5 Hokkaido Hotels to Social Distance in Style!

·13-min read
5 Hokkaido Hotels to Social Distance in Style!
5 Hokkaido Hotels to Social Distance in Style!

Lockdowns, quarantine, social distancing - the travel bans of 2020 and 2021 have ground travel to a halt. But is that really the case? If you're already in Japan, there's still plenty of safe, sensible travel opportunities allowing you to escape the crowded cities for the tranquil and isolated Japanese countryside.

Surrounded by nature and with a sparse population, the northern island of Hokkaido is the perfect location for a social distance holiday! With ample private space and coronavirus countermeasures firmly in place, you'll be able to unwind and make fresh holiday memories in peace.

To help plan your Japan social distance getaway, we've picked out 5 Hokkaido accommodations offering all this and more!

1. The Lake Suite Ko no Sumika - Gorgeous Luxury on Lake Toya

Opened in August of 2019, this high-class accommodation allows guests to experience life on Lake Toya. Just a 2-hour drive from Sapporo and a 1.5-hour drive from New Chitose Airport, along with a free courtesy car available from Sapporo city, it is surprisingly easy to get to this secluded location!

With the calming sounds of a waterfall echoing down the entrance walkway, you'll feel yourself slipping into another world from the moment you arrive at Lake Suite Ko no Sumika.

Once you exit the walkway, a huge infinity pool spreads out before you, appearing as if connected to Lake Toya in an elegant display. The lobby is chic and modern, flawlessly blending Japanese-style interior with the surrounding scenery.

All rooms are furnished with private rotenburo open-air onsen baths, allowing you to avoid other customers and soak in peace while relishing the lake views. The 9.5 square meter 'infinity terrace' provides another space to appreciate these views, with magical fireworks displays often lighting up the sky during certain seasons.

Of course, the best lake views come from inside the private rotenburo onsen, where you can bask in the feeling of undisturbed privacy and allow the world to pass by without concern.

While it's tempting to spend all your time in the private bath, it's worthwhile checking out the huge shared 'infinity' bath which connects seamlessly to the lake. As the edge of the bath protrudes into the air, it'll feel like you're floating in the sky! If the weather permits, the stars here are equally spectacular!

For dinner, head to Lake Suite Ko no Sumika's restaurant 'The Toya' to be served a series of Japanese dishes of local ingredients, including Toya-gyu wagyu, seafood from the Funka Bay, and seasonal vegetables.

Being the closest part of the building to the lake, the restaurant is cleverly designed to blend in perfectly with the surrounding nature. There is a full-body disinfecting machine, alcohol spray, and limited capacity, allowing guests to dine in safety.

At Ko no Sumika's guest-only restaurant, the Toya Sun Palace Resort & Spa (Main Building), you can feast upon Japanese courses of 4-5 dishes (table set) complemented by a Japanese-Chinese-Western mini-buffet. Guests are required to wear disposable gloves when taking food and tongs are disinfected and washed after every use.

English and Chinese language assistance from international staff is available. If there is no one on duty, Japanese staff can communicate with a translation device.

Measures against Covid-19:
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shop and facilities / Sanitizer installed / Disinfected after each guest leaves / Ventilation measures in place / Plastic partitions installed / Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / Limited capacity and increased space between seats / Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell / Masks required / temperature check enforced

The Lake Suite Ko No Sumika
7 Toyakoonsen, Sobetsu, Usu District, Hokkaido 049-5731
0142-82-4121

2. Hotel Kifu Club Shiretoko - A Cozy Inn to Warm Your Heart!

In the town of Utoro on the Shiretoko Peninsula lies a quaint, family-run inn totally isolated from the rest of the world. For those with cars, it's a 6-hour drive from Sapporo and a 2-hour drive from Abashiri. For those without, it's still accessible via public transport, however, you'll need to take the Shari bus service from JR Shiretokoshari Station and get off at the Utoro Bus Terminal, from where you'll be picked up via their shuttle service (requires advance reservation).

Despite the lengthy journey, the unspoiled beauty of the Natural World Heritage Site of Shiretoko combined with Hotel Kifu Club's warm hospitality, cozy rooms, delicious food, and natural onsen make the trip worthwhile! Its remoteness and small capacity also make for the perfect social distance getaway!

Including the Japanese and western rooms in the main building and the separated log cabin, there are 15 rooms, all boasting views of the Sea of Okhotsk.

From spring to autumn, the sun will set right before your eyes, while during mid-winter, magnificent drift ice will spread out across the frozen sea. There's no better place to appreciate Shiretoko's lush, untouched nature in comfort than here!

