Ryokan-Single | Japanese Guest Houses

Minshuku Shimada

Style: Minshuku

Price Per Person:
¥10,000 ~ ¥11,000

Guest Rating:
 

Address (English)

600 Narai Shiojiri
Shioziri -shi

Address (Japanese)

長野県塩尻市奈良井600

MAP & DIRECTIONS

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Welcome to Minshuku Shimada. This minshuku is located in a small traditional town on the Nakasendo trail. It is located close to the train station so you will be able to find it easily, and even if you can't the locals are more that willing to help. The minshuku has a very traditional look and the whole town looks like it is still in the Edo period. It has 10 rooms none of which includes a private bathroom. Your stay comes with a delicious dinner and breakfast featuring fish from the river vegetables from the mountains that surround the town.

Welcome to Minshuku Shimada. This minshuku is located in a small traditional town on the Nakasendo trail. It is located close to the train station so you will be able to find it easily, and even if you can't the locals are more that willing to help. The minshuku has a very traditional look and the whole town looks like it is still in the Edo period. It has 10 rooms none of which includes a private bathroom. Your stay comes with a delicious dinner and breakfast featuring fish from the river vegetables from the mountains that surround the town.

Facilities

(click to expand)

GUEST ROOMS

  • Japanese Style Room with Private Bath and Toilet
  • Japanese Style Room with Private Toilet Only
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Towels

HOT SPRINGS and BATHING FACILITIES

  • Shared Outdoor Hot Spring Bath (Same Gender Only)
  • Shared Indoor Hot Spring Bath (Same Gender Only)
  • Private Hot Spring Bath in Guest Room
  • Private Outdoor Hot Spring Bath (Attached to Guest Room)
  • "Family Bath" (Privately Reserved Hot Spring Bath)
  • Mixed Outdoor Hot Spring Bath

REGULAR BATHING FACILITIES

  • Shared Outdoor Bath (Same Gender Only)
  • Shared Indoor Bath (Same Gender Only)
  • Private Outdoor Bath (Attached to Guest Room)
  • "Family Bath" (Privately Reserved Bath)
  • Mixed Outdoor Bath (Both Genders)

MEALS

  • Dinner and Breakfast Plan Available
  • Breakfast Plan Only Available
  • No Meal Plan Available

SPECIAL MEAL REQUEST

  • Special Meal Request (e.g. No Pork)
  • Vegetarian Meals (with fish)
  • Vegetarian Meals (no fish but with fish broth)
  • Western-style Breakfast

DINING ARRANGEMENTS

  • Dinner Served in Guest Room
  • Breakfast Served in Guest Room

OTHER

  • English Ability of the Ryokan Staff/Owners:
    A Little English Spoken
  • Internet Connection:
    Wifi Available
  • Internet Connection:
    Wifi Available
  • Parking:
    Free Parking
  • Curfew Time:
  • Pickup Service:
  • Single Guests:
  • Children under 12 Years allowed:
  • Pay with a Credit Card:
  • Shops and Restaurants Near Ryokan:

GUEST REVIEWS

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Ryokan Reviews:

  • Old simple traditional ryokan. Excellent food.

    Dowrai

    Month of Visit: June

    Country Of Reviewer: Thailand

    Atmosphere Rating - 4

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 3

    The ryokan is quiet old with basic amenities. All rooms are on the second floor through a narrow staircase, hint, don’t bring big luggages. Our room was quite small comparing to other rooms next door, so it’s a bit cramp. Amenities in the room was very minimal. But the food they served for both dinner & breakfast were excellent - best part of this stay! My personal opinion, Narai is a very quiet town. The not-so-nice part is cars are allowed to run through the city at all time. If you have gone to Magome & Tsumago already, you can skip this town easily.
  • Warm and homely minshuku with absolutely delicious food

