely 18-year-old ryokan is certainly worth a visit.

Room Tip: Most rooms have river views, but the second floor is quieter. Book private baths for privacy. Bath times are usually 45 minutes.
  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Orator11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2015 via mobile

Sanso Trnsui is one of the best onsen retreats I have visited in Japan. The ryokan is located deep into the woods in Oita, which is quite difficult to get to unless you are driving. It is well worth the drive. A river and waterfalls runs right by the lodge, and you can hear fresh water running by it. What makes this ryokan so special is the baths. They have 3 public onsens, and 5 private baths. One of the baths is located right by the river, while you can see the waterfalls from the other. It was so beautiful, that I didn't want to leave. Also, they served home made tofu for breakfast, which was very delicious. I'd recommend Sanso Tensui to anyone who wants to get an authentic onsen ryokan experience.

Stayed: January 2015
1  Thank Yoniesta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We loved our restful time in this beautiful garden setting in the mountains by a river. The large rocks, both in and out of the house, were a fabulous touch. For us it was a dream stay - in a peaceful haven with excellent food, a gorgeous day and night time hot spring bath in a rock pool below the house, and caring staff.

We came by train via Kurume, then Amagase Station and accidentally arrived a stop early and two hours late on a cute single carriage red train that had chuffed through the mountains. The guest house has a shuttle service. The owner had notified the station that we were late, and they rang the guest house for us. Such consideration is rare in the modern world. We felt very well cared for.

It is worth going out of your way to spend a couple of days here and you can explore the mountains of Japan in this area. If you want a relaxing place to write your memoirs, or a song, or to enjoy a great book, then this is the place. There were so many beautiful individual touches both inside and outside, whether a lamp, a picture, furniture or the many aspects of the restful and enticing garden.

We spoke no Japanese. This was no problem, as the owner and several staff spoke English to us. We want to return one day.

Room Tip: Ask the owner to recommend your room. Thye are quite individual. Ours looked over the river and we could hear the waterfall.
Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank eve0k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2012

not sure how to access by public transport because I went there by car
very nice open-air onsen on the mountain
with some private onsen rooms you can use with your family or partner or even alone
food were also excellent

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank toeinoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2018 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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