I had to drag Michelle away from the monkeys kicking and screaming because we had to drive to Matsumoto our last stop on Honshu, the main island, until we get back to Tokyo after Hokkaido. It snowed all the way to Matsumoto. It just got heavier and heavier. By the time we got to Matsumoto. The roads were covered in snow. On the last day we had the Mazda was the day we were really glad we had snow tires. Not for the country roads like we thought but in the city.
We checked into the Richmond Hotel which was the first hotel we'd booked on-line that only had internet booking in Japanese available so we weren't entirely sure our reservation would be honoured or found for that matter. As it happens, no drama. Booked like he it had been done in English. These business hotels run like clockwork. An efficient clerk, usually a young lady, fills out the paperwork and we ushered to an ATM type of machine where I stick in my credit card and and a paper card room key spits out.
The room is it bit bigger than the average Japanese business hotel room and it also has a large LCD TV that all these newer hotels have. If I was a Japanese businessman wanting to watch the porn channel I'd be thrilled. VOD (video on demand) cards can be purchased from a vending machine in the hall to watch porn... I mean movies.
Meanwhile, outside, the snow is still bucketing (does snow bucket?) down. We have maybe an hour to go see Matsumoto castle. The receptionist at the hotel tells us we are lucky to see it covered in snow.