Aburaya is one of the popular ryokans in Suwa that has been in operation for a long time and until recently has had consistently good reviews in Japanese. I picked it mainly for its rooftop outdoor bath with views over the lake – the bath didn’t disappoint, but there wasn’t anything outstanding about it either. The mineral water is nice, the lake can be seen only if you sit on the edge of the tub; if you’re fully immersed in water the view will be blocked by the glass screen. But Suwako lake is beautiful and I’m happy I got to enjoy it in this way too.
The ryokan has a nice atmosphere, I really liked the lobby, opening into a lovely garden, and really liked my tatami room with mountain/city views. Food was okay, the indoor bath average. I also appreciated that they parked my car for me when I arrived (their own parking lot is tiny and I think they have an overflow lot somewhere else; I suspect I wouldn’t have been able to park there myself anyways).
Overall a very pleasant experience for me, although recent reviews indicate there might be some problems with current management.