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Relax after your travels with an impressive buffet and onsen in a traditional Japanese inn setting
Photos: Pamela Chow
After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing more relaxing than kicking back in a cushy hotel and resting your weary body in a hot onsen (hot spring) bath. In my recent trip to Hokkaido, Japan, I capped off a day of exploring the Shiretoko Peninsula with a pampering night at Shiretoko Grand Hotel, or Kita Kobushi.
Here’s what makes Shiretoko Grand Hotel a good choice of accommodation if you’re visiting this side of Japan.
Unlike its modern outer and lobby appearances, the hotel has rooms done up in traditional Japanese ryokan (inn) style, with tatami mats and paper-screen sliding doors. Due to this, this room was the largest of my trip in Hokkaido – traditional tatami-mat rooms tend to be larger than more modern ones.
For those not used to sleeping in mattresses on the floor – which is remarkably comfortable and warm – the hotel also has rooms fitted with beds.
My room opened up to a view of the Okhotsk Sea. My visit here was marked by unusually strong winds, so I had a view of fierce waves surging in and crashing against the rocky shore. In winter, the bay freezes over and visitors can walk on the drift ice.
Shiretoko Grand Hotel, 172 Utorohigashi, Shari District, Hokkaido Prefecture 099-4355, Japan.
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