Outside of central Japan one doesn't expect the height of luxury, but the Hakkoda Hotel offers a charm and homeliness not unlike the look of American national park lodges which it's drawn from. It's the largest western-style wooden building in Japan, with vaulted ceiling and open wood beams giving the western-style areas character, but one get the best of both worlds as there are also traditional Japanese-style rooms as well as hot spring baths. It is located an hour outside of the city, up Hakkoda mountain near the base of the ropeway that leads up to mysterious and primordial Tashirotai marshlands. Traditional meals are served in the rather grand dining room, making it a warm and welcoming place to come back to after a day exploring the impressive natural scenery on the mountain.
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To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.Bill Bryson