Affordable getaways around Hiroshima
Did any of you get caught in the rain yesterday? I didn't. But it was a close call. It's not supposed to rain today, but it will continue to be hot and humid. It will likely be sunny and warm tomorrow and Wednesday. Who am I kidding? It's going to be hot and muggy from now till the end of September. We get a few muggy days back home as well, but the great thing is that when we get heavy rains like we did yesterday, it cools down. In Hiroshima? Not at all...looks like I could be spending my free time at Edion today...ha ha! (Edion is an electronics store and the air conditioners on display have the A/C cranked-it's the cheapest way to keep cool.)
How does the idea of staying in a log cabin in the forest, or a hotel surrounded by natural beauty sound? Japan has a fewchains of “State Run Accomodation”, and they are an excellent, and affordable option, especially great for families.
There are a number of them available in and around Hiroshima and I can definitely give them a big thumbs up. They are generally located in rural areas, or National Parks and in addition to the accommodation there are usually extra facilities such as hot springs and table tennis.
While having your own transport means you can explore the area around more freely, a lot of them are accessible by public transport.
One of the main groups of such accommodation is the KyukaMura group, which has facilities all over the country. Our favorite is the Taishakukyou one in North East Hiroshima Prefecture, about 2 hours by car from the city
Accommodation is in western style Twin rooms or family sized Japanese rooms with futons. Obviously it’s not a super high class hotel but it’s very nice, clean, modern and comfortable. Another option is the log cabins situated 10 minutes walk from the main building.
These sleep either 5 or 10 and are excellently equipped with all bedding, TV, Air conditioner, kitchen with sink, fridge and microwave and a spacious deck with barbecue area. We stayed in the smaller option and had a Japanese tatami room, dining room with open kitchen, as well as a toilet and bath. It was all very “wooden”, clean and comfortable and would be a great option, particularly in summer, for friends wanting a weekend of barbecuing and hiking.
When you stay at the cabins you can choose to cook for yourself or you have the option of eating in the hotel. The food in the hotel really is outstanding, it’s a buffet style which is great for families and means reading a menu and ordering is not necessary! Freshly cooked dishes are brought out all through the evening, meaning a plentiful and hot supply of tasty dishes, a selection including Western and Japanese.
In addition to a hot spring bath, there are other activities to keep you occupied, a pitch and putt golf course, table tennis, and grass-sleds for kids to enjoy the grassy slope outside the hotel. Craft activities can also be reserved.
The KyukaMura is a few minutes drive from the stunning Taishaku gorge which offers great hiking opportunities, scenic boat trips and rental kayaks. If you don’t have transport the staff offer a collection service from the local train station and will also drop guests at the gorge.
Another member of the same group is located on Okunojima, better known as Rabbit Island, about an hour’s drive from the City followed by a twenty minute boat ride.
Although slightly more worn than Taishakukyou KyukaMura, this one also offers a comfortable and relaxing location for a weekend away. Again the food is excellent, there is a hot spring, table tennis and rental bicycles available (these have seen better days, but as you can cycle round the whole island in about twenty minutes you don’t really need high quality cycles). ……..and of course LOTS of incredibly cute rabbits!!
Using a travel website makes it easy to check days and prices, but when I went I paid about ¥9,000 per adult for accommodation with breakfast and dinner, and considering the quality and quantity of food this is a great price, kids prices differ depending on age. The cabin for 5 at Taishaku was a fixed price of ¥12000 for the cabin and you can reserve to have meals at the hotel and pay extra.
Prices vary depending on day of the week and season so check out the website. Staff are friendly and helpful and its a great chance to get out of the city, put on your hiking boots and breathe some fresh air!
Unfortunately, you'll have to wait till October to find some fresh air...ha ha!
Have a great day!