This cosy little property is a 'minshuku', Japan's version of a B&B - not to be confused with the more luxurious 'ryokan' heritage inns. Run by one of the friendliest and most helpful husband and wife teams you'll come across in Japan, it has fifteen authentic Japanese style tatami-mat rooms originally restored in the Meiji era, as well as four outdoor communal hot spring baths (separate for men and women). One is even available for private use.
A hearty evening meal can be served on a 'kotatsu' - a uniquely Japanese table with a blanket and heating element underneath to keep your legs warm after the cold walk back from the snow monkey park. It may not be the Hoshinoya or Gora Kadan, but what it lacks in luxury it makes up for in rustic charm, sense of history and hospitality.