If you’re someone who feels like “I can’t be satisfied with a simple Japanese inn or a normal hotel!”, then we have gathered some unusual accommodations from all over Japan. If you stay at these places, you will definitely want to brag about it to your friends! Here are 5 of these accommodations.
1. Toretore Village
Toretore Village located in Wakayama’s Shirahama, which is known for one of Japan’s leading resorts Shirahama Onsen, is made up of independently managed cottage-type accommodations. What’s unique about it is the guest houses which are shaped like domes. The landscape of the winding, cobblestone path that is surrounded by the cute, spherical buildings on either side seems entirely like a fairy-tale land. There are 3 types of guest houses available for either 2, 4 or 6 people with Western-style rooms that have beds, or Japanese-style rooms that have futons spread out on the floor. Why not try the experiencing the Japanese-style room where the bedroom changes into a living room after you remove the futon? Nearby, there are buffet-style all-you-can-eat seafood restaurants and sushi restaurants where you can enjoy breakfast and dinner. For people in a group, we recommend buying ingredients at the nearby large seafood market and making use of the barbecue corner inside the marketplace! Also, the fact that you can use the spacious open air bath as well as the several kinds of indoor baths and also enjoy Shirahama Onsen to your heart’s content, gives yet more reasons to pick Toretore Village.
2. Henn na Hotel
Henn na Hotel was opened in Sasebo in the summer of 2015 by the Huis Ten Bosch theme park which replicates old townscapes in the Netherlands. The concept is the world’s first robot hotel using leading technology, so it's recommended for people who like novelties or if you’re taking children along. A robotic arm takes your luggage in the cloakroom, the front desk has a humanoid robot or a dinosaur robot, and multilingual robots will assist you with checking in and out. If you have luggage when checking in, then a robot porter will carry them all the way to your room (only available in building A). When you enter your room, a talking robot Chuli-chan will be there to greet you and you can enjoy the feeling of excitement like you’ve time traveled into the future. There are not only robots but also human staff available to help if you have troubles so rest easy. During your stay, you can dine at the nearby healthy restaurant AURA and satisfy yourself with cuisine made from carefully selected ingredients. In addition, if you register via the facial recognition system, you can exit and leave your room with ease without having to use a key. Why not try out this amazing hotel lifestyle for yourself?
3. Mongolia Village Tenger
The Mongolia Village Tenger, which is located in Nasu, is a lodging facility where you can stay in a genuine Mongolian Ger. There are also 2 big Gers which are aimed at large groups of people and up to 10 people can stay there. These are different from regular tents at campsites and come equipped with air conditioners, televisions, and more, so that even in the midst of Mother Nature you can pass the time in comfort. However, the toilets are communal and for bathing the front building has indoor baths and open air baths available for use. For dinner, you can enjoy a barbeque with locally produced wagyu from Nasu cows and from December to March, you also have the choice of nabe (hot pot). Either one is delicious and very popular. There are many attractions which you can experience that include a concert using the Morin Khuur (a traditional Mongolian instrument), wearing a Deel (a traditional Mongolian garment) and taking a commemorative photo, or even experiencing constructing a Ger. Why not experience a rare chance to come into contact with Mongolian culture in Japan?
4. Ryoden Gosho Yashiro no Mori
Ryoden Gosho Yashiro no Mori located in Tokushima was built with the concept of the Heian period. There are only 10 guestrooms on the 10,000 square meter grounds. All the rooms come in a luxurious size of over 50 jo (approximately 91 square meters) and the lights, furnishings, bamboo partitions are all designs from the Heian period. This is recommended for people who want to experience the luxurious and gorgeous world of the aristocrats from the Heian period while getting the chance to relax in an onsen. Apart from the baths in the guest rooms, you can fully enjoy an onsen experience with their 2 kinds of large indoor and open air public baths. If the weather is good, you can gaze at the stars from the open air bath. The kaiseki cuisine that is served in your private room and is made from Tokushima’s local seasonal ingredients is also quite popular. In addition, one of the features of this accommodation is that you can appreciate different pastimes from the Heian period, such as the Heian shozoku kitsuke taiken (Heian costume wearing experience) (5,000 ~ 10,000 JPY, reservation required), where you can don the gorgeous juunihitoe (twelve layered kimono) worn by the nobles of the Heian period and fully transform yourself into a Heian era aristocrat. There is also the okaori asobi, where you can enjoy the fragrance of wood, as well as tosenkyo, a game where you toss a folding fan, and the shrine maiden dance Kagura Mai, among others. You will definitely want to experience these yourself.
5. Sanbu Bokujo Treehouse
In Tokachi Shikaoi-cho in the Chuo area of Hokkaido is the Sanbu Bokujo, a treehouse lodging perched atop an 80 year old Japanese elm tree. The treehouse was constructed with the thick tree trunk passing through the center of the octagonal house and acting as a support pillar. The inside of the house is spacious and comfortable but another one of its quirks is that there is no bed so you’ll have to sleep with a sleeping bag. It wasn’t originally a lodging for guests but rather it was dream of the farm managers whose friends all came together and made it a reality. There is a slide for coming down from the tree house as well as a hammock and swing under the tree so it’s perfect for kids at heart and for those who want to bring back the naivety and playfulness of childhood. You can enjoy barbecue for dinner in a separate building and for bathing feel free to relax at either the indoor bath or the single person open air bath called Goemonburo where the hot water comes from a kettle heated on an open fire. You also have the options to experience things like cow milking or butter making with the full-course farm experience (2,500 JPY) or making pizza on a stone oven (2,000 JPY). How about challenging yourself to experience the Japanese farmer lifestyle?
From accommodations that revive traditional Japan to residences from other countries, what did you think of these 5 eccentric accommodations? Whichever you choose, you’ll have a truly unique experience. So be sure to try them out!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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