Review: Breakfast @ Senshinkan Matsuya (Nagano, Japan)

2222 Hirao, Shimotakai-gun
Yamanouchi-machi 381-0401
Nagano Prefecture
+81 269 33 3181

The Nagano Prefecture is a beautiful part of Japan, especially during the cooler months. Don’t just stay in Nagano city – it’s worth exploring the countryside even just for a day. If you can’t get yourself out there during winter, where snow-capped mountains make for a pretty Instagram photo or two, then walks through the region’s forests and orchards in all their vibrant autumn foliage glory is the next best thing.

Unfortunately, rural Japan can be a bit of a black hole when it comes to finding places to eat. During my stay in Shibu Onsen, I spotted only one izakaya and a couple of gift stores selling Japanese snacks and confectionery (think red pepper and apple Kit Kats) – unfortunately, these were the only places where I could effectively grab a feed if hunger struck.


Or I could grab a soft boiled egg that’s slowly been cooked using the hot spring water. I spotted a few of these on the streets of Shibu Onsen – they were found just outside the ryokans. You chuck in a 50 yen coin (equivalent to 50 Aussie cents) in the bowl and grab yourself an egg – yup, the honesty system was at play here.

Most ryokans (Japanese guest houses), however, provide some sort of meal option for guests. At Senshinkan Matsuya, the ryokan that I stayed at, breakfast is included in the room cost and if you wanted dinner, an extra charged applied.

Senshinkan Matsuya breakfast spread
Senshinkan Matsuya breakfast spread

Don’t get me wrong, I love soft boiled eggs but this was a much better option. Unlike last night’s dinner, Senshinkan Matsuya’s breakfast spread had an almost even east-west distribution. There was yoghurt with plum compote (as in most Asian countries, I did find the ‘plain’ yoghurt too sweet). There was a piece of red grapefruit. There was a lettuce salad as well as spinach, seaweed and miso soup with daikon. And then there was a piece of pan-fried salmon fillet and a ham omelette with steamed white rice on the side. To top things off, there was black coffee with a tub of creamer should you feel like white coffee.

It was a lovely breakfast; it was delicious and filling but without being too heavy. At the end of it, it was time for me to check out. My kind hosts then gave me a lift to Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park where I would spend the rest of the morning. Tmomi and Keiko, thank you so much for your kind hospitality during my stay at Senshinkan Matsuya.


I probably took about a hundred shots like these guys. Unfortunately, they’re still sitting in my SLR and I’m too lazy to upload them.


Naw. *melts*

I eat too much.


  1. Ashley
    February 8, 2015

    Ah monkeys! So cute! I lived on boiled eggs when I was in Tokyo…but mine were from the convenience store, love the idea of hot spring boiled eggs…so luxe!

  2. Choc Chip Uru
    February 13, 2015

    Haha that atmosphere must have been fantastic to eat in! And those monkeys are adorable 😀

    Choc Chip Uru


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