With about thirty hotels, traditional inns, and ski lodges surrounding Daisen Temple and about a dozen more 7 kilometers away in the resort village of Daisen Akema-no-Mori, visitors will find a full range of options for their stay. Most inns offer guests a full breakfast and dinner, and many feature local produce, wild vegetables, and regional specialties. Signing up for meals along with your room is a good idea since there are few restaurants or grocery stores in the immediate area. Backpackers or those on a limited budget might want to stock up on picnic supplies in the nearby city of Yonago. Hotel reservations may be made through the Daisen Tourism Association (0859-52-2502), or by stopping in at the Daisen Information Center.
Hotels and Ryokan
Ski Lodges and HotelsHotel Daisen & Shirogane Annex
Hotel Daisen boasts the largest, best-maintained bath in the Daisen Temple area. It’s open 24 hours so guests can take a relaxing soak any time. With 56 rooms, it also has the largest capacity in the area. Some rooms have their own attached toilet and bath, and if you prefer not to use shared facilities, this is the best choice in Daisen. The bar in the lobby is a favorite hang-out spot for guests and non-guests alike.
Daisen has plenty of simple, reasonably-priced lodges known as minshuku. Minshuku usually feature traditional Japanese-style rooms with tatami mats, sliding paper doors, and futons. Home-style (but copious) meals are served in a common dining room, and you should expect to share a bathroom with other guests. Staying at a minshuku is a bit like staying at the home of your great-aunt twice removed: nothing fancy, but there’s nostalgia and hospitality to spare! The standard charge per person is 9,450 yen, including two meals.
This inn right across the street from the ski slopes is run by a creative cook and her husband, an avid fisherman and edible-mushroom gatherer. Instead of standard hotel fare, the proprietress cooks up whatever suits her fancy using local in-season vegetables, wild mushrooms, and fresh fish from nearby mountain streams. She’s happy to take requests as well and will match the menu to your budget. Dogs and other pets are welcome at the hotel, too (the owners have two dogs themselves).
Sugata Ryokan Bekka
Well-known for traditional dishes like okowa (sticky rice with seasonings and vegetables) and handmade soba, as well as a local take on health-food called “Hyakusaishoku,” or “100-year cuisine,” featuring vegetable and fish dishes.
This inn serves meals using vegetables grown in their own garden. The cozy kotatsu (low blanket-covered tables with a heating lamp underneath) in each room are popular with winter guests.
From the corner room of this small in, you’ll enjoy views of both the Japan Sea and Daisen’s stunning peak.
Guests rave about the delicious rice served here, which is dried beneath the sun on traditional frames in the fields.
Come here for lamb hotpots served in a dining room overlooking the Japan Sea.
Chiroru and Shirakaba
A popular choice with competitive skiers in the winter. The proprietress speaks some English. Some rooms with a private bathroom are available.
The young owners sometimes make hand-cut soba for guests.
Daisen White Palace
Daisen’s largest hotel. The lobby is decorated with old books featuring Mt. Daisen and eclectic nic-nacs collected by the travel-loving owner, including passenger seats from a vintage airplane.
Yamabiko-so and Kazan
This inn with its own soccer field out back is popular with sports-loving travelers.
The chefs at this inn are known for their lamb dishes (reservations required if you’d like to try some). http://www.chukai.ne.jp/~daisen-kawadoko/
Japan’s high-school track teams often book this lodge for combination holiday-and-training-sessions. Nearby mountain trails make for a challenging workout!
Daisen View Heights
An affordable hotel operated by the local government, Daisen View is located right across from the ski slopes and features a large shared bath. The manager likes to collect wild mushrooms, so if you visit in fall you’re likely to find some unusual varieties in your dinner.
Located very close to the trailhead for climbing to Daisen’s summit, this inn is famous for the fermented dried squid handmade by the elderly proprietress. Available in jars to take home as a gift – but be forewarned, this may be an acquired taste!
Ichiban-kan and Komorebi-kan
Ichiban-kan is open only in winter. Komorebi-kan is open year-round with a restaurant open in summer only, and an electric-vehicle charging station in the works.
Popular for its casual boarding-house lunches of ramen and fried rice.
Located midway up the road to Daisen Temple, this inn has five small rooms above a gift shop on the first floor. The cozy little dining room is decorated with traditional kasuri-style wall hangings made by the owner.
Sanraku-so, located just outside the gates of Daisen Temple, offers lodging, meals, and a taste of the old temple town as it once was. Rooms are simple Japanese-style, with tatami mats, a shared bath, and futons, while meals include exquisitely presented, multi-course vegetarian temple fare (with a few new twists, like the meatless “sohei,” or “monk-warrior,” burger). Guests can join monks in prayer services. Popular with foreign travelers.
Daisen Akema-no-Mori Resort Village
With a dozen western-style inns offering comfortable rooms and homemade meals, the tranquil vacation village of Akema-no-Mori is a great spot to spend a mountain weekend. Especially nice in summer, when the streets are lined with flowers and herbs and the weather mild. For an example of what you’ll find, visit the Pension Liberty Club home page at http://www2.to/libertyclub
Gouenzan Camp Ground and Shimoyama Camp Ground are simple facilities run by the National Park Service (0859-52-2165). Popular with mountain climbers. Entry fee is 400 yen for high school students and up, 300 yen for elementary and junior high kids, and 300 yen per tent space. Shimoyama also has tents for 5,000 yen. Open mid-June through August, with a free parking lot.
Mori-no-Kuni Daisen Field Athletics (0859-53-8036) is a less rustic option, complete with mini-golf, and extensive athletic facilities. Open Mid-March through late November. Entry fee 700-800 yen, plus a per-person site use fee of 700-1300 yen. Tents, BBQ sets, blankets, and everything else you might need available for rent.
Furosato Nichinanmura (0859-83-1188) has fifty campsites (1,500 yen per tent) along with log cabins (15,000 yen), baths, a Laundromat, dining hall, tennis courts, and craft and educational facilities. Open April-December. Pictures at http://web.sanin.jp/p/nichinanmura/facility/
(Japanese-only home page).
Soba (buckwheat noodles)Noodles made with unrefined locally-grown buckwheat are popular in the area. They are known for their robust flavor and dark color.
Nakanohara Ginrei serves a nice selection of different dipping sauces with their handmade soba, and the chef even lets guests try rolling and cutting your own! If you’re used to the salty/savory soba dipping sauce from eastern Japan, you might find Daisen dipping sauce a bit sweet. In general, cooks in western Japan tends to add a dash more sugar than their counterparts in the east.
OkowaOkawa is a traditional dish of sticky rice steamed with flavorings, wild vegetables, and other chopped vegetables and meats. Legend has it that the dish was originally served to people attending the local cow and horse market. Okowa is on the menu at many of Daisen’s inns and restaurants.
CafesThe cozy Inakaya Café opened in a remodeled temple-inn in 2010 – but wooden beams shiny with age and old Buddhist statuary from the temple make the café and adjoining shop feel like they’ve been there much longer. The café offers freshly-roasted coffee, homemade cake, and macha green tea; the shop has an eclectic collection of clothes made from recycled kimonos, antique household goods, pretty old dishes, and artwork.