Iccha is a mere 5-minute walk from the bus station/tourist information center. This has proven to be quite helpful during winter as it can be a challenge walking with luggage in deep snow. I was so thankful we decided to stay here since most of the other minshukus were a bit of an uphill climb past the main street.
We arrived at the inn 3 hours earlier than the check in time. The lady owner graciously informed us of the check in time, asked us to leave our luggage and sent us on our way. As it was raining, we asked to borrow rain boots that were available by the front entrance. These have proven quite useful in both rain and snow.
The owners, though unable to speak English, are both quite friendly and accommodating. They have tried their best to make us feel welcome and even adjusted to my brother and daughter's dietary preferences . The minshuku is really a traditional, family-run inn--clean, well-kept with just the comforts of home.
Our room had a veranda that looked out into the main street and a souvenir shop run by friendly, English speaking owners. It provided a good place to sit and stare at the mesmerizing winter scenery. Although the room had a portable, gas-powered heater, we opted not to use this as it smelled strongly of gasoline. The heated carpet and the thick futons were enough to keep us warm even during the cold, -6 degrees C evening. We will only turn the heater on after stepping in from outside. Otherwise, we were able to manage.
The dinner and breakfast were served in the common dining hall heated by a wooden stove also used to heat water (and I suppose was also used to grill fish, etc in the early days). Both breakfast and dinner were meticulously prepared and were delicious. The rice served was one of the best we have had during our Japan trip. The vegetable tempura was fresh and light. The mountain vegetables and the orange slices were worth craving for.
One thing that may be a draw-back is the single, common bathroom shared by everyone which can only be used between 4PM-9PM. This area also doubles as a laundry room during the day. There is no option to take a quick shower in the morning before departure. Also, if there are several guests during your stay, this may be a bit of a wait.
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