887 Reviews

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Date of travel

March, 2016

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Culture / Sightseeing

When checking into the ryokan/hotel “Miyarikyu”:http://www.miyarikyu.com/ on Miyajima Island, we had a long, frustrating conversation with the receptionist in stilted English about the drinks we wanted with dinner and food allergies. Bearing in mind we’d seen a huge amount of oyster outlets around town, I made up a shell fish allergy.

Our western-style, twin-bedded room was a reasonable size but brown and basic. Two rickety chairs were on the verge of collapse, the shelf over the bed was at an ideal level for bashing your head, and the huge safe wouldn’t have looked out of place in a bank. The curtains were closed when we arrived at 4pm presumably to hide the stone wall view: we’d hoped for a view of the sea and famous Torii gate. Our friends were equally unhappy with their view and bathroom which its big grimy crack running down the tiles but having complained secured a complimentary bottle of wine with dinner.

To get into our bathroom you had to negotiate a steep ‘hurdle’ – not good for night time rambles and on having a bath, we found that, like at “La Neige”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/163269-review-hotel-la-neige, the bathroom flooded when we pulled the plug.

The empty fridge had to be unplugged to use the hairdryer and charge mobile phones as there were no spare sockets. There was only wi-fi in reception and the information booklet in the room was in Japanese only. We were all pleased it was a one night stay.

As this was a ryokan style hotel, there was a public onsen (bath) but we decided it was best left unexplored.

Dinner was an interesting experience. At our allotted time of 6pm we found a beautifully laid table with a variety of food. The menu promised 13 dishes with all our pet hates: sesame tofu which looked like brown jelly, two lots of raw fish (sashimi and sushi), abalone steak (we later discovered abalone is a sea snail), both fried and steamed oysters and finally miso soup.

Despite my ‘shellfish allergy’ all four places were set with fish even though the waitress suggested vegetable tempura for ‘the person who no want fish’. The selection of desserts was the favourite part of the meal for all of us.

For breakfast there was a huge array of mainly Japanese food (and yet more oysters) but my abiding memory will be of rolls so stale a knife couldn’t penetrate them. I ended up with tinned tuna, a helping of sweetcorn and a croissant.

Other facilities included an adjoining souvenir shop (with a discount), karaoke bar and boxes (so you didn’t inflict your singing on others). A note in the lift simply said the nightly drum show was cancelled but there was no explanation.

On checking the floor plan in our room, we realised that all the western style rooms were much smaller and at the back of the hotel. However, even with a larger room and sea view, I’m not sure we’d have enjoyed our experience any more. Whilst this is billed as four star accommodation, we’d give it less than three.

Helen Jackson

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