Hotel Sohkan is located alongside Matsushima Bay, about a fifteen minute walk from the tourist ferry terminal. It is just far enough to escape the busy crowds and really relax. There are many hotels in the area, but since this hotel has a little bit of everything, I can easily recommend it to families, couples, or friends.
Like most hotels, rates fluctuate according to season and whether or not your stay is during a weekday. Often this hotel has deals that combine a one or two night stay with a buffet dinner and/or breakfast. So with a bit of planning you can satisfy your wallet and your appetite. For a double room with dinner plan, the room could be as low as 9500 yen per person per night (sometimes even less if there is a special campaign) , to 19000 yen. Check the website for exact prices.There are western and Japanese rooms, the latter featuring futons and tatami rice mats with matching decor. A word of warning though: to get a view of the bay above the tree line, you will need a room on the third or preferably fourth floor. But the first and second do offer views of the wide area behind the hotel, which is also a peaceful and pleasing scene. Some staff speak English, and nearby attractions are advertised with flyers and a coupon table not far from the front desk. The hotel wants everyone to enjoy their stay, and guests will enjoy their stay in style.
If you are done exploring the area for the day or looking for a rest, you have many options. After checking in you chose your own size and color yukata. You can wear this around the hotel in and outside your room. A first stop for many guests after settling in is a trip to the hotel's elaborate onsen, which boasts an indoor and outdoor pools. It is included with your stay, or can be used during the day by non-hotel guests for a fee. I highly recommend an evening dip outside under the starts. Before dinner you can spend some time in the lounge area opposite of the lobby. Purchase a drink or an ice cream from the vending machine, melt away stress in the pay massage chairs, or study your Japanese with the hotel's 3000 comic book collection! You can eat at the Japanese restaurant which serves ramen and other foods, but you should opt for the buffet. It is very popular and features western and Japanese cuisine in a large eating hall. You can often taste Miyagi specialties like grilled cow tongue or various seafoods. Perhaps after a good night's rest you may want to go to the esthetic salon before catching the free shuttle back to the local station. Lastly if traveling with children, a hectic morning can be made less so by letting children play in the kid's corner while you catch up on some email in the adjacent free computer use area. Alternatively, shop for souvenirs in the first floor shop while the little ones play in the arcade game center also conveniently located inside the same store.
I found my stay in the hotel enjoyable with a fair price and professional service. I saw a few children that run around from time to time, but that could be said of any hotel. I think this hotel doesn't necessarily cater to families, but I feel it is a good fit for them. Most guests during my visit were a mix of families, couples young and old, or traveling friends. There wasn't one majority. I also recall seeing some businessmen, obvious from their suits and ties in a dinner hall full of people wearing mostly yukata. The hotel makes an excellent location for seminars, conferences, and business meetings as there are several small to huge meeting rooms with lunch options also available. After a meeting it is easy to explore the surroundings or rent out the hotel karaoke room for your own private party.
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Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is a long-term resident and promoter in the Tohoku region. He has been a content producer for JapanTravel.com since 2012 and was the Miyagi Prefecture Regional Partner 2013-2015. Justin’s over 300 published travel and culture articles come from a background of studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and working for the government in Fukushima. He lives in the gyutan capital of the world, Sendai. Justin is an expert in local culture and history. He was the first foreign volunteer at Sendai City Museum and regularly advises the local volunteer guide group GOZAIN , which he is a veteran member, on guiding techniques and hidden locations in the city even locals don't know about. In his free time he enjoys delivering original walking tours, such as his Dark Sendai Tour (ghost tour) or Kokubuncho Mystery Tour (redlight district tour). Justin is also a Certified Sake Professional.