If you have never stayed in a Ryokan before, I reckon you DO NOT STAY at Takefue first......please stay at some other Ryokan and when you are finally here...it's like the Taj Mahal of all Ryokans!!!! It's the ultimate experience we ever had and got so addicted to it.
Monkey booked this ryokan from the web and she kinda forgotten where she read about it or got the information from. Because this place is so special and exclusive, not many reviews were available as compared to other ryokan.
Once I saw the website, I booked this place without thinking twice nor checking other details, like its location. -_-" Usually location is very important to us.....and true snuff this exclusive ryokan is tucked so far away.....at a place no tourists would step foot on except for local japanese tourists. Coz there's nothing in ENGLISH here.
When we hopped into the taxi, the driver don't even know where this place is. JS was then pointing to the driver the name Takefue on the road signs in japanese....Takefue means the whistle/sounds made from the bamboo flute
It was a rather scenic 1 hour ride from Mount Aso train station. The journey took us on top of the caldera, passed the mountain range, passed some horse ranch!!!!! more beautiful mountains and villages....up 1000m above sea level...passed some natural streams and finally turned off to this really tiny road with nothing on it....and a few metros up with lotsa bamboo trees, we found the place. The Taxi driver can't be happier...he was almost clapping for reaching the clientele's destination.
In japanese culture, these ropes tied at the door/arches are meant to be clouds and lightning. You will usually find them in the shrines and temples as well. Look at all the bamboos, it's everywhere!!!
The taxi driver was so happy we were here and couldn't get us outta his taxi soon snuff. While we were eppy that we have arrived and couldn't hopped out fast snuff. It was snowing mildly but there's already a staff in Takefue uniform waiting for us outside. It seems that they perpetually know your needs and step out quietly like a NINJA!!! HAIYEAAKKK!!!
Once the ninja staff opened my taxi door, he already knew my booking name...errr wat? Either u don't have any other reservation or the name was tattoo-ed invisibly on my forehead.....or u can read my mind???? But then u were fully booked I couldn't even change my stay plan nor dates. Our itinerary between those few cities were adjusted to be here. But I tell you, it's definitely WORTH moving our vacation dates around Kyushu just for Takefue.
From the road level, we could see the main house or concierge area. It's so small and gives u the feeling that you are gonna stay at this cottage. How surreal!!! I am liking this place already!!!
Then we were told in Japanese to mind our steps down the main house...OMG!!! where's the steps??? It's so scary and I didn't want slip down like a whale and bum my ass to make a great entrance!!!! This is definitely not the way a VIP arrives!!!! Horror!!!
The main house is a tiny cottage, that serves as the main entrance to this 32 acres of property. Is tat big or not? for 11 houses? Meaning it can only accommodate 11 x 2 guests?
Once seated, hot tea was served and we were asked to choose our desired yukata with matching obi/sash. I let JS chose for me....and he took out a red orange floral prints with red obi *the one on the far right*...and a grey with blue obi for himself.
Once our details were taken, preferences were noted, dietary requirements...required time for dinner/breakfast and other minor details were asked and filled in....we were introduced to our room attendant Hiro who brought us down from the Main House to our room....
The concept here is all 11 houses were connected via long corridors down the slope of 30 degrees.....so it was a nice walk down hill from the main house. Fireplace were everywhere around the walkway with nice tea lights candled...lotsa bamboos everywhere, we even saw an outdoor foot bath....refreshments were everywhere....but the most important point to note...even Hiro stressed on it was...ICE CREAMS!!!! there's an ice cream stand near the Main House, it's homemade from the cows milk of this area...
Open garden with tables and chairs...nice modern lights were everywhere...even lanterns were hanging up. This garden serves as a BBQ area for guests during summer...definitely not now!!! there's a few fireplace around this garden too.
Icicles!!!! yeah it's that cold!!!! BRRRRrrrrrRRRR~~~~~
Both JS and Monkey were so eppy walking around the narrow corridor....having no idea where Hiro is leading us to. Our House is one of the last few ones at the end, oh well which is good bcoz it means more privacy and nobody will walk until that end.
and finally we arrived inside our Ryokan....We were so glad it's so warm in here :))))) Once we have entered, it's the irori area where the fireplace is. Mini pantry is iso here. This will also be the setting of our dining place for the next 3 days.
Our pantry was fully stocked with local milk, local juices and local yogurt!!!
Hiro: "It's all yours and it's free....as you wished."
I was like WAHHHHHH my favorite grape juices!!!!!!
he was like tat...but after he have tasted the tomato juice, trust me....he went WAHHHH as well.
There's a soda machine in our room!!!! Nespresso machine with all the different variety of pods. I already felt so so so so spoilt!!!!!
