July 03 2017
Japan is a beautiful country with an impressive highway system peppered with robust rest areas that make car travel easy and comfortable. What they do not have is a chain of hotels friendly to four-legged family members. This has been a difficult adjustment for our family. Our boys love road trips. George loves watching the world go by from the back seat window and Cesar loves hotel beds and room service. We’ve missed that in Japan.
With our countdown clock ticking away, we decided it was now or never. We searched online and found one hotel in Atsugi that would accept two fat bulldogs. We searched some more and found an AIRBNB near Hiroshima that agreed to accommodate our little piggies. That’s all we needed. We packed up the car with dog crates, kibble, bottled water, George’s nursing duck, poop bags, and a doggie first-aid kit, and hit the road!
We got lost trying to find our AIRBNB. Google Maps and our car’s GPS both sent us off into the boonies. We literally drove through a giant stone torii gate before deciding we needed to backtrack to the main road. After some back and forth with our host, we made our way back to the correct area to find our hosts standing on the side of the road, waving AIRBNB signs at us to show us the way. This kind of hospitality is Japan is known for but it always surprises and impresses me when we encounter it.
We made it to Atsugi the following day and took no time at all finding pizza and wings. There are no calories on road trips. The boys made friends, romped through the dog park, slept in and stayed up late. It was exactly what we needed. We cruised around town, read books, lounged in our pajamas, and ate lots of calorie-free junk food. Yay for vacation! The drive back was fast and furious and it took another day or two to recuperate but sooo worth it.