This blog is about travelling through Japan on a foldable bicycle (Brompton) but also by train, ferry, plane, bus or any other transport, if sea, weather, mountains or the like come between me and my desire to ride.
I have tried to summarise information that could be potentially helpful also for other bicycle travellers through Japan, such as list of bicycle roads, helpful web pages etc. Once I start my ride, I will upload the actual routes taken, together with some pictures and description.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Best accommodations

Bicycle touring Japan - Best accommodation

In this post I list those accommodations where I stayed and that I think I can recommend to other travellers. I have stayed at many others, but those didn't impress me specifically. The list is ordered by region, roughly from North to South.


Japan - generally: 
  • Toyoko Inn 東横イン
    • This is a big chain of business hotels. The rooms are simple but reliable and practically furbished (e.g. there is a washing line in the bathroom). You can get a membership card (I think for 1500 Yen) and then with each overnight stay points are accumulated and after 10 you get one free night. The hotels are normally conveniently located next to major railway stations. 
    • Highlights:
      • Discount system
      • Practical rooms
    • Location:
      • All over Japan, close to big railway stations in general
      • Big cities only
  • Family Lodge ファミリーロッジ
    • I only stayed at one in Kurobe. It seems to be a budget hotel chain mainly catering to car drivers looking for a place to sleep outside of cities but close to major streets. It is sleeping only, with only a minimal service for breakfast. But a conbini most likely wont be too far away to get something else. 
    • Highlights:
      • Good cost-benefit ratio
      • Big rooms, clean and very new
    • See here for a description of the experience

Hokkaido
  • Ashita no jo あしたの城
    • This is a good quality Minshuku, with friendly hosts and a modern building. 
    • Highlights:
      • Gyunyunabe ("milk soup") for dinner and eating it with other solo travellers
      • View in to the garden from the ofuro (bath tub)
      • The big garden with view on Rishiri island
      • Nice common living room. 
    • Location: 
    • Find a more detailed description of the ride to it here.
  • Kirkiri 吉里吉里
    • This feels like a riders house, at least it is very much geared towards riders of all kind, and the hosts have great interest in all their guests with a nice guest book. 
    • Highlights:
      • Very good dinner and breakfast
      • Very friendly host
      • The rooms are relatively small and dark, but you get the restaurant room to use, so essentially the room is for sleeping only. 
    • Location:
      • Hokkaido, Haboro
    • Find a more detailed description of the ride to it here and a picture in front of it here

Aomori
  • Shukubo on Osorezan - Kichijoukaku 吉祥閣
    • This is a big a modern Shukubo (temple stay) right on top of a vulcano and obviously right beside the temple. Osorezan being apparently one of the 3 most sacred places in Japan. The room was really superb. Probably so far on this travel the best room I had. Food was below my expectations (which were high). And as due for a temple stay, you get to participate in the morning prayer at 6:30
    • Highlights:
      • Location! On a vulcano, right besides a temple, on one of the 3 most sacred places of Japan
      • Onsen (see here for a rating of the onsen)
    • Location: 
      • Aomori, Osorezan
    • A more detailed description of the experience here and here
  • Business-in Club - ビジネスイン倶楽部
    • This is a basic business hotel, quite small and I think family run in the small city of Noheji. It might not look very inviting from outside, but actually inside it is all totally new. The room is basic, but you get your own toilet and shower, which is not standard everywhere in Japan, specially with Japanese rooms. 
    • Highlights:
      • Very newly reformed
      • Incredible number of electrical plugs
      • Nice, basic rooms
    • Location:
      • Aomori, Noheji
    • A more detailed description here

Toyama
  • Kuronagi onsen 黒薙温泉
    • This is a small simple ryokan with a superb onsen with two rotenburos (one mixed bathing, one female-only) in the middle of nature, but still reasonable reachable without any hiking skills. 
    • Highlights:
      • onsen pools surrounded by nature with direct views into the river gorge (see here for a rating of the onsen)
      • If you are lucky you can watch the monkeys while bathing (you bathing, monkeys at their daily chores)
    • Location:
      • Toyama, Kuronagi onsen (on the Kurobe railway line)
    • Find a more detailed description of the experience here and here

Gifu
  • Hirayu no mori 平湯の森
    • This is a onsen hotel buildt to resemble a mountain village, with simple tatami rooms
    • Highlights:
      • onsen hotel with no less than 9 different rotenburos (female section, 7 in the men's section)
      • while it is a relatively bit onsen hotel, it is not ugly as many others are
      • conveniently located right besides the bus stop of Hirayu onsen
    • Location:
      • Gifu, Hirayu onsen
    • See here for a more detailed ranking of the onsen
    • See here & here for a description of the experience

Aichi
  • Kyukamura Irago 休暇村 伊良湖
    • This hotel is one in the chain of Kyukamura ("vacation village"). It is located right inside a national park and this is definitely one of its attractions.
    • Highlights:
      • nice landscape directly surrounding the hotel
      • reasonably good dining and breakfast buffet
      • several activities are offered by the hotel
    • Location:
      • Aichi, Cape Irago
    • See here & here for a description of the experience

Nara
  • Haruya Hostel はる家
    • A hostel, although in other places it would probably be called ryokan, in the old part of Naramachi in a restored old town house. 
    • Highlights:
      • good location
      • Nice old town house
      • Friendly hostel staff
    • Location:
      • Naramachi
    • See here here for a description of the experience. 
  • Guesthouse Egao グエストハウス笑顔
    • An other hostel, in a old town house, not as beautiful as the Haruya hostel above, but also cheaper, very close to Imaicho.
    • Highlights
      • Very friendly hosts
      • Free breakfast
      • Very recently renovated guesthouse with traditional tatami rooms
      • Good price
    • Location:
      • Yamagoyagi
    • See here for a description of the experience. 

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