by Foxboro Marmot
December 13, 2003
We were told other people visiting the college had stayed at the Hirakata Sunplaza and found it a reasonably priced hotel in a convenient location. The price was reasonable, at 10,500 yen for a Western-style double, and the location was very convenient, less than 5 minutes from the JR Hirakatashi station on the Keihan Main line. As we were ironing out trip details, our daughter was quick to point out that Starbucks and Mister Donut were nearby for breakfast, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken were a short walk for lunch and dinner and Baskin Robbins ice cream was around the corner. Her implication was, of course, that we two hopelessly lost gaijin Americans could stay a few days in Hirakata without starving.
Our room, like all rooms in Japanese business hotels, was small by Western standards. The bathroom was tiny, smaller than those at other hotels we used, but was all we needed. Our only problem was mosquitoes.
Walking around Hirakata during the day and evening, we never encountered a mosquito. However, each night our room always had a few. We discovered when housekeeping straightened up the room, replaced the sheets and so on, part of the routine was to leave the window open for a couple of hours to air out the room. We could usually deal with the small number of mosquitoes because in this small a room there was no place for them to hide.
Unfortunately, overnight the room would sometimes get too warm and claustrophobic. We'd open the window. Later that night we'd be awakened by that annoying buzz, wake up, turn the lights on and have a bug-killing-fest.
The hotel heating-cooling system is apparently set to cool from May through September and heat from October through April. Although it was unseasonably warm during our November stay, we couldn't get anything out of the air conditioning system.
This hotel isn't recommended except for travelers who need to stay in Hirakata. Others should stay in Osaka or Kyoto.
From journal Adventures in Kyoto