Luxury Choices for Hokkaido

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Benji Sun
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Luxury Choices for Hokkaido

Post by Benji Sun » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:17 pm

This is a basic info packet i recently prepped for a Chinese power couple and their toddler daughter. They want some higher end choices for a ski + shopping trip (they'll be driving). The hotel choices and some of the restaurants are generally on the pricey side, but the sightseeing things are generally the same for everyone. I decided to post this here so members can see some variations, maybe splurge a day or two isn't so bad on a week long trip, and maybe skip a convenience store breakfast once in a while. The opinions of the locations are tailored for their use, and may not apply for other travellers, as I wanted to make sure they stay within a safe area area with their child in tow and I have an idea of their taste in food (eg. Asahidake to the east of Furano is actually great for skiing, but in terms of variety of service and English/Chinese staff, very lacking compared to the 4 main areas at Niseko).

Location-wise, I suggest staying around the central Hokkaido area. It's easier to manage for winter driving in case of blizzards. Rest of Hokkaido can have hours of nothing in between drives, not very easy to access any human beings in case of emergencies. also more nature or farm areas there maybe wild animals on the icy roads (usually Deer, Foxes, and sometimes Bears). Remember UV protective sunglasses, especially for the driver.

for Niseko/Kutchan: this is a popular ski resort and onsen area.

Children Activities in Niseko area:
Hanazono Adventure Park http://www.hanazononiseko.com/en/snow/f ... ctivities/ (snow tube, skiing, ski school, )

Ski area:
Niseko Annupuri http://annupuri.info/winter/english/ (in Niseko/Kutchan area, this ski bowl usually have fewest tour groups)
There's also a Kids Land Annupuri with oversized outdoor toys, snow tubing, making igloos, etc...

Food: (if you stay in onsen ryokan, dinner and breakfast are included so this is just for lunch if you don't want to eat at the hotel restaurants)
Niseko Ichimura http://niseko-ichimura.jp/ (home made soba noodles)

Hotel/Ryokan choices:
Niseko Konbu Onsen Tsuruga Besso Moku no sho http://www.mokunosho.com/en/ (luxury new ryokan)
Goshiki Onsen Ryokan http://goshiki-onsen.com/ (more traditional style, multiple generation owners)
Ki Niseko https://www.kiniseko.com/ (2014 open new luxury ryokan but more western style)
Glass House http://nisekoalpineaccommodation.com/ac ... ury-house/ (luxury serviced lodge)
The Setsumon http://nisekoalpineaccommodation.com/ac ... -setsumon/ (luxury serviced lodge)



for Otaru: this is a side village about 1hr train/drive from Sapporo (between Sapporo and Niseko)

Activities around Otaru and Yoichi:
Nikka Distillery in Yoichi http://www.nikka.com/eng/distilleries/yoichi/ (Nikka Whisky)
Otaru Kitaichi Glass http://www.kitaichiglass.co.jp/shopindex.html (glass viewing and shopping, and ice cream in their no.3 store)
Otaru Music Box Museum http://www.otaru-orgel.co.jp/english/e_main.html (this marks one end of that popular street, there's a musical clock here be here at the hour, more info of that street here http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6704.html)
Otaru Sankaku Market http://otaru-sankaku.com/ (fish market, winter is good time for herring, cod, scallops)

Food:
Isezushi http://www.isezushi.com/ (many reviews say best sushi in town, i have not been here yet)
Masazushi http://www.masazushi.co.jp/shop_honten.html (most famous in Otaru, but 3rd generation boss quality fluctuates, they have other branches, mostly NG, only the main branch is worth going)

Hotel/Ryokan choices:
Grand Park Otaru http://www.parkhotelgroup.com/otaru/default-en.html
while it may be interesting to stay in Otaru for the night and see the evening view of the canals, the choices for good hotels here are very limited and ryokans are far away, it might not be worth driving at night in the snow. most of Japan is severely lacking in streetlamps. Better to use this area as full day filler on the drive between Sapporo and Niseko.



for Sapporo:

Activities around Sapporo:
Tanukikoji Shopping Street http://www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/find ... e/?lang=en (all kinds of shopping and snack foods)
Sapporo Snow Festival http://www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/even ... l/?lang=en (if you can be here for those days, it's the #1 event in Hokkaido for winter season)
Shiroi Koibito Park http://www.shiroikoibitopark.jp/english/ (factory of famous cookie 白之戀人, great for children, building look like fairy tale land)
Noria rooftop ferris wheel http://www.norbesa.jp/shopinfo.php?id=0001 (on 7/F rooftop of Norbesa Shopping Centre)
Sapporo Jogai Ichiba http://www.jyogaiichiba.com/sapporo-cen ... rab-market (the big fish market, winter is king crab time, also many small restaurants in this market)

