The last three places we’ve been have all centered around Lake Yamanakako, and the Yamanakako Lakeside Hotel was no different. That being said, it was an older hotel, and could easily be used as the film location for a Japanese version of The Shining. The hotel was populated by big black spiders that were easily two inches long and shiny green beetles. I could have dealt with that. Bugs, while occasionally disgusting, are to be expected in a place that gets as much rain as Japan does. The hotel was really creepy apart from that, though. It was separated into two distinct sections—the section which the students stayed in that I assume was the newer section and our section, the old section. The beds were wet, the lightbulbs were bare, plants grew out of the ceiling, and a cleaning lady (who we mistook for a student on several occasions) brought a tray of mysterious food up to our floor every morning.
It wasn’t until last night that we finally discovered that there was, in fact, someone else living on our floor in an unmarked room down the hall. Creepy? Yes, yes it was. Add that to the fact that one of the students claimed in her evaluation that she saw a ghost, and you have one really creepy hotel. Luckily I was too tired for nightmares.
The best thing about the hotel was their awesome bath facilities, which had clearly been renovated relatively recently and had not only an indoor bath but also an outdoor bath that definitely got the top spot in my communal bathing experiences. Leaving the hotel this afternoon, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was happy to leave the creepy tenant and Truman, the gigantic spider, behind, but on the other hand I was hoping for an authentic Japanese ghost experience. Oh well.
Tomorrow, I’m off to my home stay, where there will preferably be no supernatural presences, plants hanging from the ceiling, or creepy bedrooms. Wish me luck!