We stayed for a couple of nights at this onsen and would highly recommend. It was easy to get to from the local train station. We arrived from Sendai and took a day trip towards Yamagata and on both occasions a shuttle bus was waiting to take us to the hotel without advanced booking. The staff at reception spoke some English and with our limited Japanese we were checked in quite quickly. I'd say it was useful to understand a little Japanese, but by no means necessary to check in and enjoy the hotel. Key information is available in English and throughout the resort staff were wonderfully helpful. Our room was Japanese style and clean and comfortable. Robes and slippers were provided along with an overcoat which you can wear around the hotel, to the baths, communal areas and meals etc. The baths themselves were gorgeous, there were large public baths for men and women and 3 natural baths that alternated between men and woman's use morning and afternoon so everyone could enjoy them all during their stay. The natural baths are particularly recommended, with beautiful scenery to enjoy from them. Whilst the booking we made was described as half board, it was a bit more than that as snacks and soft drinks were provided throughout the day and beer and whisky later in the day. The food was delicious. Not entirely sure what everything was, but all delicious! More than enough easily recognisable food from a western perspective if you wanted to play safe and eat what you know though!