Blueberry Lodge, Tokinosumika, Gotemba Shizuoka.
On our most recent visit to Tokinosumika we tried the self catering (with breakfast buffet included) option, for the first time, in the Blueberry Lodges. The Blueberry Lodges are one floor houses essentially. There are four to a block. Each lodge has a Western bedroom, a Japanese bedroom, a toilet, bathroom, vanity unit, dining room with kitchen that has a fridge, kettle and microwave. I was very reassured by the friendly feel of the lodge area at the back of Tokinosumika resort. Probably augmented by the “Welcome Friends” sign in English as we approached reception!
The reception area is for both the Blueberry Lodges and the Slow House Villas. It is also the reception area for the Ringo no Yu onsen (hot spring) and for renting bikes. There is a small shop in the reception that sells some drinks and snacks. There are 2 computers there, connected to the Internet, for patron’s use.
The Big Bang Playground is only a short walk away through the slow house villa area where there is Little Prince and Peter Rabbit statues and paraphernalia. Breakfast is in “Buffet Paro Restaurant” which is about a five minute scenic walk from the lodges. At the back of the restaurant is the pool, which you can see from the breakfast room. They are also planning to build an indoor pool next year (2015) that will be right opposite the reception for the lodges. Right now, the crazy golf area is there. It will be moved.
Like so many places in Japan, the Blueberry Lodges have something small, but special to offer. You can ask at reception to borrow life-size stuffed toys of the characters Bitzer and Shaun, from the British stop motion animation “Shaun the Sheep“! Shaun the Sheep is aired on Japan’s national educational channel “E-TV” on Saturday mornings, so my children are familiar with the characters and were delighted to find them in reception.
The lodges are quite big. They have a kitchen/dining area, a living room / bedroom in the form of a tatami room (futons are stored during the day and taken out at night), and a Western style bedroom with 2 semi-double beds. There is also a toilet, a bath/shower room and a vanity area with sink and storage. Each lodge has either a balcony or a patio. The kitchen area has a hob, a sink, a microwave, a kettle and a fridge. YOU NEED TO BRING YOUR OWN UTENSILS AND COOKING IMPLEMENTS.
The are 4 lodges to a unit. My one complaint is that the walls and floors are quite thin so you can hear your neighbours. However, I also think we were unfortunate on our first night, that the people in the lodge above us were particularly noisy. On subsequent nights we had different neighbours and we rarely heard a thing. The lodges are so named due to the blueberries that grow on the trellis in the courtyard. Within the central courtyard there is a rest area and some vending machines that sell drinks and ice-cream.
Blueberry Lodge Information
Official website (Japanese language only). You will also find up-to-date room charges on their website.