    Sanaya

    Month of Visit: May

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    It was such a delight to stay at Minshuku Shimada while we were in Narai. It is perfectly located in the centre of this historical town, and close to the train station. The hosts at Shimada were warm and kind and made us feel right at home from the minute we arrived after walking the trail that day. Our room was big and spacious and the beds were really comfortable. Yet the highlight of this stay had to be the food. Make sure you are hungry because it was a feast and every dish was delicious. Some of the best food we had on our trip. We'd highly recommend a stay at Shimada if you're doing the Nakasendo trail or passing through Narai.
  • Old Japan

    Charles

    Date of Review: May, 2019

    Month of Visit: May

    Country Of Reviewer: Canada

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    Our first stay in a Minshuku, in the wonderful old town of Narai. Shimada exceeded our expectations in every way. Totally authentic old building. Good traditional bedding. Shared washroom, private access to Japanese Bath. Excellent traditional evening meals and breakfast. Friendly staff. We stayed two nights and wished we had booked 3 to more fully explore the area.
  • Exquisite food!

    Eloise

    Date of Review: May, 2019

    Month of Visit: March

    Country Of Reviewer: New Zealand

    Atmosphere Rating - 3

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 4

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 4

    The main drawcard at this minshuku is the food! The property itself is quite basic and, due to the time of our stay, outside of room (halls and bathrooms) was pretty cold! Our host worked very hard to communicate with us. We were embarrassed at our lack of Japanese but, overall, this wasn't a problem. It snowed in Narai the day that we planned to walk between Magome and Tsumago and, instead of attempting to make enquiries around whether we should attempt the walk, we just made a decision not to. If you find yourself faced with the same dilemma, I urge you to ask for advice! Because Narai is significantly elevated it was blanketed in snow. However, we met a group of elderly people who'd walked Tsumago to Magome without seeing a snow flake!
  • Excellent Ryokan

    Ken

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer: Canada

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 4

    Room Rating - 5

    We recently stayed here while touring Japan. We were hiking and carrying backpacks but it was very easy to find. We were given a choice of rooms and selected one that had a 'mini couch' so that we could relax a bit more than by just sitting on the floor. The room was relatively large, which we found surprising. There is no private bath so we had to go downstairs for the restroom and showers but that was not an issue. The room, the restrooms and the showers were all spotlessly clean. We found that the slippers provided did not fit very well and so we carried them when going up and down stairs and put them on again at the top or the bottom, as we did not feel safe wearing them on the stairs. The sleeping mats were quite thick and had warm comforters so sleeping was very comfortable. There were 4 or 5 couples here at the time and so we shared a table for another couple for supper. The food was all excellent, although we needed some help from our host as we did not recognize a lot of it. There was both coffee and tea to drink and we were offered our choice of sake or beer as well. The breakfast was also excellent (but again, we needed some help with identifying what we were eating). Our host spoke quite good English but our hostess had only limited English but we did not find communicating to be a problem. This was the third ryokan we stayed in and, in our opinion, the food served here was the best of the three. The host and hostess were very friendly and helpful and willing to do anything they could to make our stay as pleasant as possible. They came to each room later in the evening and let us know that the bridge would be lighted up for a few hours and provided directions as to how to walk there, which we really appreciated. We really enjoyed this ryokan and would stay here again if we visited Japan and this area in the future.
  • A special experience

    Nikki

    Date of Review: April, 2019

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer: South Africa

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    A delightful little town and this Ryokan is well located to enjoy the sights of the Nakasendo Way. What a wonderful way to experience authentic living in Japan. Mr and Mrs Shimada are a charming couple. They made us feel very welcome and despite speaking little English they made every effort to communicate with us. Our room was spotless, the heater made it nice and toasty and the fluffy duvet was heavenly! To our absolute delight it snowed and we awoke to a winter wonderland. The meals were outstanding and contributed to our on-going love affair with Japanese food. The variety and quantity was amazing. Thank you so much Mr and Mrs Shimada! Nikki and Geoff Twomey
  • Wonderful Ryokan in an old-fashioned Post Town

