From the Kawaguchi-ko station, Gasthof Melange, a bed and breakfast is about 10 minutes away.
While most hotels and pensions (bed & breakfasts) in the area try to entice their customers with views of Mt Fuji and the lake, this pension is located off the main roads, in a quiet neighborhood near the Orgel (music box) museum.
There is a 2-day pass you can buy at the Kawaguchi-ko station for 1000 yen (about US$10) per person for the Fujikyu Retro bus. This entitles you to get on and off two lines around Lake Kawaguchi. It is great transportation.
A word of caution though, don't take a taxi in this area, most are on-call, not roaming around like in the big cities and for some reason, their meters are "faster", you will rack up a major bill just for a short distance.
Gasthof Melange has 7 guest rooms. Their name comes from the German word "gasthof" which means hotel, inn. Melange is the English word taken from French for mixture. This place is halfway between a hotel and inn---in other words, bed and breakfast (B&B) or as the Japanese like to call them, "pension".
The good thing about staying at these B&B are that the meals are homemade and the feeling is homey. Usually these places cost less than staying at a hotel. The bad thing is that the time that meals are served are pre-determined, and they usually have a curfew (when they will lock the front door). If you don't mind a few rules, then you'll enjoy staying at a Japanese B&B.
This B&B is run by a couple who have two dogs, a corgi (Merry) and mini-dachshund (Marron).
Since we stayed at this B&B a week after Golden Week, we actually were the only guests. This was nice, the owner spent a lot of time chatting with us about the area as well as other topics.
About 4 years ago, he started taking photos of Mt Fuji from different areas around Lake Kawaguchi and has them displayed here and there around the B&B.
Dinner was elaborate...Appetizers of roasted tomatoes, mussels & duck. The warm tomatoes were delicious. The mussles and duck were tender and simply prepared.
Penne Arrabiata was cooked al dente with just the right amount of spiciness.
Seared Salmon with a salad had a butter, sesame sauce. There were bones in the salmon so it was a bit hard to eat.
There was also some french bread from a local bakery (which I'll tell you about in the next post) with some olive oil and salt. The bread was delicious, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside.
Steak with roasted potatoes and some cheese. The steak was medium-rare with a some gristle, the sauce that was served with it was delicious, kind of like a berry-wine sauce. The potatoes were roasted tender and the cheese tasted like gouda.
Dessert was an Earl Grey pannacotta, raspberry mousse cake and wasei mikan(tangerine). I was disappointed with the pannacotta as there was no earl grey flavor. The raspberry mousse cake was delicious, a light yellow sponge cake topped with a mousse with just the right amount of tartness from the raspberries. The tangerine was really sweet with no seeds.
Dinner ran a couple of hours and after a very filling dinner, we chatted with the owner for about an hour then got to meet their dog, Marron, who was quite shy. The owner was happy that we didn't mind Marron coming into the dining room and was also happy to be able to chat about photography with Satoshi.
Then Satoshi and I went to the bathing area and relaxed in the l-o-n-g ceramic tiled tub. Since most Japan homes (like ours) have tubs that are just big enough to sit in, it was nice to be able to stretch out in this one.
The next morning, we woke early to see if Mt Fuji was willing to show us her face, but the clouds were too thick and we weren't lucky enough to see Mt Fuji.
So, we went back to sleep until it was time for breakfast. Breakfast was bigger than what we were used to--sausage, mashed potatoes, a salad, scrambled egg, rolls, a little cup of mushroom soup and yogurt with some blueberry jam on it.
As we left, the owner, his wife and their two dogs came to see us off. Marron had warmed up to me and wanted to play catch.
We had a great time and loved the homey feeling that Gasthof Melange had to offer.
p.s. more photos on Flickr.