Nakadanasou – Japanese-style Inn in Komoro –

January 31st, 2011 by
Category: Accomodations, Cuisine, Information, Onsens (Hot Springs)
“Hatsukoi Ringo Buro” (Hatsukoi Apple Bath).  Apples are floated on hot spring water.
Outlook of “Heiseikan” accommodation building. 

“Nakadanasou” is a Japanese-style hot spring inn in Komoro city founded in 1898.  This 113-year-old traditional inn is especially renowned for its association with Shimazaki Toson (1872-1943), a prominent Japanese author and poet.   Toson loved to stay here and enjoyed its hot springs which contain healing power.  Nakadanasou even appears in Toson’s famous poem called “Chikumagawa Ryojou No Uta”.  

The main buildings of Nakadanasou are “Taishokan” (accommodation where Toson stayed and wrote the above poem), “Heiseikan” (new accommodation), and “Harikoshitei” (Japanese restaurant).  While the whole site is filled with a classic and tranquil atmosphere, its modern and convenient amenities ensure your comfortable stay at the same time.

I had lunch at the restaurant Harikoshitei.   The building of Harikoshitei, designated as important cultural property, is a large old house in the Edo period.  When I visited there, many dolls were beautifully displayed for the coming Girl’s Festival on March 3rd.   It is a Japanese custom to exhibit special dolls called “hina dolls” to celebrate the festival.  The restaurant serves Japanese country-style food using fresh local ingredients.  I had a set lunch called “Hatsukoi Gozen”.  Many small plates, such as tempura, fish and simmered vegetables, were served in a beautiful basket.  Furthermore, sashimi (raw fish), chawanmushi (steamed egg custard in a cup), soba noodles and a Japanese-style dessert were served.  I truly enjoyed the tasty and beautiful meal while looking at the pretty dolls. 

I also experienced its famous “Hatsukoi Ringo Buro”, which literally means “first love apple bath”.  The word “hatsukoi” was named after Toson’s poem in which apples appear.  From October to May, apples are floated on the hot spring water.  The sweet smell of apples really relaxed both my mind and body.  The hot spring bath is available throughout the year (from June to September with no apples), to both overnight guests and day visitors.  Please contact the inn to confirm the opening hours for day visitors.   

Finally, let me add that the inn is conveniently located for sightseeing.  Komoro station and Kaikoen Park are just 15 minutes’ walk.  Karuizawa, a popular mountain resort good for shopping, skiing and other leisure activities, is 20 minutes’ train ride.  “Asama 2000”, a ski resort at the altitude of 2,000 meters with natural powder snow, is 30 minutes’ drive by car. 

Why not experience traditional culture and cuisine in Nanadansou? 

A large guest room that has Japanese rooms and a Western room with a great garden view. 
The restaurant “Harikoshitei”, designated as important cultural property, was decorated with pretty hina dolls for the Girl’s Festival. 

In front of Nakadanasou. Landlady in traditional kimono will give you a warm welcome.



Set lunch "Hatsukoi Gozen" at "Harikoshitei" restaurant. Soba and dessert are also served.

Taishokan Nakaniwa

"Taishokan" accommodation building can be seen behind trees and flowers in the inner garden.


Name of the facility Nakadanasou
Description of business accommodation (capacity of 70 guests), restaurant, public hot spring bath  
Tel 0267-22-1511 (Japan country code: 81)
Fax 0267-22-9191 (Japan country code: 81)
Address Kojou Nakadana, Komoro, Nagano, 384-8558, Japan
Reservations and inquiries Please contact by email or use the inquiry form on website.
  • If you get off Nagano Shinkansen at “Sakudaira” station, change to JR Koumi Line and get off at “Komoro” station (last stop).
  • If you get off Nagano Shinkansen at “Karuizawa” station, change to Shinano Tetsudo (Shinano Railway) and get off at “Komoro” station.
  • Nakadanasou can be reached from Komoro station either by taxi (5 minutes) or on foot (15 minutes).
  • You can find a map on website.
Operating dates and hours
  • Nakadanasou (accommodation part) is open every day of the year. 
  • Harikoshitei (restaurant) is open daily from 11:30 to 14:00 except Wednesday. Reservation needed for dinner from 17:00 to 21:00.
Room rates and other prices
  • Minimum room rate is JPY11,000 per person per night including dinner and breakfast.  Room rates are changeable depending on the season, so please contact the inn.
  • A variety of souvenirs are available at the shop, including “nigorizake” (unrefined sake) at JPY1,680, “Harikoshi manju” (original Japanese-style buns with red bean paste filling) at JPY450, “umeshu” (plum liquor) at JPY1,100, and original wine at JPY2,800.

Overflowing with Cultural Treasures: Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen

December 2nd, 2009 by
Category: Accomodations, Onsens (Hot Springs), Sightseeing

The other day, I went to Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen for a seminar. I got a chance to see a couple of ryokans that I had really wanted to see: Yudanaka’s Yoruzuya and Shibu’s Kanaguya.
Kanaguya’s 4-story wood building is spectacular. Some say it’s like from out of an anime movie — I say the anime movies copied Kanaguya. Part of it is even a registered National Cultural Treasure.
Up until now I had only seen Kanaguya from the outside. This time, I got to take a tour of the inside, too.  Kanaguya is in a league, a universe all to itself. There’s no way words can convey how impressive Kanaguya’s interior details are. I’ve attempted to express a little of it by these pictures, but you’ll just have to go and see for yourself to fully appreciate it.

Kanaguya's Spacious Banquet Room

Kanaguya's Spacious Banquet Room

Woodwork detail

Woodwork detail

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Lunch with a Geisha

July 19th, 2009 by
Category: Accomodations, Cuisine, Culture Art, Onsens (Hot Springs)
Geisha performing at Kamesei Ryokan

Geisha performing at Kamesei Ryokan

Ever wanted to have lunch while being entertained by geisha?  Well, now you can, along with everything explained to you in English at Kamesei Ryokan in Kamiyamada Onsen.

Here’s the deal:  My friend Tyler, Kamesei’s American proprietor, will get you a complete Kaiseki (Japanese Haute Cuisine) multi-course meal, feturing local, seasonal ingredients.  The geisha entertainments starts with traditional dance to songs such as “Chikuma Ko-Uta”, a collection of romantic verses about the river flowing past Kamiyamada Onsen.  The geisha then make their way around the room, offering amusing conversation to all the guests.  This is often followed by the geisha engaging the guests in parlor games accompanies by shamisen.

Before and/or after lunch, guests can enjoy a relaxing “onsen” bath in Kamesei’s indoor bath or in their outdoor “rotenburo” bath.  The waters of Kamiyamada Onsen are 100% natural with a distinct sulfur smell.

So how much is it?  The price is not bad at all: ¥6,200 for adults and ¥3,100 for children.  Guests should arrive after 11:00 am.  Lunch starts at 12:00 and finishes at 2:30 pm with the geisha entertaining for an hour in between.

For more information or reservations, contact Kamesei Ryokan at (026) 275-1032 or (080) 2008-4815 (for English).  Or you can email them at