Then there's different type of water....all the water here are natural spring water. AAAAAAAaaaaAAA
Then we were seated here for some hot tea and sweets served by Hiro. He also briefed us on the facility and other information related to this property.
The pantry looked so neat and so well stocked up
oh wat is this???? There's nespresso...and some glass thingy....looks like a double boiler
with beans...OMG how long do I need to grind to get some paste outta these roasted beans? ERrr I think I'll just stick to my nespresso. But this is too much la...super pampered!!!!
Then we were brought to our room which is connected to the irori. It will also be where we gonna sleep....yes on the tatami mats.
Our bathroom is fully stocked with amenities by Hermes. We were asked to keep all the water running slowly/trickling bcoz it's winter and they didn't want it to freeze up.
Our shower comes with an in-door hot spring bath with windows and views!!! WAHHH. More views of the bamboo jungle :)))) As usual the japanese bath is over cypress wood and it's low with stools for u to sit on as u shower.
The lavatory is separated with a nice modern toilet that does everything except makes coffee....the above is the pic of our sink...or hand washing sink...with natural spring water running perpetually. And u scoop it with a bamboo ladder. How nice :))))
There's a walkway with an outdoor seating that connects to a changing room. This is the room where u change before hopping into your onsen.
The onsen was HUGE!!!!! it's a 5 metres cypress wood with natural hot water pumping in at 43*C. A huge bowl of japanese fragrant yuzu...below the table is more hot spring pumping out for u to soak your feet!!! aaAAAAaaaa this is so so so sooo...I'm speechless!!!!
after our kaiseki dinner.....our room was transformed with 2 futons neatly laid there. Aroma therapy oil was busy working its way....2 hot water bottles were inside the thick fluffy blanket...but we decided it's not time to go to bed yet.
a special message for us....which we can't read hahahahaha
Since we think it's too early for bed time, we went out in the cold in the snow back to the Main House for Ice creams!!!! It was really freaking cold, minus degrees...then back to our house...stripped and hopped back into the onsen.....to enjoy the really creamy yummy homemade ice creams. Think I had 2 :P and we slept soundly that nite.
The next morning it was still snowing.....but there's no snow around the onsen bcoz it's emitting hot water and vapor!!!
Then JS decided to jump in like a whale and made a huge splash. Do u know u are not supposed to do that? Allow me to teach u some etiquette at any onsen.
We were so addicted to the smell of yuzu...and had so many inside our onsen. JS said it's such a sin bcoz we can't even get it in Msia unless u are a japanese establishment/restaurants...and it cost a bomb in Isetan Singapore...Here we are dropping as many as we want into the hot bath.
Next to our onsen, there's some cold drinks served as well. Replenish urself with liquid after such hot bath. Before long, Hiro announced himself and he was preparing breakfast for us...time to hop out again!!!
This is too cute!!!! Apart from a huge ass onsen by your room, there's also 3 separate private onsen which you can booked to use. It's all outdoor and so so beautiful. We didn't use any of it bcoz can't get enuff of ours alone :))))
OUCHH!!!! it's frozen!!!!!
stupid Monkey hurt herself
I was trying to touch the fish that's underneath the sheet of ice.
The following nite, I have a different set of yukata.
:))))) oh there's wifi in our unit as well...to the dismay of JS
Such a nice view out the window...just that u can't see anything at nite...but during day's time it's all bamboos!!!!
When it's snowing, u can use this beautiful umbrella....but I am not dressing up like this to go out in the snow!!!!
More like this in my gummy boots and I forgot to bring my gloves and winter hat.
Takefue is really a private sanctuary for u to relax and enjoy some authentic japanese cuisine. And be spoilt with everything. You'll see rabbit designed ornaments, towels, everything here at Takefue because this ryokan was established in the year of rabbit :)))
every beginning has an end. After 3 days 2 notes, it's time to say goodbye. Our room attendant Hiro had been so good in taking care of us, making sure we were well-fed, kept warmth and every single needs were attended to. From advises, recommendations, bookings etc. U name it and he'll deliver!!!
I didn't say it, but JS was the one who said WE MUST RETURN!!!! and stay at the most expensive unit here in Takefue -_-"
Oh well there's only 11 units here...so if u want to book, do make it in advance. We stayed at Omachian and the largest unit is Sayo which was booked hence we didn't stay in that unit. I can't imagine how much more bigger and luxurious it is bcoz Omachian is like a Taj Mahal already...hahahaha.
After much goodbyes and farewells notes, our driver inch forward downhill back to civilization. As we turned back, the usual japanese polite bows of farewell was there.
that 90 degrees bow which we'll never learn. Japanese hospitality. Even when we were out of the way, they were still bowing in that perfect arch.
Thank you Hiro and your team for making our stay so splendid and it was such a memorable and wonderful experience. Now we are so addicted to it and planning our next stay with you.
For more info, log onto their website at: