If you're heading to the Shimokita Peninsula to explore the rocky coastline, inland scenery or the sacred mountain of Osore-zan, then you're likely to pass through the small, agreeable town of Mutsu. A good place to stay while you're there is the Mutsu Park Hotel, which provides decent comfort and friendly service at an eminently reasonable cost.
I arrived very early and the staff allowed me to leave my bags while I went to Osore-zan for the morning, then I came back and checked in. I'd chosen a standard single room instead of the economy single, and was glad of the extra couple of square meters, though it was still pretty boxy in usual business hotel style, and I imagine an economy room would have been very poky indeed. My room boasted the usual fixtures and fittings - TV, fridge, kettle - and a pleasant, if not outstanding view over the town and its surroundings.
Elsewhere in the hotel, there are comfortable couches to rest on in the lobby, which is decorated with a striking, colorful glass mosaic on the ceiling. There are also a couple of free-use PCs, laptops available for rent, a coin laundry and a Tea Lounge open from 11:00am to 8:00pm.
Rooms available are singles, doubles and twins, ranging in price from about ¥5500 for a single to ¥9500 for a double or twin; the hotel's website, while mostly in Japanese, has an English reservations page which also allows you to reserve a double for one person only, for roughly ¥7000. For an extra few hundred yen you can also have breakfast, choosing between continental or Japanese food.
Mutsu isn't a big town, so the hotel is convenient for everything. There's a supermarket immediately next door, the bus terminal for buses to Osore-zan and nearby stations is only a short walk away, and it's close to the town's lively few blocks of bars and restaurants. The friendly, cheery staff, who spoke a little English, furnished me with information on transportation, recommendations for places to eat, and a booklet with some discount coupons. There are no must-see sights in the town itself, but there are a couple of pleasant temples, and I spent a relaxed half day poking around them and the shops.
I enjoyed my stay at Mutsu Park Hotel. For the level of comfort, the welcoming staff and the very convenient location, it definitely represents good value for money.