September 25, 2017
Matsumoto Marunouchi Hotel is a large Western style hotel located two blocks from the castle in one direction and two blocks from the walking streets, Nawate-dori and Nakamachi-dori, in the other. Just 1K from the train station it’s about a 700 yen taxi ride to the hotel.
The regular room is small but has a nice selection of amenities including coffee in the room. Nice shower and a double bed with a down comforter.
The 1800 yen breakfast buffet is served in a large elegant banquet room with soaring ceilings. A wide selection of Asian and western fair is available. Mostly only OK, but I did like the scrambled eggs, served a bit runny, and the rolls. I’m really missing western food by this point. Coffee is from a self-serve machine and good.
Walking around the castle there were slim pickings for lunch. We ran across Kusabue with a sign out front that said ランチThis is “ranchi” spelled in katakana and means “lunch”. A good word to know when you are hungry.
They only had two options, fried chicken or fried oyster set lunches. We got one of each. Made to order and served piping hot along with the usual cabbage salad, pickles, shredded gobo, rice, etc., it hit the spot. With two nama beers (draft beer) for 2500 yen it was a great find.
Dinner we were not so lucky. Not finding much appealing in the guidebook or on Tripadvisor we went with one of the hotels recommendations, Kuriya. A cute place with concrete walls and dark wood floors located on Nakamachi-dori street. If you don’t want to try horse meat, a local specialty, I wouldn’t recommend this place as they don’t have much else other than a few small plates of fish or pork and soba noodles. If you do want to try horse this may be a good option.
The food was nicely prepared albeit small portions.
As for the soba noodles, we made the mistake of ordering them with shredded sweet potato which turned out to be a bowl of cold slimy gruel that was in desperate need of salt, not my favorite. The do have an English menu and the service was friendly and attentive.