Near the historical Nagasaki Kaido, the old pathway from Kokura to Nagasaki, surrounded by pine trees, is Hotel Crown Palais. It’s located a fifteen-minute walk from Kurosaki Station. The station is on the JR Kagoshima Line between Hakata and Kokura, inside the city of Kitakyushu. There is a bus stop right in front of the hotel, which is convenient for going between the station and the hotel.
Being the only 11-story tall building in the area, it’s very easy to locate the hotel. Even though Kurosaki is an industrial area, the hotel is located in a neighborhood surrounded by nature. It is right next to the path of pine trees that is used by the locals as a popular walking route for morning exercise. This path goes back many years in history and is officially called the Nagasaki Kaido. It’s one of Japan’s most important historical roads, dating back 400 years. During that time, the Edo period, Japan restricted contact with foreign countries and Nagasaki was one of the very few ports allowing the entrance of foreign ships. All regional lords were also required to travel to Edo (Tokyo) in service of the Tokugawa Shogunate, so many important people from north and west Kyushu traveled this road. Even though it’s no longer used for its original purpose, it’s amazing to think that the path is still used today.
Since it's the tallest building in the area, you can get a prime view of the city from the top floor. You can also have lunch and dinner in the Chinese restaurant on the 11th floor and the Japanese restaurant on the 10th floor. Both restaurants offer great views. If you’re looking for a little romance, you can visit the bar lounge on the 11th floor and enjoy the night lights of the city and a drink with the piano playing in the background.
The single room I stayed in was comfortable. It was compact but still spacious enough to easily move around. I found the bed very comfortable both in size and in firmness. There is also Internet service and a fridge to keep a few drinks cool. You can also choose from a smoking or a non-smoking room. I don’t smoke and in fact I am pretty sensitive to it. But even though I stayed in a smoking room, I couldn’t smell any smoke in the room from previous lodgers.
As for the hotel reservation, you can choose from four different kinds of rooms. The one I stayed in was the single room, which is for one person. Other options include a double room with one king-sized bed for two people, a twin room with two queen-sized beds, and a triple room with three queen-sized beds. As for meals, you can choose from three different plans. Assuming you stay in the single room for one night, the no-meal plan is usually 5,500 yen, the all-you-can-eat breakfast plan is 6,700 yen, and the two-meal plan with all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner is 8,700 yen.
If you decide to visit Kitakyushu, I would definitely recommend Hotel Crown Palais since the atmosphere and service is without objection, and the location is convenient for visiting popular attractions such as Space World and Mt. Sarakura. Space World is Kyushu’s largest amusement park, with a real size replica of the Space Shuttle Discovery. At Mt. Sarakura, known for its beautiful views, you can take a cable car to the top that runs until after dark during the weekend to see the city and surrounding panorama lit up at night. Also nearby is the spectacular Kawachi Fuji-en, with its stunning wisteria tunnel coming alive with color every spring. Additionally, a Natural History Museum and an Environment Museum are also nearby.