Renovated in 2016, the central bath is an unfiltered free-flowing carbonated saltwater hot spring with myriad health benefits.

There is also a private rotenburo open-air onsen that can be reserved, allowing you to separate yourself from other guests.

From bird songs in the afternoon to a night sky covered by stars, you'll be able to relish every inch of Hokkaido's rural beauty in contentment and warmth! During check-in, each room will be able to reserve one hour of private bath time for themselves.

Dinner is served in their spacious restaurant and features their 'oil fondue' set, allowing guests to fry tempura while eating it, along with a set of seasonal seafood and mountain pickings.

The seafood is sourced directly from local fishers and the dashi soup stock is made from Hokkaido's renowned Rausu Kombu. During spring, you'll also be able to enjoy freshly-picked local mountain vegetables, allowing a thorough encounter with the tastes of Shiretoko.

The rice, which is the renowned 'Yumepirika,' is sourced from the innkeeper's farming acquaintance in Rankoshi, while the miso soup is a blend of home-made miso paste and hand-picked funori seaweed.

The simple and nourishing breakfast is served in oak bowls made by Kenichiro Watanabe of celebrated furniture producer STANDARD TRADE, along with those made by Oke Craft from the Hokkaido town of Oketo.

English assistance is available.

Measures against Covid-19:
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shop and facilities / Sanitizer installed / Disinfected after each guest leaves / Ventilation measures in place / Plastic partitions installed / Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / Limited capacity, increased space between seats / Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell / Masks required / temperature check enforced

Hotel Kifu Club Shiretoko
Utoro Higashi 318, Shari, Hokkaido
Shiretoko-Shari

3. Zaborin Ryokan - Escape From the Everyday!

A 2.5-hour drive from New Chitose Airport and 1 3/4-hour drive from Sapporo Station, Zaborin Ryokan is a luxury hotel hidden away in the depths of Niseko's vast birch forests.

In this secluded realm of unspoiled tranquility, you can fully remove yourself from the strife of the world and reach a state of blissful 'zen.'

While respecting its Japanese roots, the hotel design is refreshing and modern, seamlessly blending with the surrounding environment and encouraging a deeper connection with nature.

Those visiting via public transport can be picked up by their courtesy car from JR Kutchan Station (15-minute drive).

Each of the 15 suite-style rooms boasts its own creative flair, with the surrounding nature effortlessly flowing in through the wide windows. In addition to western and Japanese-style, rooms with a 7-piece tatami antechamber are also available.

Each room is furnished with both a private indoor and outdoor onsen, with free-flowing thermal water pumped up from a spring in the hotel grounds.

Depending upon the room type, the outdoor rotenburo onsen will either be carved out of a giant stone or made from Hinoki cypress wood. Encompassed by dynamic scenery, you'll feel at one with nature as you soak away stress in these decorative tubs.

While honoring traditional Japanese cooking methods, the head chef tactfully utilizes Hokkaido ingredients and local knowledge combined with his own unique sensibility to create the ultimate original 'northern kaiseki' cuisine.

Highlighting Hokkaido's seasonal delicacies, the presentation overflows with imagination and a playful heart, giving equal enjoyment to your eyes as well as your taste buds.

Each room is affixed with a private dining space, completely separating you from all other guests. The hotel website has English, Chinese, and Korean options, and the staff can speak English.

Measures against Covid-19:
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shop and facilities / Sanitizer installed / Disinfected after each guest leaves / Ventilation measures in place / Coin trays used / Plastic partitions installed / Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / Limited capacity / increased space between seats / Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell / Masks required / temperature check enforced

Zaborin
Kutchan Hanazono 76-4, Niseko, Hokkaido
Kutchan

4. Century Marina Hakodate - A Voyage Through Hakodate!

Opened in 2019, this snazzy resort hotel was designed to emulate the experience of staying on a ship anchored in Hakodate. Based on the theme of 'private cruising,' you can unwind and relish your holiday accompanied by fantastic views of Mt. Hakodate from the breezy Hakodate Bay Area.

You can also zone-out with views 15-floors above from the Spa Stellar Deck's stunning infinity sky bath. Only a 5-minute walk from JR Hakodate Station, a 2-minute walk to the Hakodate Morning Market, and a 20-minute drive to Hakodate Airport, the location is second-to-none!

There are 17 room types to choose from, each based around a different scene. This includes the reasonably-priced 'standard floor,' the exquisite 'royal floor,' and even rooms to stay with your dogs! (Those staying with dogs must sign an agreement form.)

