Thursday, September 16, 2010


Last weekend we made it back to the beach in Onjuku, only this time we stayed at the Hotel New Hawaii, which is only slightly rundown and considerably cheaper than the boutique hotel next door to where we stayed the last few times, Sayan Terrace.

The view from our room's entrance hallway (where you leave your shoes and make your way to the bath or toilet) makes it seem like we were in a suite (maybe the stones in the floor are supposed to massage our bare feet?)

We certainly liked New Hawaii's cafe better than ST's overly-genteel dining room. The menu was nothing special, really, except it did include a very tasty teriyaki-chicken pita sandwich, and the usual edamame, soft serve ice cream (choice of grape, caramel, vanilla or green tea) and other snacks. And beer on tap. And the bar lounge area rocked the Ikea furnishings and huge picture windows with seashore views.

In September, which is off-season, you can't get any food from 3pm-6pm over at the Terrace, because it's "tea time," while New Hawaii's cafe stays open all day, from 10 am - 9 pm. The Hawaii ladies working the cafe even heated up the bag of frozen ramen I bought for Conor at the 7-Eleven down the road, providing a bowl and spoon and everything.

We were also happy to discover that New Hawaii's onsen rooms were bigger and better too, and open from 1pm, 3 hours earlier than over at ST. Of course, the ST has those comfy loungers on a beautiful wooden deck overlooking the ocean. And a small pool. That is filled in mid-July, and drained on the eve of Aug. 31 (the official end of summer in Japan, according to the calendar if not the weather).

But ST doesn't have a Haagen Dazs vending machine in the lobby! (So that's TWO ice cream options at Hawaii. Last time we were at Sayan Terrace, they RAN OUT OF ICE CREAM leaving a half dozen children in tears. I am not making this up.)

The boys ate their cups of cookies-and-cream, purchased immediately upon check-in, in our room before changing into their swimsuits and heading for the sand.
Our Japanese-style room had the traditional tatami mat floor, low table, legless chairs and stacks of seat cushions on hand. (At some point late in the day while you're still out, hotel staff come into the room, push the table and chairs to the side and roll out the futons for you. The futons and all the bedding, and those dreadful pillows that feel like sacks of wood chips (??), are stored in the closet until then.

A sliding paper and wood screen door separated the dining/sleeping quarters from a tiny area that had a sink, two reading chairs, and a mini fridge, and this picture window:

Our view more than made up for the funky burnt-broccoli-like smell in the hallway.

The boys had no complaints.




I think the boys would've slept with those sticks if I had allowed them to bring them back to the room. (I really should sign them up for kendo classes. But they are already taking karate. More on that later.)

And what's a hotel without a beer vending machine in the basement?

Onjuku is 83 min. via the Wakashio Ltd. Express train from Tokyo station. (It's a JR Keiyo line.) Direct trains run every couple of hours; other trains require a transfer to a local line, which adds travel time. Hotel New Hawaii is a 5-min taxi ride from the station.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Sounds great, may have to make a trip! Love the beach in late summer/early fall. Thanks for the info.

And I can't believe a hotel ran out of icecream! I am just barely resisting the urge to put that in all caps.