The hotel from the station exit (Photo: Peter Sidell)

Route Inn Hirosaki Ekimae

A value business hotel right by the station

The hotel from the station exit (Photo: Peter Sidell)
Peter Sidell   - 3 min read

If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Hirosaki, you can choose to be near the station, near the sights, or somewhere in between. Route Inn falls squarely into the first category; come out of the station and there it is, right bang in front of you. One of a nationwide chain of business hotels, it's not the most luxurious place to stay, but it offers reasonable comfort at a reasonable cost.

The helpful staff allowed me to check in early when I arrived, so I went straight up to my room to leave my bags. The room was a little smaller than at other business hotels I've stayed at - comparisons with a shoebox could be made by people with fairly small feet - but it was pleasantly bright, and high enough to be insulated from the noise of the station and traffic. My window looked out onto the rail tracks, but if I turned my head I could see Mount Iwaki away in the distance.

All the standard business hotel amenities are present and correct. There's a coin laundry, vending machines for snacks, soft drinks and alcohol, TV and fridge in the room. There's also a communal bathroom, which saved me having to shower in the tiny prefab cubicle in my room, and a small 'relaxation room' with a massage chair and leg-massager. The buffet breakfast was pretty tasty, and hearty enough to set me up for a day's sightseeing.

Being by the station, it's obviously convenient for trains and buses to the area's further-flung sights such as Shirakami-Sanchi, Japan's first World Natural Heritage Site. Immediately behind the hotel there's an attractive pedestrianized shopping street, and just round the corner there's an Ito Yokado supermarket and department store. It's also not far to the bottom of Dote-Machi, the city's main shopping and nightlife street, lined with a variety of stores, cafes and restaurants.

The hotel has standard single, semi-double, and twin rooms; there are also comfort singles and twins (which I imagine are larger) and family double rooms. There's a choice of smoking or non-smoking, and it's possible to book twins or semi-doubles for a single guest on the English reservation page on the website. Prices start at ¥5900 for single rooms, ¥8200 for twins or semi-doubles, and ¥13000 for the family doubles.

Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.