Mr Kaneko replied my email promptly and politely. When we arrived at Hotel Housei, he and his staff greeted me warmly. In fact, almost every staff member was very polite and warm, even though most cannot speak English. 4 stars!
We booked two rooms that come with private onsens, though the hotel has its own shared onsens too. The onsen experience in the cold winter was great!
The rooms are huge even with 4 large futons. And the interior deco is similar to those of the traditional Japanese ryokans. Yukatas are provided daily though the sizes are the same for all unless you tell them the sizes you want.
The half board offered decent buffet breakfast and excellent dinner with fresh sashimi and more.
The hotel offered to shuttle us to the Snow Monkey Park and Ryuoo Ski Mountain and back.
All the above... 5 stars!
We didn’t like this hotel at all although there are few positive things to mention: the onsen was nice, the personnel was friendly, the rooms were clean and they bring you to the station or snow monkeys by bus for free.
But for tourists this hotel isn’t ideal. The staff doesn’t speak or understands English at all. We booked our room in advance at booking.com. When we checked out the price was 1/4 higher than expected. Because of the time pressure
(train to catch) and because of the language problem we couldn’t argue about it and had to pay :(.
We didn’t sleep well. The futons were very very uncomfortable.
We didn’t like our breakfast either although we are very openminded. It was a typacally Japanese (hotpot with entrails , pickled vegetables, strange looking stuff,...). There was no alternative.