Saturday, February 28, 2015


We have been thinking of going to Japan for many years. Dave has been thinking of it a lot this past year and sprung the idea on me after Christmas. How about we plan a trip for this year? We could go right away and go to the snow festival, or we could go later in the spring when the weather would be better. I couldn't quite get my head around it that quick. It is kind of fun to plan and anticipate such a big trip for a while. But after going through calendar obligations, we decided that February would be the easiest month to clear our schedules, so we RUSHED to plan our trip to Japan!
We are planning to go to the famous "Yuki Matsuri"(snow festival) in Sapporo. There is an expected 1 million visitors over the 10 or so days of the festival. When you wait until 3 weeks before the event to book a hotel room, there are none available. NONE. We ended up with a reservation at a resort 20 miles away.
However, before we did that, we found a last minute hotel deal. We found it so suddenly that we figured it was a cancellation that we came across right at the right moment. We were becoming familiar with the yen to dollar conversion and figured we should look for a hotel that was not over 17,000 yen ($140). So we found a room online for 17,000 and grabbed it right away. It was a perfect location, a half block from the festival, a large hotel, lots of amenities. Then it started looking too good. WAY too good. We then realized we had just reserved a Presidential Suite for $17,000 American dollars for the week!  Luckily we saw that now, not after our credit card was run (as if they could run that amount on our card).
As it ended up we couldn't stay in Sapporo, we stayed at Jozenkai Onsen outside of town for the first 3 days.  The only room they had was a Japanese style room. I don't know what that means, but I looked at every single photo on their website and yes, it was decorated very traditional Japanese, but the amenities all looked very normal and the beds looked comfy. When we walked into our room, there was an entryway to take off our shoes and then a traditional sliding door that opened into our room. I looked around and immediately asked - "hey, where is the bed?" Then we found it FOLDED UP IN THE CLOSET!
Yes, that is right - we booked a very expensive resort hotel room and had to sit on the floor to use our table, and slept on tatami mats on the ground!  The resort itself was very beautiful and provided a huge (and interesting) buffet both morning and night but the sleeping accommodations were more like summer camp sleeping bag.

1 comment:

Madeline Wagner said...

I think there is a fine line between a mat you willingly slept on at 20 and a mat you're forced to sleep on 30 years later when you're body isn't accustomed to it. And by fine line, I mean one that is made using a black sharpie and pressing down....

Otherwise, the room looks glam and fun! Braver than I!