{Shikoku Hachijūhachikasho Meguri}


Business Hotel
A hotel mainly for travelling salesmen with very simple accomodations. The rooms are usually very small with nothing but the necessities, but the price is usually cheaper than a regular hotel. Occasionally there is some place to eat breakfast, but usually business hotels offer no food and nowhere to buy any. Business hotels are always equiped western style — no tatami, no sleeping on the floor, etc.

Furo or Ofuro
The Japanese bath. The perfect gift to mankind and the best of all possible ways to relax at the end of the day. Wash before getting into the bath with the buckets or spray nozzels provided. Once clean, climb in, make friends with whoever else is there, let the heat soak all the way to the very center of your bones, and enjoy.

A traditional Japanese inn and very similar to an American Bed and Breakfast. As opposed to a hotel, which is furnished in western style, at a minshuku you will sleep in a futon on the floor, eat only Japanese food (in a common dining room), share a common bathroom, and use a Japanese bath. One of the great things about staying at a minshuku is meeting the other guests in the dining room. You have a better chance of just sitting and visiting with other Japanese guests than you do in any other situation in Japan. The quality of minshuku on Shikoku, like elsewhere in Japan, can vary significantly from those you may never want to revisit to very clean and quiet.

The same as a minshuku but usually more upscale. Typically, but not always, you can count on a ryokan to be cleaner, and a little fancier than a minshuku. On Shikoku, though, i ran across a number of ryokan that were really no different than a typical minshuku, and a couple that were dirtier.

Lodging quarters at a temple for pilgrims and other guests. They are owned and operated by the temple they are attached to, but as far as accomodations are concerned, they are no different fro good minshuku.

Dining hall. Everyone in a minshuku or ryokan eats family style. You will get your own plate of food (actually several plates), but everyone shares the tables. You rarely sit alone unless everyone is afraid of trying to speak English to the foreigner. If you speak even a little Japanese, and make it obvious, you will be flooded with people wanting to talk to you. In adition, once the other guests befriend you, it isn't rare (from my experience) that they try to give you a free beer or two.