This was the fourth night of my Shikoku Henro road trip. The hotel is located in the town of Nahari, Kochi prefecture, in-between temples number 26 and 27.
As the official website states, Hotel Nahari was founded in 1980 to accommodate personnel of tuna fishing boats (the port of Nahari is a base for deep sea fishing). This is why there’s nothing fancy about the building or the rooms – the interiors, the appliances are very basic and show distinct signs of age. However, the establishment manages to compensate for it with impeccable service, great food and, surprisingly, a very good bath. I was more then happy with my stay.
First of all, it was easy to find – the hotel is situated right off Route 55 and there are clear signs to it as you approach. They have large parking lot with enough space for maneuver. The receptionist gave me a very warm welcome and then helped me with a small issue (I needed to get rid of a large broken umbrella and he took it off my hands – with Japanese strict rules and high fees on garbage I consider it a favor).
Then I got settled into my room (which was, yes, uninspiring) and soon headed to the common bath. It is not an onsen (no mineral water), but they have an outdoor bath that is beautifully designed. I couldn’t take photos since there were other people around, and pictures on the official website don’t do it justice, but I’ve never seen a bath quite like this one before. Imagine a skillfully shaped pine tree that is strategically planted next to the stone basin, so that one long fluffy branch hovers over the water; you can touch it while you soak. At least that’s how it was on women’s side, but I think men’s is similar. The indoor bath with its cypress finish is also very good. I’ve ended up spending quite some time there before dinner.
Dinner was delightful. The hotel takes pride in its locally sourced fish (especially tuna), and rightfully so. This, unlike my previous dinner, was a real kaiseki meal, complete with dessert and coffee. Breakfast was also very good.
I will definitely return to Hotel Nahari if I ever go to this part of Kochi prefecture again.
The hotel is situated in the portal town of Nahari, Kochi prefecture, and is easily accessed by car from Route 55. Alternatively you can arrange for the free pick-up from Nahari station.