Language can always be a big problem in Japan especially if you don’t speak Japanese and travelling alone in a small town in winter. However, the decision of my recent staying at Unkai, Tokamachi was absolutely the right choice.
As a foreigner who cannot speak Japanese, making booking by telephone can be a big problem. Having no choice, I tried to make the booking online in English in the hotel’s Japanese-only website. To my surprise, the response was so quick that I seemed to have given an instant confirmation.
Upon the day of arrival, the hotel sent Ms Akiyama to greet me at the rail station. Ms Akiyama came to live in Japan for many years from the Philippines and was now working in the hotel’s restaurant. I was happy to be greeted and met by a person who can speak English. Throughout my short stay, I was well received by this attentive lady; I had very warm, home-like feeling in my stay even though it was the snowy, winter time.
Perching high in the mountain, the hotel’s panoramic view was magnificent. It was winter time during my stay; the experience of seeing the beautiful snow-clad mountain scene while enjoying the spa was just perfect and unforgettable. What else can you expect from a trip with perfect view, nice people and comfortable feeling? I would highly recommend this hotel to people who would like to enjoy the nature and the Japanese hospitality. I myself already planned to visit the hotel again this summer to see the famous rice terraces (棚田) nearby.