Yoshida Genki Mura – Camping season is in full swing in Japan. Its a great time of the year for a tent. But rainy season is on the way, and shortly after comes the unbearable heat. By the start of next month our tent will be packed up until Autumn and it will be log cabin season once again.
Cabin Accommodation in Yoshida Rocket Town Chichibu
Thinking about cabins (cottages, villas etc) reminded me of our March camping trip to Peach Blossom heaven in Yoshida Rocket Town. I never did get around to posting about our accommodation on that trip. But you may have seen my post about the peach blossoms in the area. Yoshida was simply stunning with the vibrant peach blossoms in full bloom.
Yoshida Genki Mura
During that visit to see the peach blossoms we stayed in a two story log cabin in Yoshida Genki Mura. Yoshida Genki Mura is one of those place names that is not translated into English and the romaji of the name is used. If we were to translate it, it would be something like the salubrious village of Yoshida or the fine village of Yoshida. Neither work particularly well.
Yoshida Genki Mura is described as a campsite, but it isn’t quite. There are no tent sites at this remote location by Kakkaku Dam. The only choice of accommodation is log cabins or some might call them cottages. There are six people and nine people cabins in the resort, although both could fit more than the guideline capacity. All the cabins have two floors.
We loved that you come in on the second floor where the bathroom and bedroom is. You take off your shoes in the porch. Slippers are provided, but we didn’t because use them they’d have been lethal on the stairs. The bathroom is an unit bathroom – all plastic with toilet, sink, shower in bath. There is a floor to ceiling window as you come into the bedroom that allows light in from a skylight over the stairs. The stairs leads down to a dining and kitchen area with a balcony.
Downstairs is smaller than upstairs. The flooring is stone, so rather cold in winter, but great in the summer. There is no living area in the cabin, just a large table with six or nine chairs depending on what cabin you are staying in. The kitchen has a fridge freezer, electric pot, rice cooker and microwave, but you need to have your own crockery.
There are two large windows in this room. One of the windows affords a nice view of the balcony and the river and town below. The balcony also has a table and chairs.
Central barbecue and pizza making
If you want to barbecue there is a central barbecue area. It is a covered area with tables and chairs, sinks and even vending machines. It is in the center of the complex, within walking distance of all cabins and of the hot spring. There is a pizza making room here too. You can book to make pizzas until three days before your planned stay.
Indoor sports hall and climbing wall
There is an indoor hall close to the central barbecue area and biomass facilities. It can be used by guests of the resort for a nominal fee. When we were there a soccer club where staying at the cabins and making full use of the hall. One one side there is a climbing area. The owner of the resort told us that as it is quite old, he doesn’t recommend small children use it. There were teenagers having great craic on it while we there.
Clubhouse, Hot spring and Foot spa
The hot spring also doubles up as the reception and management office. There is also some party rooms and the restaurant here. The building is known as the “clubhouse”.
This is where you check in. There is a foot spa out front which is free for anyone to use. It is generated by a biomass bio facility (more information under attractions). In spring, the drive up to the hot spring and around the foot spa is ornately flanked in the stunning peach blossoms.
The hot spring isn’t particularly large and the bath is quite old, but the building was recently refurbished and is clean and well maintained. There is a restaurant in this facility that sells a famous Dam Curry on the upper floor. In the spa area there is a couple of massage chairs and vending machines, but not much else.
The restaurant is on the second floor of the reception and hot spring. It is the only restaurant in the area of the dam, which can be reached from a walkway at the back of the resort.
The main attraction for families is the river that runs along one side of the resort. It is down a small hill, a minute walk from the hot spring. It is a low, clean river suitable for playing in. It has some stepping stones joining the concrete embankment to the small river beach in the middle of the river.
When we visited in spring, we inquired about staying again in the summer. The cabins were already fully booked out for weekends during July! The owner told us they get a lot of repeat customers who book in advance each year. I can totally understand why.
The Kakkaku dam is a gravity dam that acts as a flood control, non-specified river maintenance and water supply management facility. Building commenced in 1970 and was completed in 2001. It is 56 hectares and holds millions of cubic meters of water!
The Kakkaku dam is only a few minutes walk up a steep hill from the cabins. There is a lot of wildlife in the area, so you do need to be wary of the potential of bears and hornets. The view from the dam wall is spectacular during peach blossom season.
Biomass Generator & Environmental Learning
The biomass generator at Yoshida Genki Mura was a key attraction of the area until a fire last year closed it down temporarily. In the hope that it will once again be open for touring I wanted to briefly mention it.
The facility is one of only two that was chosen as exemplar as a NEDO new energy 100 selection in Saitama. When the facility is open you can view:
- Wood Biomass Generation Facility
- Tempura Oil recycling facility
- Photovoltaic Power Generation
- Sanitation Facility
More information in English from the official Chichibu City website.
The Downside of the cabins
I loved our bungalow from the minute we opened its front door. But after a quick look around the first thing I was grateful for is that my youngest is now four years old. This accommodation would have been a nightmare when she or any of here siblings were around two years old, as it is not childproofed.
The stairs is wooden slats rather than steps, so it is something to be wary of with small children. My kids loved climbing up the outside of the banister and climbing through the open stairs, but a young child could easily fall through them.
Also, the upper bunk beds are up much higher than a regular bunk bed. If a child fell out from above, an emergency hospital trip would most likely be required. (Thankfully there are three hospitals within a 15 minute drive of which one is an out of hours emergency clinic!)
Another drawback is that the air conditioning unit downstairs doesn’t function well as a heater. It doesn’t help that the room is lofty with an open staircase in it! Thankfully this is not an issue during the summer, but if you are visiting in spring it can get quite cold at night. The unit in the bedroom works more efficiently because it is a closed space.
Despite these few drawbacks we really liked the accommodation. However, other than the river there isn’t much for kids in the area. And there is nothing to do in the immediate vicinity except visit the dam. Thankfully, Chichibu is full of things to do and plenty are within driving distance of Yoshida. For example, Midori No Mura is only a short drive away and Chichibu Muse Park is only a half hour away by car.
Name: Yoshida Genki Mura
Classification: Affordable Cabin Accommodation in Rocket Town Yoshida, Chichibu, Saitama
Cost: between 17,000 (off season) and 25,000 yen for the six people cabins. The nine people cabins cost 20,000 out of season and 30,000 during high season. Please see the official website for up to date costs for pizza making, hot springs and other facilities at Yoshida Genki Mura.
Address: 4942-1 Kamiyoshida, Chichibu, Saitama 369-1505
The area is quite difficult to get to by public transport. The nearest station is Minano station on the Chichibu railway line. From there it is about a 3 hour hike! You can get a bus part of the way, but even at that you are still looking at an hours walk. The area is most accessible by car. By car it is 17 kilometres from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu expressway.Source: Peach Blossoms Yoshida
Parking: If you are staying in a six person cabin you can’t park your car beside your cabin. There is a central parking area beside the nine person cabins. You can temporarily park outside the cabin to unload your luggage and then move your car to the parking area.
More about the peach blossoms: