By Mandy Bartok
The now complete extension of the Shinkansen bullet train line from Hakata in Fukuoka to Kagoshima brings Kumamoto City to the realm of easy access among the top travel destinations in Japan. Kyushu’s most central city boasts an excellent castle, Suizenji Garden, Aso-Kuju National Park, excellent hot spring resorts, gourmet dining, fantastic shopping, and more. Combining luxury with its prime downtown location in the heart of the city, Hotel Nikko Kumamoto is the top choice among first-class hotels in the region.
On the streetcar line in the center of the city, across the street from Tsuruya and Parco department stores, along Shimo-tori and Kami-tori shopping arcades, and right near Kumamoto Caste, the hotel is easy to spot and right in the middle of everything exciting the city has to offer. Excellent restaurants that serve the best local gourmet foods, such as Kumamoto ramen, Taipien noodles, karashi renkon (spicy lotus root), and basashi (horse sashimi), are found throughout the shopping district, as well as at Josaien, an Edo period gourmet village next to the castle. The area north of the Kami-tori arcade, just a few minutes from the hotel and packed with boutiques, salons, and cafes, is well worth an exploratory stroll. Within the hotel building itself, you can visit several fine restaurants as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The hotel lobby greets you with graceful beauty, and you know you will be taken care of here. The service is helpful, attentive and professional, and like most anywhere in Japan, tipping is not necessary (staff will politely refuse should you try to compliment their devoted care with a gratuity).
Views of the castle or rolling mountains with the city below are beautiful from the guest rooms. Booking prices start at about 15,000 yen for a Single. Other rooms include the Deluxe Twin, Deluxe Double, Japanese Room, Universal Room (Accessible, or handicap friendly), and three types of high-end rooms, including the Executive Suite, Ambassador Suite, and Presidential Suite. It’s easy to notice attention to detail has been given to the design, arrangement, and servicing of the comfortable and very clean rooms. The expansive bathrooms have separate showers and bathtubs so that baths can be taken as a relaxing soak after washing—Japanese style. All rooms come with both wired and wireless Internet access as well as a pleasant supply of complimentary convenience items.
If you are looking for luxurious, comfortable, and convenient accommodation, Hotel Nikko Kumamoto is an easy choice to make.
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