You'd never know this small hotel is owned by JR. It has the feel of a friendly, locally owned hotel in a small town. We traveled all over Japan and the staff at the front desk here was the most respectful we encountered. All of them truly seemed to appreciate us as their guests and went out of their way to welcome us.
The hotel isn't fancy, but it has everything you need. The rooms were recently redecorated with new carpets and drapes. Some of the furniture is dated, but it was very clean. Be sure to book one of the "family" rooms to get a bit of extra room and two sofas. All of these rooms are non-smoking, but we didn't notice any smoke smell anywhere in the hotel. The bathroom was small, but looked new and had great water pressure in the shower. As with most Japanese hotels, it advertises air conditioning, but it wasn't turned on because it wasn't hot outside. There is an air purifier you can use to move the air around, but we opened the window to get more air. The train tracks are right outside, but Japanese trains are very quiet so it wasn't a problem. However, when one of them blew its horn at the station we almost jumped out of our skin!
There weren't any restaurants open at night in town, so we had no choice but to eat in the hotel's small restaurant. They serve what I would call Japanese comfort food, nothing fancy at all. It was tasty, filling and very inexpensive. There is a convenience store in the station that is right outside the front door. The included breakfast is very basic, but enough to get you started in the morning. The service in the restaurant was always friendly, but they did run out of things at breakfast and took their time replenishing it.
I'm glad I chose this hotel although there is only one other choice in this town. The price is very reasonable considering there aren't other options nearby. With that said, and I would stay here again if necessary, there is no reason to visit this town. I was very disappointed. Other than the Samurai district, that is worth a short stroll, there is nothing else here. The town is rundown and most of the restaurants are closed or out of business. There are no shops geared to tourists except a couple near the Samurai houses. I would recommend stopping on the way to or from Akita or Morioka. There really isn't any reason to stay over night here.
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- Also Known As:
- Folkloro Kakunodate Japan/Akita Prefecture - Semboku