My husband (non-Japanese) and I (Japanese) were shouted at by the owner on the phone ("get out of your room!") on the morning of the second day of our stay, possibly due to his wanting to clean our room at a certain time (which he never mentioned beforehand or afterwards). He agreed that we could stay two nights so we technically didn't have to check out or leave the room that morning. So I went to talk to him in person trying to find out why he was so upset. Now this time, he told me that he was cancelling our room for the (second) night so we must move out right away and go somewhere else. But we had an agreement so I wasn't going to move out. Instead, I patiently explained why we were resting in the room (tired, unwell, etc.) then he finally backed off. Also very unpleasant was his way of approaching us; he often yelled "Oi!" to get our attention, even when he came to apologize to me later on (probably sent by his wife). All these bad manners of his were very unprofessional, as far as I’m concerned.
What’s also interesting is the contrast between Japanese and non-Japanese tourists in feedback about this place; quite a few positive comments from Japanese (in Rakuten Travel) and not so positive comments from non-Japanese guests (in Tripadvisor). Does this mean the owner has a racial issue, I wonder.
Having said all this, Hiraizumi itself is very pretty and fun to cycle around.
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