The buffet dinner excellent, and the breakfast was good as well, both on par with Shinjuku high-rise hotels. The baths got a little crowded, and beware of the closing times if you would like to soak in the middle of the day. Little things like an all you can drink tea dispenser by the elevators, the staff who you feel genuinely wants to help and is not doing it out of habit or obligation, and the traditional house turned into a restaurant made this a great place to stay.
This is probably best if you have interests in the immediate area or are willing to use cabs as transport. There is a bus, however its drop-off point is up a steep hill that I would not want to be on in the dark, in the rain, or with luggage. There is no sidewalk and you hope the people driving the roads are locals. This was common for Atami. . .just take a deep breath and go, just watch out for the cars that tend to take the sharp turns at a good clip. Travel during the day.
This is not a place for fancy shoes. The streets are very steep and you need to have balance and agility to get around safely. If you are overencumbered this will make it that much more difficult. Travel very light, be very aware of your surroundings (don't drink and walk) and know where you're going. The maps vary in quality; not all bus stops are shown on all maps, so if you are going to navigate by or use the bus system, be aware of this. The English maps are nearly useless name-wise as the bus stop names are in kanji, and if you knew kanji that well you probably wouldn't be using the English map in the first place. Get *both* the English and Japanese maps even if you know no Japanese at all. . .you will by the end of the trip.
Some staff speak English, but do not depend on this. Come prepared with a map and a highlighter and you will be just fine. They certainly tried very hard with my odd, Nishiyama-cho specific questions and it made me wish my Japanese was better so they wouldn't have to work so much. That is how sweet the people were. There are not many non-Japanese who come here I think, so don't be surprised if you get a startled look or two from the other guests. There is no lunch service available, and the hotel is not close to restaurants or convenience stores, however a nice ice cream bar will tide you over, or beer from the vending machine if that is more your style. I wish the bath was open during the day, but I am probably the only one who was even there during those hours.
A nice, quiet, remote place to stay for a few days while exploring Atami, just outside of the tourist-trap areas.
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