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Nishi-itoya Sanso: Right by the river
We stayed at this fairly large guesthouse just a few metres from the Kappa-bashi Bridge. Our room was a good size, probably the largest we had during our trip to Japan, and traditional in style. I believe from the inn's website that a few Western-style rooms are also available, and there is dorm-style accommodation in an annexe. Our room had a wash basin but other facilities were communal - toilets in the corridor nearby, and a public onsen (separate men's and women's) on the second floor.
Sleeping too is traditional style, on futons, which the staff lay out for you while you're at dinner. By the time we arrived here we had become accustomed to these, and indeed I never had a bad night's sleep on a futon, though if you like your bed to be soft (I don't) you may struggle more. But a welcome Western touch is the provision of a small table and chairs in the window alcove, from where you have a good view of the surrounding trees and a footpath traversed not only by human visitors to the park but also occasion by the resident monkeys!
Stays here are on a half board basis, with breakfast and dinner included. Breakfast is Japanese style, with salmon, pickles, miso soup, rice and a few other items besides. If you're craving coffee, as I was, you'll be pleased to know that free coffee (and various teas) are available to hotel guests from 7.00-9.00 and 15.00-21.00. You’ll also find everything you need to make tea in your room (but not coffee, as is normal in Japan) and some rather interesting and tasty sweets were popped onto the tray each day as a treat!
Dinner is quite something else, and deserves a separate tip!
The hotel has free wifi which only seemed to work in the lobby and other public areas, and a single PC, use of which is free but limited to 20 minute sessions. There is a gift shop / coffee shop where you get the free hot drinks and can also buy cakes (I can recommend the cheesecake!) as well as a range of souvenirs and a few practical items for walkers and campers. They also sell beer, wine and sake which you can enjoy in your room or in the coffee shop, though it closes at 21.00 so don't plan on making a night of it!
Once we’d settled in we went for a walk in the immediate area, but having been warned not to be out after mid afternoon because of the approaching typhoon, we later returned to our room to enjoy the views of the rather damp trees and equally damp passing macaques.
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