Located among the rice paddies out in the countryside west of Shibushi Station in Kagoshima Prefecture is a group of modern houses clustered around communal landscaping with a meandering stream running through it.
It is a "village" of minshuku, Japanese guest houses, that offer accommodation for visitors to the nearby Yomoginosato Hot Spring which itself has no accommodations. I chose to stay at Suzukaze, Windbell, for reasons that will become obvious.
Suzukaze is a true Bed & Breakfast establishment, offering no evening meal. Lunch and dinner can be had at the nearby onsen. Suzukaze also doesn't have bathrooms, only showers, again because of the nearby onsen.
The owner was a school teacher before retiring and he and his wife spent their lives backpacking around the world and so wanted to offer inexpensive and friendly accommodation. Unusually, for such a small establishment, the rooms all have internet access.
They will pick you up from the bus stop, train station, or ferry port, where regular ferries connect with Tokyo, Osaka, and Naha.
While researching potential places to stay before my trip I often use online booking services which sometimes offer special plans.
In this case I found that Suzukaze also has a few smaller rooms that they offer at reduced rates to school and university sports teams that come to the area for training camps. I also noticed that they offered a really special rate of only 1,000 yen per night to guests who are walking!
Though it was a little off my route I couldn't resist the price, and I'm glad I did.
The owners were very friendly, spoke excellent English, and were very generous.
When I mentioned that I was interested in a shrine about 10km away we immediately jumped into his car and he took me there.
That evening he gave me a couple of beers, and in the morning a free breakfast. Best 1,000 yen I ever spent on accommodation.
4100-5 Ariakecho Futsuhara
Tel: 099 457 2340
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