Sansuien is a hotel in Kochi City on the banks of the Kagami River, in close proximity to Kochi Castle. I wouldn’t call it luxury, but it’s a bit upscale. With its 131 rooms it’s definitely one of the larger establishments, but it didn’t feel overly crowded, even on a Saturday night.
I stayed here on the fifth night of my Shikoku Pilgrimage Road Trip. The hotel is right in the city center, but tucked in a quiet corner. Finding the way to the entrance in the maze of narrow streets took me a while, but everything was smooth from there. A staff member took my car keys and parked my car for me, as is customary in classy places (they charge separate fee for parking, though: 500 yen per night).
The building is a multi-story concrete structure with both western and tatami rooms. I was staying in a room with a bed, but it had a nice sitting area with Japanese elements of décor. I liked this combination.
Dinner wasn’t included with my stay, so I took a stroll to one of the shopping arcades and had a delicious meal there. It only takes about ten minutes to walk to Kochi Castle and maybe fifteen minutes to the arcade, the shopping paradise where you can buy anything you want. After I came back to the hotel I headed to the common bath—a hot spring with natural spring water. This was one of the deciding factors for me when choosing a place to stay near Kochi Castle, and I enjoyed the bath very much, both the indoor one and the open-air rotenburo.
Breakfast was also very good: a buffet with many food choices. The souvenir shop in the lobby carried a good selection, too. I found a few mementos to take home. And, before checking out I had some time to go outside again, walk through the hotel’s garden and take a peek inside an interesting historic building that stands on the grounds, the Yamauchi Family Shitayashiki Nagaya.
A nagaya, literally translated as “long house,” is a type of historical Japanese residence for lower class samurai. This particular nagaya is classified as an Important Cultural Property since it’s one of the few remaining structures in the country of this type. It was the local ruler’s second residence in the late Edo period. It has been reconstructed and preserved and holds various exhibits inside.
I enjoyed my stay at Sansuien and would recommend it for those who like hot springs and local history.
The hotel is situated within a ten-minute walk from Kochi Castle. The tram line runs nearby, and the closest stop is Kencho-mae (a three-minute walk).