Posts Tagged hotel miwa

April 5, 2006 – Pottery Lessons and free upgrades

My parents, The Penpal, and her parents spent the night at the beautiful Hanabusa ryokan in Izu Nagaoka. Izu is filled with ryokans, but one of the reasons we chose Hanabusa over the others was that they offer pottery classes. After a delicious breakfast we went to the pottery classroom to learn from the resident pottery master.

There is a long history of pottery in Japan. I had been to a pottery class with The Penpal a few years ago with a sad looking teacup to show for it. I was looking forward to getting a second chance to test my skills as a potter.

Pottery class!

Pottery class!

The pottery area was in a large room with long tables surrounded by shelves with cups, plates, and vases in various states of completion. Our families were the only ones in the pottery room, so we got the full attention of the master, who was a friendly, energetic older gentleman. The Penpal translated as he guided us through pounding, rolling, spinning, and shaping our cups.

Thanks to the expert instruction and hands on assistance, we all did reasonably well. My mom’s cup actually turned out fantastic, and mine was far less terrible than my attempt two years earlier. We all finished our cups, and the master promised to glaze and fire them, then ship them to The Penpal’s house.

izu-pottery-1

My parents absolutely loved their time at Hanabusa! It was a far different experience than simply staying at a hotel somewhere. Getting to stay at the ryokan with The Penpal and her family made everything even better; they were just as excited to share their culture with us as we were to learn about it.

After checking out, we drove around Izu in the rain before returning to Numazu. The Penpal’s family dropped us off at the hotel for the last time, where we learned that my parents had been given a free upgrade to a suite as a thank you for spending so many nights at the hotel.

If you need a hotel in Numazu, stay at Hotel Miwa located conveniently close to the north side of Numazu station! It’s convenient, reasonably priced, and the service is fantastic!

We said goodbye to the Penpal’s family, and my parents started getting themselves ready to return to Canada. I can’t believe their visit is almost over!

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March 25, 2006 part 2 – Press this button in case of muggers

After a dinner with my parents and my future in-laws, we took my parents to check in at their hotel. I booked a room for them at Hotel Miwa, which is a sensibly priced hotel just north of Numazu station.

Hotel Miwa

Before deciding on a hotel, I did some research online and asked coworkers. I learned that not only was Hotel Miwa convenient and reasonably priced, but some of the staff spoke English as well. The last time my family came to visit, I was able to get them a room in the dormitory style place I was living so they were never too far away. This time they would be a 15 minute walk from my apartment in a country where they couldn’t speak the language. The staff having some basic English ability was a big relief for all of us.

After we got checked in, my father in law handed out printed itineraries for all of us (bilingual of course), complete with contact numbers for everyone. We also took a brief walk around the hotel to get my parents familiar with the area. The Penpal’s father made sure to point out the “press in case of emergency” buttons near the station in case they were suddenly cornered by a gang of muggers.

For some reason Japanese people (especially the older generation) believe their country is dangerous. In my several years of living in Japan, I have never felt safer. Typically the only things that get stolen in Japan are bicycles and umbrellas. Yes, there is crime, but the average person would actually have to go looking for trouble to put themselves in an unsafe situation.

We said goodnight and decided on a time to meet in the morning, then I retrieved my bike and rode home. It was a strange feeling knowing that my parents had just traveled 9000 km to see me, but they were staying across town.

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