Hotel Folkloro (Review)
The Convenient Hotel At Kakunodate Station
Hotel Folkloro is a 3-stars lodging located next to Kakunodate’s JR station, in Semboku City, Akita Prefecture in Japan. This standard yet convenient accommodation allows to visit easily the former feudal city and Bukeyashiki, its preserved architecture district.
Every year from mid-April, and depending on the weather conditions, Kakunodate becomes one of the most popular sakura 🌸 viewing spots of northern Japan. During about 10 days, visitors admire the blooming of the shidare-zakura, the weeping cherry trees growing in the vicinity of the former samurai houses, and of the popular somei yoshino along the Hinokinai River.
Riding the Tohoku Shinkansen 🚅 from Tokyo, it is an easy 2 days-1 night getaway to enjoy Kakunodate in the evening, when most of the daytime visitors are gone. We recommend Hotel 🏨 Folkloro for its convenience, as it is located a few meters away from the JR station’s exit, near the local tourist office and the taxi station.
A human-sized place with standard comfort
The staff at Folkloro is nice and friendly, welcoming new customers with enthusiasm, and provide information on the city’s landmarks, and can even help making restaurant reservations. Upon check-in, guests are handed a magnetic card that is a key to the room located upstairs.
A small size facility, the hotel displays a modern decoration, yet somehow minimalist. It has less than 30 rooms, very clean and divided into 2 categories:
- The Twin, of a 17m² superficies to accommodate 2 persons; and,
- The Deluxe Twin, with a 24m² space for up to 4 guests.
They are equipped with all the features expected in a standard hotel room:
- A Western-style bedding;
- A Wi-Fi Internet access;
- An air purification device;
- A desk with a TV set, a small fridge and a kettle for tea;
- A Japanese bathroom 🛁 with private toilets 🚽.
A paid laundry space is also available in the corridor to access the rooms.
The cuisine of Akita served throughout the day
At the ground floor, in front of Hotel Folkloro reception desk, the restaurant named Sakura Komachi serves a Japanese daily cuisine based on the specialties of Akita prefecture.
The Japanese-style savory breakfast is served every morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Served in several compartments placed on a tray, it includes among other things, pickled vegetables, grilled fish, rice, miso soup as well as bacon and Frankfurter-like sausage. Unfortunately, there is no sweet breakfast option. Between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. the place becomes a café, for a quick snack before starting a day of visits or taking the train for example.
The venue then operates non-stop as a restaurant from 11 a.m. to its closing hour 9 p.m., with the same menu for lunch and diner. Typical regional dishes can be enjoyed, such as:
- Inaniwa udon noodles;
- Kiritanpo nabe hot pot;
- Delicious oyakodon donburi with Hinai Jidori chicken; or,
- Kakunodate samurais’ traditional dish, the okariba-yaki, made with meat and vegetables simmered in miso.
Other popular daily dishes, like curry, are also on the menu and the choice is large enough to satisfy most of diners. The prices are affordable, considering the good quality of the ingredients: allow on average ¥1,000 (~US$6.76) to ¥2,000 (~US$13.52) per meal, drinks not included.
Hotel Folkloro is a good place to stay for travelers looking for a convenient base of a standard quality. The Bukeyashiki touristic area is only a 10 minutes’ walk away. As the restaurant is located inside the hotel, it is not necessary to go out again at night, and furthermore, it offers an interesting array of traditional dishes, for those who enjoy home-made, savory Japanese cooking.
Kakunodate Station also allows a direct connection to the area’s other touristic destinations, such as Lake Tazawa-ko and Akita City the prefecture’s capital.