Outlets near Chitose Airport:
Rera http://www.outlet-rera.com/english/
Mitsui http://www.31op.com/sapporo/english/

Food:
Hachikyo http://www.atomsgroup.jp/ja/shop/honten (eat the famous tsukkomeshi here, overflowing mountain of salmon roe in rice bowl)
Sapporo Jingisukan https://digjapan.travel/en/spot/id=6745 (jingisukan, hokkaido specialty lamb grill)
Saveur http://saveur-sapporo.com/ (if you want to try Japanese style French cuisine)
Sushisai Wakichi https://gurunavi.com/en/h872800/rst/?__ ... IHJi5-fPBw
(supposed to be #1 sushiya in Hokkaido)
Menya Saimi https://en.tripadvisor.com.hk/Restauran ... kaido.html (supposed to be #1 ramen in Hokkaido, but the queue is equally #1 longest)
Ramen Alley http://www.ganso-yokocho.com/ (an indoor assortment of various ramen shops, in general pretty good)
Kaiyotei Susukino http://www.kaiyoutei.co.jp/ (their main branch in Susukino is a really good seafood izakaya)

Hotel/Ryokan choices:
JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo http://www.jrhotels.co.jp/tower/english/ (Nikko is JAL's hotel chain, quality should be quite good)
Hotel Okura Sapporo https://www.okura-nikko.com/japan/sappo ... a-sapporo/ (also a good Nikko hotel)



for Noboribetsu onsen: best onsen area in Hokkaido

Activities around Noboribetsu:
Hell Valley http://www.noboribetsu-spa.jp/?see=jigokudani2&lang=en (the onsen source water, sometimes very strong sulfur smell)
Date Jidaimura http://www.edo-trip.jp/lng_english/ (historical theme park made to look like samurai times)

Food: (if you stay in onsen ryokan, dinner and breakfast are included so this is just for lunch if you don't want to eat at the hotel restaurants)
Shiraoi no gyu Iwasaki http://iwasakiwagyu.com/index.html (a yakiniku restaurant from the ranch selling shiraoi beef 白老牛)
Cafe Denen http://www.noboribetsu-spa.jp/?eat=%E5% ... 0%E5%9C%92 (omelette rice, not much choice for lunch outside of hotels in this onsen town)
Tarakoya Kojohama http://www.kojohama.co.jp/html/index.php (their cafeteria is good, but their shop buying mentaiko is better)
Aji no Daioh http://www.muroran-curryramen.com/?page_id=595 (curry ramen, a little out of the way in Muroran town)
Toritatsu http://www3.plala.or.jp/toritatuhonntenn/index.html (yakitori chicken skewers, also in Muroran town)
Marutoma cafeteria http://h-machine.jp/marutoma/ (japanese cafeteria, good cheap food in a wet market in Tomakomai town)

Hotel/Ryokan choices:
Boro Noguchi Noboribetsu http://www.bourou.com/ (high end onsen ryokan)
Takinoya http://www.takinoya.co.jp/ (more central location, can walk around the onsen street shops easier)
Daiichi Takimotokan https://www.takimotokan.co.jp/english/ (the big hotel right next to Hell Valley, it has the most services, but also the most tour groups, their higher grade in-room dining plans are quite good, their buffet is garbage)



other further locations:
Asahiyama Zoo Penguin Parade http://asazoo.com/index.php?penguin%20walk (in Asahikawa city, this zoo's penguin parade is very popular)
Baikohken Honten http://www.baikohken.com/shop/asahikawa.html (in Asahikawa city, best ramen in Hokkaido, make sure add butter)
Daikokuya http://www.daikoku-jgs.com/ (in Asahikawa city, best jingisukan lamb grill in Hokkaido, but very very smoky)
Sounkyo Gorge http://www.sounkyo.net/english/ (further east from Asahikawa, nice onsen ryokans, beautiful twin frozen waterfalls)
Kurodake Ski Area http://www.rinyu.co.jp/modules/pico01/i ... ntent_id=3 (gondola up from Sounkyo town, highest mountain in Hokkaido)

Hakodate http://www.hakodate.travel/en/ (southmost Hokkaido city, beautiful and great seafood, but too similar to Otaru and too far to drive)
Hoshino Resort Tomamu http://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/ (great resort, very busy, in the middle of nowhere, Niseko is better and more variety)
Furano and Biei http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6825.html (beautiful flower and farms, not much to do in winter)

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Re: Luxury Choices for Hokkaido

Post by fbarraza28 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:23 pm

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Re: Luxury Choices for Hokkaido

Post by fbarraza28 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:43 am

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