    Anne

    Date of Review: April, 2019

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer: United Kingdom

    Atmosphere Rating - 4

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 4

    We loved staying in Minshuku Shimada. The ryokan is in a beautiful old post town on the nakasendo way, filled with small interesting shops and at the base of several interesting hiking routes. It’s a town that feels like you’re stepping back in time, far less touristy than nearby Magome and Tsumago. Minshuku Shimada also has this timeless feel. The tatami rooms are warm and well appointed and there is a Japanese bathroom. What really makes this place special is the incredible food: both breakfast and dinner were a varied feast, and we felt so lucky and so taken care of. I would wholeheartedly recommend this if you’d like a glimpse of Japan as it would have been a hundred years ago.
  • Lovely host & great atmosphere

    Month of Visit: March

    Country Of Reviewer: South Africa

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 4

    Room Rating - 4

    Loved the atmostphere of this old house, truly felt like stepping back in time. Freezing cold inside but a nice heater and warm blankets helped. The host was absolutely fantastic, such a sweet lady, we really enjoyed our brief stay with her. Great cooking as well, had the most amazing dinner and the cultural education we got along with it! Didn't love the town of Narai, not much to see or do in the off season, but the house in well located right on the main street of the old town.
  • Cozy old house

    Irina

    Month of Visit: January

    Country Of Reviewer: Russia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    Very beautiful village and the house. Warm rooms, friendly people's. We was has delicious dinner and breakfast, it was prepared "like a home". Our travel at Japan could not be so interesting without Narai and Minshuku Shimada. Thank you!
  • Our best experience in Japan

    Johannes

    Month of Visit: December

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    Our host was extremely kind, warm and friendly and went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable. She spoke little English but we had no problem communicating basic needs and have light conversation. The bedroom was very comfortable and warm. The food was absolutely unbeatable in presentation and taste and catering to dietary requirements (one of us does not eat fish/seafood and the host made delicious vegetarian dishes instead). The bathing experience can be improved with bigger towels and heating (we visited in the middle of winter and the bathroom was quite cold). This was definitely the best experience we had in Japan and we would love to visit Minshuku Shimada again.
  • Remarkable stay

    Lalita

    Month of Visit: December

    Country Of Reviewer: Thailand

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    Homemade breakfast and big big dinner made it memorable stay for us. The hosts were so friendly and kind. Small shops down the street were so lovely and picturesque. Great place to stay in Narai.
  • Unfortunately underwhelming

    Oliver

    Month of Visit: November

    Country Of Reviewer:

    Atmosphere Rating - 2

    Food Rating - 4

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 2

    We were a little disappointed with the stay here actually - even though there seem to be lots of good reviews maybe it was a one-off but worth posting here nonetheless. While the host was a delight and there was plenty of food, the accommodation was kind of plain and lacking in atmosphere. If it had any interesting historic, artistic, architectural merit of value (I'm sure it does..) this wasn't articulated and the room we were given didn't show any of it - rather full of cheap plastic appliances and fittings, felt like a dated 90's hotel. Unfortunately it was the most expensive place we stayed on a nearly month-long trip and was also the most basic..
  • Great memory

    Elodie

    Date of Review: November, 2018

    Month of Visit: November

    Country Of Reviewer: France

    Atmosphere Rating - 4

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 4

    This 1 night in Narai is a great memory. The host was very kind and give us great info (lightup in the village at night). It was great to wake in the morning and opening the window to the street full of old house. The interior of the minshuku is all of wood with high roof! And what to say about the food! it was so great. One of the 2 people didn't ate fish/sea food and they changed it to vegetable (that's great because not all the minshuku have backup solution). Room is simple but the futon are very soft (so love it).
  • Slightly expensive but great hospitality

