The hiking the day before was tough, plus all the walking around, so after my long hot shower I slept like a baby for several hours until 5:30 am. I packed my stuff, I had my breakfast and I went to the train station to head to Kurashiki. Honestly, I almost scratched Kurashiki from my list, the reviews I read sounded like the city was a total tourist rip-off place, but I decided to give it a try, why not? I like small places, probably I’ll enjoy Kurashiki a bit more. At least I know the hotel has good reviews, the Kurashiki Ivy Square Hotel.
Arriving there, my first sensation was that I was in a smaller city and I liked it! Big cities are not for me, so the first impact in Kurashiki was a good one. Still a city, the train station is big, the avenue is wide, and a lot of big buildings around the train station, but not as bad as I thought!
The moment I got inside the inner city, the real Kurashiki I was visiting, I got in love! Really cosy and narrow streets, small shops and yes, a rip-off, and a very nice canal passing through the old town. According to what I read, they used that canal to make the rice transportation easier, Kurashiki also means warehouse village and the old houses we see were almost all storage houses for rice.
My hotel was even better, I followed Frommers recommendation and it is indeed something really nice, Kurashiki Ivy Square, originally built as a cotton mill it is a red brick building with a very gorgeous square where we can have a nice drink outside if the weather is in favor, the name Ivy Square is due the fact that the whole building is covered with ivy making it even more beautiful in a mix of red and green.
The recommendation was indeed really good, once again Frommers didn’t make me regret. Just one thing I think it might be worth mentioning, there is nothing on the hotel’s regulations that you can’t use the onsen if you have a tattoo and at least my bedroom also didn’t have a shower, so I had to use the public baths (onsens) anyway. Naively I asked at the reception if my tattoo would be a problem, they speak very bad English and their reaction was of pure discrimination as they pushed me apart to show me another room with shower. I was on my way to town, I didn’t want to have a shower then, so I kindly refused. Afterwards I used the onsen anyway, I just covered my tattoo with tape.