Each suite room on the 13th 'royal floor' boasts a private open-air bath with views, allowing guests to unwind with friends and family and forget all about the world below. Other perks include free welcome sweets, free drinks on the 1st-floor bar, and priority seating at breakfast.

After warming up your body in the bath, you can cool down and savor drinks and ice-cream at the 'Stellar Lounge' over Hakodate's brilliant night scenery. With a spacious, separated seating arrangement, you can completely forget about the other customers and totally zone-out.

It's no exaggeration to say that one of the most impressive aspects of the Century Marina Hakodate is its breakfast. Inspired by famous port towns across the world, the Yuuyoo Terrace Hakodate is an extravagant buffet of over 150 dishes crafted with Hokkaido's freshest ingredients.

With such an overwhelming selection of high-quality produce to feast on, you'll surely be satisfied for the rest of the day!

To combat the spread of covid-19, the restaurant seating is spread out and regularly ventilated. Guests are also required to undergo temperature checks upon arrival, wear masks, use the disposable gloves when taking food, and only come during their assigned eating time.

The Century Marina Hakodate website can be switched to English or Chinese, and there are staff at the front desk who can speak English and Korean (depending upon shift).

Measures against Covid-19:
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shop and facilities / Sanitizer installed / Disinfected after each guest leaves / Ventilation measures in place / Coin trays used / Plastic partitions installed / Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / Limited capacity / increased space between seats / Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell / Masks required / temperature check enforced

*In order to further prevent the spread of Covid-19, the hotel requests guests avoid peak times when checking in / out.

HOTEL&SPA CENTURY MARINA HAKODATE
Otemachi 22-13, Hakodate, Hokkaido
Shiyakusho-mae

5. Hotel Furukawa - A Serene Stay With Ocean Views

Exceptionally positioned on a slope overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Hotel Furukawa is located in Shiraoi, the site of an ancient Ainu village and home to the brand-new Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park.

Hotel Furukawa is 10 minutes by car from Noboribetsu Station on the JR Muroran Main Line and 15 minutes from the Central Hokkaido Noboribetsu-Higashi Interchange. You can also book a courtesy car from JR Noboribetsu Station (requires reservation).

Aided by the soothing rhythm of the ocean and the treasure-trove of Shiraoi delicacies, you'll feel the outside world vanish as you settle into a life of bliss!

Apart from the dog-friendly 1st-floor rooms, all rooms are ocean-front with gorgeous sweeping views. Each was purposely designed with large, open windows allowing the scenery to flow inside, making guests feel at one with the encompassing nature. You can select from 11 types of rooms, including Japanese, western, and 'special.'

With the intention of fully escaping the troubles of society, all rooms are television-free (there are large televisions in the spa relaxation room and the 1st-floor smoking space).

The bath, Bijin no Yu, is a part of the renowned Kojohama hot springs. With spacious outdoor and indoor baths, including a breathtaking open-air infinity bath connecting to the sea, you'll be able to bask in the glorious weather and phenomenal night skies without interruption. If you get up in time, you can also witness the sun rising out from the ocean!

You can also escape the other guests in the private baths (separate fee, 80-minute reservation), which are made from hinoki wood and stone. Along with the wide windows and ocean views, a refreshing private deck was added to the baths in the most recent renovation!

The dinner is a Japanese set course making the most out of Shiraoi's renowned produce. This includes Shiraoi-gyu Japanese Black wagyu, seafood sourced from Maehama, and locally-picked vegetables. There is also a menu with Shiraoi-gyu steak and other delightful dishes to choose from.

The restaurant has private dining rooms, allowing complete separation from the other guests. Breakfast consists of a Japanese-style set meal made from a fantastic selection of premium Hokkaido ingredients (subject to change upon season).

In addition, an open terrace with hammocks, footbaths, and a meditation room have been set up to allow guests the opportunity to fully connect with the nature around them. If you want to see the sunrise, ask for a 'morning call!'

Staff can converse in basic English, sometimes with the assistance of a translation device.

Measures against Covid-19:
Disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of shop and facilities / Sanitizer installed / Disinfected after each guest leaves / Ventilation measures in place / Coin trays used / Plastic partitions installed / Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / Limited capacity / increased space between seats / Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell / Masks required / temperature check enforced

*Along with two chlorine dioxide generators (disinfects air) set up within the premises, all rooms have Plasmacluster machines, air humidifiers, and air purifiers to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Hotel Furukawa
289-3 Kojohama, Shiraoi, Shiraoi District, Hokkaido 059-0641
0144-87-6111

The information presented in this article is accurate as of February 2021. Confirm the latest information on official websites before visiting.

Written by: Minna no Kotobasha

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