58 Tensho-ji-machi, Takayama, Gifu-ken, 506-0832, Japan
Antiques-filled nooks with chairs and coffee tables become cozy lounges in this old Tera-machi minshuku. In the mineral-water baths, a giant waterwheel turns hypnotically, complemented by recorded birdsong. Dinner hours are more flexible than those of the typical minshuku, and the food, of astonishing variety, is superb. Many of the rooms have private toilets, but there are no private baths. Yamakyu is east of the Enako-gawa, at the very top of San-machi dori, a 20-minute walk from Takayama Station. There's an 11 pm curfew, but the staff will give you a key if you plan to be out later. Only Visa and MasterCard accepted.
- warm atmosphere
- excellent food
- relaxing bath
- early-to-bed curfew means less freedom
- some private toilets but no private baths
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