Sabae's Shinmei-en Hotel

A unique Japanese-style hotel in many, many ways

By Larry Knipfing    - 1 min read

I loved this place, the Shinmei-en inn/hotel. I've been living in Japan since 1980, and it reminded me of the Japan of yesteryear. Consider: 1) No bath or toilet in my room; 2) Tatami mat floor; 3) Futon bed on the floor; 4) Japanese garden right outside my window; 5) Communal bath; 6) People walking around the hotel in yukata; 7) Breakfast consisting of fish, rice, miso soup, dried seaweed, green tea. Mind you, this is not a luxurious onsen hotel (where you might expect to find all of the above), but rather, just a nice local old-fashioned inn/hotel in a pretty rural town (Sabae) in Fukui Prefecture.

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Larry Knipfing

Larry Knipfing @larry.knipfing

Born on Long Island, New York in 1958, I have spent the last 30+ years of my life living in Japan, and enjoying every minute of it! I especially love photography, and Japan is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world to photograph! My other love is fiction writing and I have published quite a few books that take place in Japan. Fun stuff! You can find them at my Amazon Author's Page. In addition to my writing, I have mainly been working in the field of corporate training, and at the same time have done a lot of photography. *Kamakura, and now Yokohama (both in Kanagawa Prefecture) have been my home for almost twenty years and are perfect places for me: Hilly, situated on the water, and with amazing histories. The rest of Kanagawa is equally amazing and includes the great Hakone onsen and spa area.  *Tochigi Prefecture, with World Heritage site Nikko, is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and not far from Tokyo.  *Fukui Prefecture, located in central Japan on the coast of the Japan Sea, is brimming with classic Japanese culture and great natural beauty everywhere you look. I really look forward to sharing ALL of Japan's beauty and magic with all of you.