I must admit that on seeing the pictures of the exterior of the hotel I was a little apprehensive but I was more than pleasantly surprised. The hotel was excellent in every way, the staff went out of their way to help in anyway they could, even though most had little command of English, though enough to be understood, ask for Yoshi (a very pleasant woman) who has a pretty good command of the language and an ever present smile. The breakfast menu was large and varied with all kinds of Japanese food, Sushi, Udon noodles, etc, but they also had Atlantic grabs legs and food to suit western tastes, Eggs, Bacon, Croissants, Toast and Jam etc. I would also recommend booking half board; the dinner was excellent, a seven course Japanese meal with your choice of Sake, Beer, Coffee or Tea. Just opposite the hotel, across the road, there is a seating area in a beautiful garden where we sat after dinner; quite alone, and drank Sake. Check out the Kanamaruza (Kabuki theater) just up the hill and the Sake museum just down the road, but if you want to go to the Konpira-san shrine it's a very long 1,368 steps to the top and there's a lot to see so make a day of it. I can thoroughly recommend a 2 or 3 nights stay in Kotohira, It's a little off the beaten track for westerners and you will see very few, though it is popular with the locals. Oh just one thing to note; they have a hot spring in the hotel and it is not mixed bathing but if you're shy be aware that it is compulsory to be naked. If you want to see Kabuki it is only on for three weeks in April but you can book through the hotel; book early it's very popular and though you have to sit on a cushion in a small space it is well worth it.
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