Chisun Inns are a nationwide chain of budget hotels, designed to provide reasonable comfort at good value. They’re generally aimed at people traveling on business or driving across country, but can also often be found within cities or near interesting out-of-the-way sights.
Chisun Inn Takamatsu is typical of the chain, if a little more upscale than others I’ve stayed at. The location is very central, just a few minutes from Kotoden Kawaramachi station in the heart of the city, and close to some covered arcades where you’ll find a wide range of shops, cafes and restaurants.
My room was pretty boxy, but perfectly comfortable, with enough space to hang my clothes and put my bags down. The color scheme of warm earthtones and small touches like the little picture on the wall above the bed made the room feel cozier and less sterile than other business hotels I’ve stayed at. The bathroom was also compact, with a good powerful shower, and is also equipped with a line to hang your clothes to dry if you do your laundry in the hotel’s washing machines. The friendly staff responded well to my basic mangled Japanese, happily fetching replacement batteries for the analog alarm clock in my room, and allowing me to leave my case at the hotel for most of the day after I checked out.
The hotel has vending machines for soft drinks, beer and instant noodles, and for an extra few hundred yen there’s a buffet breakfast, providing a mix of Japanese and western food. There’s rice, fish, salad and miso soup, but also eggs, sausages, cereal and toast, along with coffee, tea and juice; if you’re not in a hurry it’s a nice way to start the day.
The city boasts a handful of attractions, all within walking distance, notably the classical Japanese garden Ritsurin-koen and a couple of small museums. Further afield it’s straightforward to visit sights such as Marugame Castle and the Isamu Noguchi Museum, or even to take a day-trip to the art island of Naoshima.
Booking is easy on the English website, and if you reserve far enough in advance there are real bargains to be had, with room prices as low as an amazing ¥3200 a night, though prices vary with season and availability. It’s not a luxurious place to stay, but for budget-conscious travelers or backpackers looking for a break from dorms, it’s a good choice in a good location at a good price.
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I came to Japan from Manchester, England in summer 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I`m not working I write satire at www.iothern.blogspot.com and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check my youtube channel `CunningPunster` for a taste.