The hostel is located at a highly convenient 3 minutes' walk from the train station. Amazingly I was able to secure a spacious Japanese-style tatami room on the second floor only a handful of weeks from the actual date. It was clean, aesthetically pleasing complete with an alcove and a wall scroll for the authentic Japanese feel, and had more than enough room for me and my travel buddy. The extra blankets they thoughtfully provided for the futon was more than enough to stave off the cold of the negative temperatures. It was peacefully quiet at night and we enjoyed a perfect slumber. The main takeaway from this stay was the hostel staff, who were incredibly friendly and always going the extra mile to make our brief stay that much more meaningful. Sato-san knows a lot about Singapore and kept us entertained with his witty banter. It was just a few days before the new year when I checked in, and that night Mrs. Sato along with a friendly neighbour organized a kadomatsu-making workshop (it's a traditional new year ornament the Japanese place at their doors to usher in prosperity) for us travelers. The first floor reception room had a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere complete with a kotatsu, perfect for a chilly winter's night. The hostel may be quite a distance from the rest of Nikko's main attractions, but it gave us the opportunity to take a slow walk down the main street on the way to Toshogu and appreciate the sights along the way. Sumica will definitely be my choice lodging destination the next time I travel to Nikko.
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