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“Feels like a family-owned hotel.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Folkloro Kakunodate

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Folkloro Kakunodate
Ranked #9 of 41 Hotels / Ryokan in Semboku
Bonsall, California
Level Contributor
345 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 614 helpful votes
“Feels like a family-owned hotel.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014

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.

Room Tip: Be sure to book a "family" room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank davegidd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    13
    32
    13
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sleaford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014 via mobile

A difficult hotel to rate fairly; deserves three and a half stars, as it is rather
above average, but does not qualify as very good.

The location is excellent. Owned by JR, the hotel entrance is only about
20 metres from the station exit. Room sizes obviously vary, as our room
was very small and the beds very narrow. However, the bathroom was
larger than average and had a really powerful shower. The beds had two
pillows, one soft and one hard and were comfortable.

There is not much in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, so we used the
restaurant in the evening. The food was very good and reasonably priced.
Unfortunately, the standard was not maintained at breakfast time; the buffet was rather poor and the service was disappointing.

We visited the samurai houses using one of the station taxis. The driver
was very enthusiastic and gave an excellent guided tour.

A nice place to visit for a half day and the hotel is very convenient.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Barry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Del Mar, CA
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013 via mobile

I'm sitting in our spacious room overlooking the train tracks(very quiet, never heard one), hating to leave for another cramped hotel room. Our room has two oversized twin beds, a loveseat and futon sofa ( great for holding our suitcases), flat screen tv and free wifi. The hotel is spotless and well maintained, surprised to learn it is not new, but 16 years old. The breakfast today was traditional Japanese fare, but also served yogurt, fruit, juice, croissants and coffee, certainly enough western choices for us. The staff is friendly with limited English but gave us a great town map in English for sightseeing. The location at the train station is very convenient.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank DelMartravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2013

As per the other reviewers there is limited accommodation options in Kakunodate but well worth the effort to get here to see the samurai houses. This is by far the best hotel in town, despite being a 3-star. I agree with all the other reviewers descriptions of the establishment, very comfortable, right next to the JR station. Very friendly staff and excellent service, breakfast is very Japanese but what you expect from a small country town in Japan.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gaschmon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, England
Level Contributor
202 reviews
132 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 704 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2012

This modest three-star hotel is part of the station complex. Indeed, it is owned & operated by Japan Railway East. Its location makes it the perfect base for visitors to this Samurai town, and in truth there appear to be very few alternatives, apart from a huge concrete monstrosity close to the Samurai district whose design appears to have been based on The Starship Enterprise. Planning regulations are obviously lax in Japan.

Rooms come in two sizes; small and medium. Always go for a larger room as the small rooms are far too small for two people to occupy comfortably. The hotel appears to cater for an exclusively Japanese clientele as staff speak no English and all the signage is in Japanese. Staff do try their best to help.

The hotel’s restaurant (which closes relatively early) only produces Japanese food although they are able to produce a helpful English translation of the menu. The breakfast buffet is again only of Japanese food and the choice is limited and unattractive to the western palate. For light snacks and drinks during the day it is far easier to get something from the convenience store in the station next door.

Making a reservation and doing business with these people is very difficult as the English language section of the JR East hotels web site is very poor and it offers no means of contacting either the hotel or the central reservations office; neither by email nor by web form. There is also a car hire office at this location, also owned and operated by JR East railways. Unfortunately doing business with JRE’s car hire operation is even harder work than doing business with their hotels (their web site has no English language bat all) but it is worth the effort as there is much to see in the area; not least Lake Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan.

Room Tip: Bedrooms in Japanese hotels tend to be small and this hotel is no exception. Rooms here come in two...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SouthOxon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dice_k10, 支配人 at Folkloro Kakunodate, responded to this review, 12 October 2012
Thank you very much for giving stay in folkloro Kakunodate lately.
I am sorry to have made trouble for the visitor from the time of reservation, such as an English notation.
It improves so that I may be easy to use the visitor from now on.
He is staff all the persons concerned about next use.
I am waiting from the bottom of my heart.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Qld
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2012

If there is another Hotel at Kakunodate, we never came across it so it seems your choices here may be quite limited. For such an out of the way location the price for this "economy" accommodation seemed a little on the high side but this is Japan after all. We enjoyed our stay though and found the place to be quite comfortable. The room space was good too. The free breakfast was not western fare but was interesting and worth a try but do remember to take your own Corn Flakes or whatever.as stand-by. Importantly this hotel has been repainted and a garden has been installed at the front so it does not look at all like its web-site photo i.e. its not pink!! Still it is quite literally at the Railway Station approx a 1 minute walk from the Ticket Office so it is very convenient although do wind back your expectations of any view from your bedroom window. They do provide free internet but we could not send any E/Ms which was a nuisance, receiving them was Ok. We enjoyed the town - its well worth a visit.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pip-n-Pop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Folkloro Kakunodate

Property: Folkloro Kakunodate
Address: 14 Kakunodatemachinakasugazawa, Semboku 014-0368, Akita Prefecture
Region: Japan > Tohoku > Akita Prefecture > Semboku
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 41 Hotels / Ryokan in Semboku
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 26
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Folkloro Kakunodate Japan/Akita Prefecture - Semboku

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