By Tom Hanaway
With all guest rooms boasting a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean, the 'Resort in Shirahama' is a good choice for travelers on a budget. The hotel has 52 rooms of three different types: Japanese, Western-style with twin beds, and twelve special rooms - with a separate entrance - that can accommodate guests with dogs. It is important to note that all rooms have toilets but only the Western-style rooms with twin beds contain showers. Instead, guests can enjoy an indoor onsen bath between 3pm and midnight, or 6am to 10am.
The hotel is located at the very tip of Chiba's Boso Peninsula beside a lovely park containing the Nojimazaki lighthouse. Guests can watch large container ships traveling in and out of Tokyo Bay past the rugged rocky coastline. In the space between the hotel and the sea is a dog run, a swimming pool that is open from the beginning of July until mid-September, and a large, grassy lawn where guests can play mini golf.
The hotel is older and is a bit outdated. However, some areas of the hotel have been remodeled, with more work to be done. The hotel is clean and the staff is friendly. Rooms can be booked with or without meals. A weekday off-season stay without meals starts as low as ¥5,400, or around ¥8,000 with two meals.
For guests who do choose to 'eat-in', the meals are buffet-style. Dinner includes a selection of fresh sushi and other regional specialties. It also offers a wonderful choice of desserts. Breakfast is mostly Japanese, but there are Western choices including a french toast 'bar'.
After dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, from 8pm to midnight, there is a night lounge for karaoke-lovers. Reasonable spa services can be booked at the front desk.
Guests with dogs stay in the right side of the hotel. Since they must use a separate entrance, most other guests are completely unaware that dog-friendly rooms even exist.
To reach the 'Resort in Shirahama' by mass transportation, take a train to JR Tateyama Station and transfer to the hotel's free shuttle bus for a 25 minute ride - advanced reservation is required. There are also highway buses that run from Tokyo and Chiba Stations.
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