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Not Recommended: Best Western Newcity Hirosaki (Hirosaki, Japan)

We're on a short family trip to Hirosaki (弘前) at the northern end of the main Japanese island of Honshu. It's cold enough up here that their cherry blossoms are three or four weeks later than in Kyoto, and are now at their peak. There's also snow still on the ground in some shaded areas, despite being well into the 70s (~25C).

Our hotel is the Best Western Hotel Newcity Hirosaki, and I don't recommend it if moronic policies bother you. It's hot and muggy, but the room air conditioner works only as a heater until May 1st, after which it will work only as a cooler. These dates are set in stone in their policy, despite the fact that Mother Nature almost certainly has not gotten the memo.

True, it's unusually hot for this time of year; on a normal year, you'll be toasty until May 1st after which you freeze until spring catches up. The normal year is as imbecilic as this, just in the reverse order.

It mirrors a particular Japanese fetish with the changing seasons whereby uniforms (worn by school children, factory workers, etc.) switch from the winter version to the summer version on April 1st, regardless of the actual weather. There are many things that I love about Japan, but mindless stupidity is not among them.

When I called the front desk of the Best Western to ask about how to get the cooler running, the lady suggested that I open the window. I wasn't looking forward to bugs flying in on a hot muggy night, so I asked to borrow a room fan. They didn't have any.

Sigh. So, I opened the window and was greeted to nonstop pop music blasting from low-quality outside speakers at a game center across the street. The music likely can't be heard inside... its only purpose, it seems, is ostensibly to attract folks who want to enter a gaming establishment through a gauntlet of low-fidelity pop music. Maddening.

It's almost 10pm. I hope they shut it off soon.


Comments so far....

Feel your frustration. The same mental rigidity that prevents you from getting a glass of iced coffee or a bowl of reimen despite the weather, or being scolding for wearing summer wear in late September, all because its not ‘season’

Have always wondered if this is something the Japanese borrowed from the British?

— comment by Robert Barlow on April 30th, 2014 at 6:45pm JST (3 months ago) comment permalink
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