This small resort hotel has a relaxed family atmosphere and helpful staff, who have enough English to meet us halfway with our very limited Japanese. It is geared for the Japanese, not Western tourist, but has several Western-style rooms, which are cheaper than the Japanese-style ones.
We chose it to experience a Japanese onsen & resort, and the town's easy access to Mt. Fuji, which we climbed. The price included Japanese breakfast & dinner, and the meals were true cultural eye-openers! We are familiar with many aspects of Japanese culture, but were still stymied on a few occasions on how to attack certain dishes. The staff would step in & instruct us, but never in a condescending way.
The room had an odd layout, with the toilet in its own tiny closet, the bath/shower in another, waterproof room, and the sink in the entryway. The side table was a combo radio/alarm clock/lamp, and looked like it was from the mid-'60s, but worked fine. There was a tea set, and free tea & cookies every day. There was also a flatscreen TV, a safe, and an older fridge that was obviously once a vending machine! Though we booked a nonsmoking room, we still had an ashtray & matches. The room did not smell of smoke. We also booked a double bed, but ended up with two twin-sized beds. We didn't bring this us with the staff, partially due to the language barrier, partially because we weren't bothered much by these oversights. The air conditioner's remote control was a hilarious exercise in culture shock. About 2 dozen buttons, all in Japanese kanji, we could make heads nor tails of it, but felt too embarrassed to ask the staff to help. Eventually, we got it to -1 degree Celsius, and raised the temp from there!
The onsen on site is not very hot in the morning. The sexes are divided in separate rooms & baths. Bathing is done nude. You are expected to wash & rinse thoroughly at the washing stations surrounding the bath. Your room has a cotton yukata & slippers to wear to the bath, along with a drawstring plastic bag for your belongings. Many families went to dinner in their yukata & slippers, illustrating the casual atmosphere of the resort.
Free internet access is via wi-fi, but was unreachable from the room, if you want to get online, it's best to sit in the lobby.
Overall, it was clean, well maintained despite some of the dated fixtures, and had a very welcoming, helpful staff that did not make us feel like ignorant foreigners (which we were) but allowed us to experience a genuine, undiluted Japanese cultural experience!
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- Also Known As:
- Kawaguchiko Park Hotel Japan/Fujikawaguchiko-Machi