The modern ryokan of Hagi Komachi sits along the edge of the sea, halfway between the city of Hagi and Kasayama, the mountain north of the city that is home to the area's famed camellia grove. If you want to be close to the "action" of the city, this may not be the best place to come. But if you want to soak in an outdoor bath with views of the ocean and dine on the freshest seafood around, make Hagi Komachi your first choice.
The ryokan sprawls over a good portion of land, with around 20-30 rooms available for guests. Our room was located on the first floor of the building, down a hallway that was constructed to resemble the walls of Hagi's old town. The room itself was spacious, with a foyer, a side room (with admittedly no real purpose), an attached bath and toilet and a large sleeping area. We had a small porch right off of our enclosed veranda and the beach and ocean were only about ten meters away.
Hagi Komachi boasts a natural onsen on-site, although the outdoor rotemburo is on the opposite side of the hotel complex from the main baths. While the rotemburo had beautiful views, the indoor bath was built into the rock itself and a small section that acted like a cave provided a blast of cold air, perfect to counteract the heat of the tub.
Meals are usually taken in the dining room on the ryokan's second floor - at night, the views of the darkening sky and midnight blue sea were stunning. Dinner featured fresh sashimi, duck with a delicious natsumikan sauce (the sour natsumikan citrus is a Hagi specialty), delicious sea bream shabushabu and a sour orange sherbet, among other dishes. Breakfast was just as hearty, with delicious fish paste dumplings as a special add-in to the miso soup.
We traveled with our four-year-old daughter and found that she was surprisingly well catered to by the staff. While we opted for a package sans meals for her, she was provided with dishes and her own bowl of rice at every meal and she found more than enough on our plates to suit her. But the best part was the ryokan's kids room, which rivaled any play center I have ever visited in Japan. Covering at least five separate rooms and encompassing everything from dolls to slides to riding toys to play kitchens, your kids could spend hours in here and never be bored. Plenty of opportunity to give parents a chance to spell each other for a dip in the onsen!