    Morgan

    Date of Review: September, 2018

    Month of Visit: August

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 4

    The female owner is incredibly friendly and warm, and the food she and her husband cooked was delicious and very plentiful! Their kindness and hospitality made up for the slight lack of comfort in the room and the fact that the ryokan is overpriced. Overall we had a great stay!
  • Lovely place and minshuku

    Elisabetta

    Month of Visit: August

    Country Of Reviewer: Italy

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    We stayed in Narai only one night, but the experience was wonderful. The minshuku is beautiful, clean and the owners are nice and friendly. The food was delicious and everything else perfect. I totally fell in love with Narai and this house!
  • Talita

    Talita teresa

    Month of Visit: July

    Country Of Reviewer: Brazil

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    This was by far the best place we stayed in Japan. The accomodation was beautiful and cozy, the bathrooms were clean and the shower was great. But what made it really special was the sweet and welcoming owner. She was so nice to us, even though she didnt speak english very well she tried hard and helped us with information about hikes and things to do around Narai-juku. The food is absolutely delicious, I let them know before that Im a vegeterian and she cooked me incredible japanese veggie food. We arrived late for our check in and still she gave us dinner. So nice, if u go to Narai I highly recommmend this place.
  • Food food and more food

    Cindy

    Month of Visit: July

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 4

    Room Rating - 4

    Shimada was so welcoming. She explained everything with her limited English. We could only check-in at 3pm but she gladly let us store our luggage. When we arrived back, she had taken our luggage all the way to our cozy room. We travelled as a family of 5. The dinner was an absolute treat! Warning: arrive hungry! The food was tasty and plentiful. Just when we thought we were being served the last dish, another one is presented by Shimada. She was always smiling and willing to practice her English. The next day, (the breakfast was also plentiful and traditional), we went for a local bush walk and came back to sweet juicy watermelon and cold drinks before our train journey. The room was very clean and quiet. Would definitely recommend for a traditional experience.
  • Wud r8 8/8 was gr8 m8

    Rowan

    Month of Visit: July

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    The service, food and location were all phenomenonal. A must go for sure!
  • Incredibly welcoming host and a taste of old Japan

    Shashi

    Date of Review: April, 2018

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    The food was delicious, the room was very comfortable, the building itself was like stepping back in time, and the location was stunning (Narai is a gorgeous little town with great walks). However, our hostess was above and beyond the best part of our stay at this Minshuku. Although she couldn't speak english, she made us feel so welcome, and even went as far as serving us tea and mochi when we returned from a morning hike to pick up our bags. We loved our stay at this Minshuku, and absolutely recommend it to future travellers!
  • A charming highlight of our trip

    Aj

    Date of Review: April, 2018

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    From the moment we arrived, we were taken in by our host’s warmth, kindness and real pleasure at having us as guests. Her English is limited but that’s not a barrier. I’ve never experienced such genuine hospitality, anywhere. Narai is beautiful. The minshuku is a perfect slice of it, with traditional frontage and interesting architecture in the foyer giving way to a homely feel beyond. We enjoyed our room, had a soak in the bath and a lovely night’s sleep. But the best part was the food. Dinner in particular was among the best meals we had anywhere in Japan and that is really saying something. If you want an authentic Naraijuku experience, stay here.
  • A glimpse into the past

    Patricia

    Date of Review: April, 2018

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer: Singapore

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 4

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 4

    Staying at Minshuku Shimada made me imagine how it must have been like to stay in this type of residence in old Japan. The house is atmospheric and architecturally interesting. How did the residents manage those tiny stairs? The room was comfortable and roomy enough for two. But not coming from a temperate country, the areas outside the room was very cold. Since obviously it is not practical for heating, but that added to the authentic experience. Dinner was good - ingredients acceptable but nicely home-cooked comfort and pleasure in taste. Madam Shimada is super friendly despite the barrier in language, and she bothered to try via a dictionary! Location of Minshuku is excellent, right in the heart of the old street. A real treat for me was the sudden Yuki that fell in the evening and night. Would recommend to anyone looking for an authentic experience.
  • Family stay

