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Ashizuri Kokusai Hotel

Popular hotel with hot spring bath on Cape Ashizuri

This is one of the better-known hotels on Cape Ashizuri, popular with both domestic and international travelers. It has been around for quite a few years, so the building and the facilities show signs of age, but there are a few points compensating for that, including a hot spring bath with views. I stopped here on the sixth night of my Shikoku Pilgrimage Road Trip. It's near Temple 38.

Arriving after dark from along the Ashizuri Skyline, I was a little worried about finding the place. But it was impossible to miss. The staff welcomed me and a gentleman took me to my room at the very far end of the long corridor, and as he was guiding me he actually apologized for it. I thought it was funny—an example of an expression of regret for having “inconvenienced” someone that one hears commonly in Japan. I didn’t mind being at the far end of the corridor, at some distance from the Chinese tour group guests. Morning revealed another advantage of this location: an excellent unrestricted view over the harbor and the Pacific Ocean. But upon my arrival everything outside the window was, of course, pitch-black (Cape Ashizuri is popular for stargazing, by the way).

I didn’t have dinner included with my stay, so the futon was already spread out on the tatami flooring (usually they spread it out for you while you’re having your meals). I headed to the bath for a quick soak and then settled in for the night.

I woke up very early the next morning with hopes of seeing the sunrise from the window, but it turned out that the hotel’s location wasn’t ideal for that particular purpose. The angle was wrong, the rising sun was way to the side and hidden by a nearby mountain. A little disappointed (and reminiscing about a once-in-a-lifetime sunrise I saw on Ashizuri some 10 years ago), I headed to the bath again and there was rewarded with views, perfect even without the rising sun—and complete solitude. Waking up early has its advantages, no matter what.

Then it was time for breakfast. It was good and plentiful, but nothing particularly stood out, except that it was here that I found out how dried tuna fish turns into katsuobushi flakes (something I have never even thought of before). The fish comes as a dry, very hard stick, and you have to use a tool similar to a jack plane where the blade is on the upper side. You hold it still with one hand and slide the fish stick over it with the other. So, breakfast was educational.

Overall, I had a pleasant stay here. The morning bath and tuna slicing made for something to be remembered.

Getting there

The hotel stands on the hill right off Route 27. Best accessed by car.

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Kim 5 years ago
The views from the outdoor hot springs are glorious! What a way to start the day!

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