I cannot say how happy I am that I followed the recommendation to come to this place by an old school friend, a Tokyo native. My first instinct had been to spend the pre-work days in Japan by doing the 'obvious' sightseeing in Tokyo, Kyoto etc but then I realised that I was not up to exhausting temple-gazing in the humid heat of July in these parts. Imaihama Tokyu resort can be quite easily reached from Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan for that matter, the train network being so excellent. In my case, I had had a couple of jetlag recovery days in the fairly nondescript seaside town of Atami before taking a local train here. The local train stops very, very close to the resort at the Imaihama-Kaigan station, so close that I was able to walk the 300 or so meters with my two small suitcases. If you take the train to the larger station, there will be shuttle bus from the hotel to collect you at specified times (check the hotel website for details and beware that this service only operates morning and afternoon and does not extend until very late in the evening). The hotel is really a resort, I am guessing it dates from the 1990s and some of the interior decor is perhaps slightly dated but much of it has been modernised and overall it is very pleasant, well laid out and absolutely immaculately clean (as are most places in Japan, to be fair). My room was very comfortable and large, with a good bathroom and the Japanese-style singing-dancing toilet...plus nice Japanese style tea-making facilities, TV, good-quality wi-fi, lots and lots of slippers for indoor and outdoor use, and lovely kimonos to use as dressing gowns. I was perhaps slightly unlucky to arrive just before the aftermath of a typhoon passed the area, but the hotel staff were so organised about everything that I did not worry in the slightest. I was very lucky in that the typhoon passed the area at night and I did not really notice anything, and woke up to clear blue skies in the morning. The beach in front of the hotel is lovely, but quite small, so you wil not be able to go for an extended walk, but it was enough for me to paddle and relax in the sun. The waves seemed great, perfect for anyone interested in body-surfing, and I saw some people doing this. There is also a lovely pool, but it was quite busy with kids (the place is very child-friendly, it seems, and the presence of kids did not bother me at all - Japanese children seen very well-behaved and considerate). On a hot day, the hotel puts out hammocks and lots of sunchairs/sunbeds so it's perfect for sun-bathing. I was so happy here that I did not venture anywhere else, and ate in the hotel's restaurants, one Western-style and one Japanese, both very nice but the quantity of the food being greater in the Japanese place. The breakfast is the best value here although I felt it ended a bit early (10 am). The food is very good, but perhaps a tad on the pricey side for dinner, and in the Western restaurant I had a hard time explaining to the waiter that I wanted white wine with the fish courses and red with the meat courses...I think the Japanese like to stick to one type of drink over their meals (??). I gather there are lots of restaurants in a nearby town you can reach by taking a short train ride, but I felt no need whatsoever to venture away from this paradise during my short (2.5 days) stay. The hotel staff have very limited English too, but if you are as unfailingly polite and persevere like they do, you will make yourself understood. The hotel also has onsen-style baths (separate for men and women) which are free to use for guests - in fact the opening hours are rather wonderful as they mean that you can loll in the outside hot water pool in the middle of the night (they only close the pools from 11 am until 2 pm for cleaning). There is a really impressively authentic Finnish sauna, too, but I did not go in as it seemed really hot. As in all these onsen places, the nudity among members of your own sex is taken for granted and in fact expected because you are supposed to clean yourself thoroughly before getting into the pools. The aromatherapy department is fantastic - I had an excellent if rather strong reflexology foot massage that really got the toxins out of the system, and relaxing aromatherapy facial. For a very nice resort I thought the price of two nights plus two treatments, two dinners with some drinks, plus some snacks and one full breakfast, at 550 euro in total is not bad. All in all, I am heartbroken that I have to leave today, and can only hope to return one day!
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- Also Known As:
- Imaihama Tokyu Hotel
- Izu-Imaihama Tokyu Hotel Kawazu-Cho, Japan - Shizuoka Prefecture