Tabi No Yado Asakurage (旅の宿 朝日家)
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Rustic and very remote beach hotel / guesthouse, Okinawa
If you like your hotels or guesthouses rustic (like you might see in a heavily filtered Instagram pic) and right by an empty beach with jaw dropping coastal scenery on tap, then Tabu No Yado Asakurage (旅の宿 朝日家) is going to be right up your street. Did I mention that this place is remote (at least by Japan standards)? The hotel’s location is on the east coast of the main Okinawa island and about 10km further to the north lies Cape Hedo the northern tip of the island. Driving to the hotel along Route 70 you’ll see little in the way of traffic, little in the way of shops and services, and little in the way of light once the sun goes down. The latter is a pertinent point as spotting Tabi no Yado in the dark is tricky - it’s not the most lit up hotel you’ll come across, it’s on a remote stretch of road away from any semblance of community and is hidden behind some high foliage. Oh, and the sign is tiny, so good luck, or make sure your car is equipped with a good ‘navi’. 旅の宿 朝日家 has only three rooms - double, twin, family - side by side in a slightly overgrown plot of land on a bluff above the beach. You could call this a hotel / guesthouse as they serve breakfast (1,000 yen) and dinner (1,500 yen) in the beautiful cafe immediately next door (under the same ownership). On the other hand, rooms come with reasonably well equipped kitchens (stock up on supplies before you get here) so you could call them holiday apartments of a sort. We were in the twin which was sizeable. The room opens to the kitchen area with a solitary two seater table and a low wall separating things from the beds. At the back is a kind of seating space with windows that look out to the beach. The shower room is all rustic stonework and again has the window views to the beach so you can take in the view as you’re having a scrub. The kitchen comes with a two-ring gas stove, pots, pans, cups, glasses, crockery, rice cooker, kettle (gas), toaster and fridge. There was probably some cutlery in there, too but we weren’t using it. Warning! Don’t dive on the beds here. You’ll likely break something, and it won’t be the bed!! The room came with a fan, which for all but winter in Okinawa will be needed. It’s hot and sweaty here (the damp vibe of the rooms is a testament to this) and a little bit buggy (a sign encourages you to keep your door closed at night to prevent invasion). Mosquito coils are provided, as are towels, soap and shampoo but you’ll need your own toothbrush and paste. Despite being rustic there are plenty of sockets in the rooms at Asakurage from which you can keep your devices charged. That said, getting enough signal to connect to the Internet is a challenge here, so it’s better to not be needing it. You can just about send a message on Line. The “communal” area immediately outside has some cute shell-based decorations, a small set of tables and chairs, and there’s a washing machine under a sheltered terrace attached to the side of the cafe (with washing lines). There’s also a resident cat and dog. Both impossibly cute and friendly, although the cat isn’t shy about loitering around the cafe tables in a bid to get some scraps. The path to the beach is the other side of the cafe from the rooms. And what a beach?!!! Deserted and, to the north, furnished with dramatic rock formations that stab through the waters. Without any exaggeration, this a beautiful part of the world and you’ll likely be sharing it with only one or two others. Enjoy. And make sure to look up at night, the stars are a revelation! Still, this is a beach and is victim to the odd bit of detritus that might wash up (there’s also a river nearby). In the hotel “literature” I think it might have said something about the currents in these parts being strong so to take care. I went for a swim and had no trouble though (although the bottom is reefy / rocky so watch your step). Unless you want to loop round the building using the road to get back to your room, you’ll have to pass through the cafe in your swimwear (although it would be a surprise if anyone was actually in the cafe). There’s no mucking about with the breakfast / dinners at Asakurage. They’re served pretty much on the dot at a time that is not of your choosing (although the solitary member of staff we met was very kind). If memory serves me correctly, breakfast was at 8 am and dinner at 6 or 7 pm. The former consisted of soup, fried or poached egg and bits of fruit / salad, tea or coffee. Oh, and some of the heaviest bread I’ve ever held (i.e it was good). Dinner was rice, pickles, soup, tempura (?) and pudding (again with tea or coffee). You can also order beer at the cafe (600 yen I think). Parking is minimal at Asakurage, enough for about four cars I’d say. Without wanting to labor the point this is a remote Okinawa hotel. We headed out on the evening of our stay in search of the nearest convenience store. Not knowing where we were going in the dark, it took us about one hour to get to it (a Family Mart). More direct routes will take around 30 mins. There’s nowhere to walk to from Asakurage, and access is likely to be by car only. Rustic, remote, buggy, no TV, no Internet, no shopping, very quiet - Asakurage isn’t going to be the hotel for everyone travelling in Okinawa. If you really want to get away from it all, take things slow (this is the kind of place where novels are written, if not written about) and you like being surrounded by beautiful scenery Asakurage is emphatically a great place to stay in Okinawa. I’ve given it 4 stars not 5 as the beds are rock hard! But otherwise, 5!
150, 楚洲, 国頭郡, 1, 国頭村, 沖縄県