Rachel AJ Lee encounters a traditional hot spring resort at the foot of Mount Inunaki in Izumisano City and finds its quiet contrast to bustling Osaka a perfect reward for top achievers.
Fudoguchikan features 10 rooms, eight of which are traditional tatami mat rooms, while the rest are rotenburo rooms – rooms with a private outdoor hot spring pool attached.
All rooms are equipped with futons (traditional Japanese bedding), while the two rotenburo rooms have the option of twin beds upon request at point of booking. It was an interesting experience to sleep on a futon, but I felt it was too thin for me. I rectified the problem but placing another futon under mine, and I slept much more comfortably.
As most Japanese hotels still allow smoking in rooms, I was pleasantly surprised that Fudoguchikan has banned this practice.
Note that there are no showering facilities in all rooms – only toilets – as guests are expected to shower communally. As I felt uncomfortable bathing in the buff, the hotel kindly arranged for a one-hour block for me in a private bathroom. There, I could shower without worries, and had the chance to climb into and soak in a private onsen as well. The relaxing experience came complete with the gentle trickling sounds of the mountain stream just beside the property.
Prices per night start from 13,000 yen (US$120), and is inclusive of two meals. For every night’s stay, guests will be provided with two meals – a traditional Japanese breakfast, and a Kaiseki dinner.
There are no meeting facilities, but their meal rooms – used for breakfasts and dinners – are able to hold small group meetings. While individual guests are served meals in their rooms, groups are served in banquet rooms. Western-style banquet seating arrangement with tables are also available upon request.
Wi-Fi service was supposedly available, but I was unable to connect with my laptop and iPhone while in my room. It was a good excuse for me to relax the evening away.
There are four public onsens, one open-air and one indoor each for males and females. The open-air baths face a swathe of greenery, and are a pleasant perch to watch the world go by during the day.
The Japanese service culture as we all know, is beyond exceptional. For dinner, we were personally waited on by the general manager, who is the son of Fudoguchikan’s owner.
English is not fluently spoken in the country, but every staff member I encountered was accommodating and tried their very best to understand my charades and mangling of the Japanese language with the help of Google translate.
This hot spring inn in the countryside is a perfect way to incentivise your staff. I recommend that one night be spent here at the tail-end of a incentive trip to Osaka Prefecture, as it is located nearer to the Kansai International Airport than Osaka city.
Number of rooms 10