Thursday, 14 March 2013

Jigokudani Monkey Park to Matsumoto - Richmond Hotel

The last time we drove the hour and half from Yudanaka to Matsumoto it was an overcast day but by the time we got to Matsumoto the snow had begun to dump.  We could barely find the rental car agency to drop off the car so much snow had fallen. This time it was fine all the way. Beautiful clear skies. We were going to see Matsumoto not covered in a blanket of snow. That was kind of disappointing though. Everything looks prettier covered in a blanket of snow. See Matsumoto Castle on our last trip in 2010 for example.

We stayed at the Richmond Hotel in Matsumoto again. Centrally located not far from shops, restaurants, transport and attractions like Matsumoto castle. We've stayed here twice now because it is a very good reasonably priced hotel - for both couples and families.

View from our room on the 4th floor
The staff were very helpful. Checking in required using an ATM like machine but the receptionist helped us through the, easy, process. They also advised on local restaurants. The car park attendant was very friendly and helpful. Very typical of older guys in service jobs. They love kids. He gave Georgia a little hand made plastic bead cat key ring which has gone right in to her bag of treasures.

Georgia running down the hall
Like most Japanese business hotels the rooms was tiny. We had just enough room to squeeze in a travel cot for Georgia in a deluxe double room. We probably couldn't fit a cot into a double room. The rooms were spotlessly clean and the beds were very comfortable. The rooms have the usual hotel mod cons; WiFi (and Ethernet), TV, Air con and mini-bar. Video on demand is available too if you need to see that Japanese tentacle porn. Coin laundries are on a couple of floors. The laundry rooms also have a couple of vending machines. I just had to buy a small jar of sake from the vending machine for 200 yen.

Plenty of room. Travel cot and desk behind me
The bathroom was tight but fine.

A good western style breakfast was available at the restaurant / cafe downstairs at a discounted rate for hotel guests.

Parking is available at the hotel for about 1200 yen per day.

Laundry and beer/sake vending machines
The Richmond Hotel is a very good option for a couple of days. We'd stay there again if we visit Matsumoto. It is very cheap. Most of the business hotels are cheap. We paid about 10000 Yen per night.That's around AU$100 depending on the exchange rate. We've rarely stayed in hotels or motels in Australia of this standard for as little as this. Japan can be surprisingly cheap. I think most people expect that Ryokan rates are standard. We don't often pay as much as 50000 Yen *cough* per night like Kokuya the night before. To be fair Kokuya is a luxury ryokan with private onsen on the balcony and Michelin standard dinner and breakfast included. Why, if you say it like that it sounds like a dead set bargain. Ahem. Anyway, the Richmond Hotel is cheap.

2013-03-15 18.32.52
Watching a movie

Richmond Hotel Matsumoto

Hotel from street at night sans snow. Last time we were here there were snow drifts everywhere

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