Takayama Ryokan Stay- Hodakaso Yamano Iori
Hodakaso Yamano Iori
1-58 Hatsudamachi, Takayama, Gifu Prefecture 506-0008, Japan
〒506-0008 岐阜県高山市初田町1-58 穂高荘 山の庵
The thing that really attracted me in Takayama is not so much the old thatched houses, but the ryokan that was in Paul’s Travel pic. Sadly that ryokan was shut, and no more awesome Japanese degustation can be consumed.
I checked out a few different ryokan to see if that experience can be replicated without costing too much, but there are not many choices for less than AUD$100 for accommodation plus half board. I found this place called Hodakaso Yamano Irori, which according to trip advisor, for under $100 per person per night you geta multicourse breakfast and dinner with lots of yummy food.
Hadakaso Yamano Irori is about a 8 min walk from the train station and it’s very close to the river, which at this time of the year had amazing views of sakura. We went for a walk before dinner to soak in the town’s atmosphere.
Trip advisor was right. We had A LOT to eat for dinner. Whilst Takayama is near Hida hence they are famous for their Hida beef, They cater for pescatarian and vegetarian also.
First up was the little cold dish of seaweed and preserved fish. The fish is a bit too fishy for my liking and the seaweed is quite slimy for the unadventurous, but I quite like it (then again I love ANY kind of seaweed)
They also give you a little glass of sweet plum wine. If you don’t like plum wine they have sake which cost about $AUD9 for a bottle. Hubby and co didn’t like the overt sweetness of the plum wine so I got to drink 3 by myself! Yum yum!
We were presented with some very fresh sashimi of trout, squid and tuna and freshly grated wasabi. Shiso leaf is also featured and got me quite excited.
Now to the Pièce de résistance: Hida beef. In the middle there was a gas heater on each table with a metal plate. It turned out that the metal plate was a grill pan, as well as a hot pot! We got two cuts of Hida beef, one thinly sliced for the hot pot in the middle, and one cubed for the grill pan. The accompanying veggies were also strictly separated into grilled veggies (corn and shitake mushroom) and hot pot veggies (wombok, enoki mushrooms).
I liked the grilled beef better, because it was cooked with this awesome piece of beef fat! By cooking it in the beef fat you will not only get a fragrant piece of beef but also slightly crisp on the outside and oh so melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside.
Sadly my MIL who is the pescatarian wasn’t as impressed with the seafood meal. The seafood was not as fresh at all and she palmed most of it to the boys. Now I am not saying that they got food poisoning but the boys did get a bit of diarrhea after dinner.
Anyway, just as we were saying that we were getting full, more food came! We were given udon with mashed daikon, chawanmushi and miso soup. They were not too bad but I wouldn’t say that it was the best udon, chawanmushi and miso soup I have ever tasted although with the Miso soup I was impressed by the little slippery mushrooms in the soup.
We also got dessert which was not pictured but it was some sort of strawberry custard thing that tasted like powder and artificial strawberries. I took one bite and decided to leave it and so did everyone else.
After the huge dinner that we have I decided to go for an early morning walk in the markets before breakfast. The markets wasn’t actually that great, but I was mesmerised by the sakura that was blossoming on the riverside.
To start you get a salad with some crunchy seaweed type transparent vegetable (I THINK it’s honten?) in this ponzu sauce, which was super refreshing.
There was also this perfectly cooked egg with a small dot of wasabi just to make the flavours interesting.
There is some cold tofu with celery which is nothing to rave home about, but hey, anything with veggies are healthy!
In the middle of the table, once again the gas stove was set up, and there is miso soup with those slippery mushrooms boiling away.
There is also a little heater thing of the side, and on top of the lotus leaf were some onions and capsicum with miso paste. The idea was that you keep mixing the onions and miso together to cook the ingredients. Be careful you don’t burn the lotus leaf like hubby did! >.<
Overall I find the food in this ryokan more rustic and less tasty than the other ryokans I have been previously visited. The ryokan was a bit old, but the service of the place, like many other Japanese ryokans, were very very good. The ryokan also have a public bath with spring water from Takayama, which apparently is good for people with all sorts of ailments like back pain, shoulder pain, skin issues…and indeed my itchy skin seemed to be soothed by the hot water in that ryokan. 7/10
For a round up of where I went and what I ate in Japan, please click here
Here are some pictures of Hida No Sato also, which is known for its open air museum of traditional Japanese houses.