    Nicholas

    Date of Review: April, 2018

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    Booked a single room with 3 futons but ended up with a large room and a small sitting room at the front of the Minshuku, on the street. So that was very spacious and we could look out our window at the almost intact old buildings. We enjoyed our delicious evening meals and breakfasts very much. Our hosts were very helpful with everything, especially when leaving and hadn't allowed enough time to get to the railway station so Shimada San drove us at the last minute. Perfect base for walking the Nakasendo trail from Yabuhara, get the train back. The small private ofuro had the advantage I could take a bath with my wife, which isn't possible in larger sento.
  • Magical

    Bryan

    Date of Review: January, 2018

    Month of Visit: December

    Country Of Reviewer: Scotland and Singapore

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    We stayed one night in Narai as we made our way (mostly by car) along the Nakasendo Trail after staying near Fuji-san. It was cold and atmospheric when we arrived and left, but the charm of the village (not quite so touristy as Tsumago and some other villages along the trail), especially the warmth of the welcome and hospitality, was so touching and much appreciated. We felt very much at home (and within a real home) in such an authentic environment. It may have been very cold outside (and a wee bit inside as traditional Japanese houses have no central heating) but with all the portable heaters and bedding we were as warm as toast and slept so well! A nice bottle of sake helped. And the food! Homemade and absolutely delicious. Our main course dinner was made in front of us and surrounded by numerous small delicious dishes. And breakfast set us up for our short journey along to Tsumago for another night’s stay. It was also plentiful, varied and delicious. Although our host(ess) spoke little English we communicated well and she showed much interest in our home countries and where I live (Switzerland). She was charming. The ryokan itself transports you back to another time and place we would not have missed staying here for the world. A most definite highlight of our journey through Honshu over Christmas and New Year 2017/8.
  • Wonderful

    Marc

    Month of Visit: November

    Country Of Reviewer:

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    We had a really comfortable stay here. The room was spacious and clean, the food was delicious, and the hospitality was excellent. Would definitely recommend this minshuku for a night's stay in Narai.
  • Also low luxury, high authenticity

    Keith

    Month of Visit: October

    Country Of Reviewer:

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 3

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 3

    The dinner and breakfast was great. Home style cooking that you can’t get in restaurants or even some other ryokan. The room was basic, and you need to share toilets. But I always love the bathtubs that they have in Japanese Minshuku and Ryokan. No English spoken, and it was a bit difficult checking in - there is no reception and we had to wait a long time for someone to come. But I still thought it was overall a good experience.
  • Wonderful Stay

    Anthony

    Month of Visit: September

    Country Of Reviewer: UK

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    From the welcome to the departure this could not have been better. Our host made us at home and looked after us thought, taking care with all the guests to ensure we had what we needed. Wonderful meals and the opportunity to talk with the other guests from Japan and Europe.
  • Kristine Murray & Dianne Larsen-Smith

    Kristine

    Month of Visit: September

    Country Of Reviewer: Australia

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 5

    Thank you for recommending Minshuku Shimada, we had a most enjoyable stay. It was very comfortable, clean & welcoming. The food was prepared with "love" & was amazing. I would stay again next time I visit Japan to experience the hospitality again. Kristine Murray
  • Low Luxury, High Authenticity

    Helen

    Month of Visit: April

    Country Of Reviewer:

    Atmosphere Rating - 5

    Food Rating - 5

    Staff Rating - 5

    Location Rating - 5

    Room Rating - 3

    Located in Narai, a fascinating old town with great access to several good walks in the Kiso Valley, this family-run ryokan is quite basic, but the food is incredible and the owner's hospitality is excellent. The sign is in Japanese though and finding it when arriving after dark was very challenging (all part of the fun though!).