The wide region served by the Tokachi-Obihiro Airport is known as Hokkaido’s heartland. Boasting wide plains anchored by mountains and majestic lakes, the Tokachi region specifically is best known for its high-quality agricultural yield. It also makes for a perfect escape into nature, whether you come for the numerous fun activities (we recommend horseback riding across the plains!) or just because you want a break from everyday life. Especially if you are here for the latter, we have summarized our best selection of accommodations that will offer you not only a taste for the region but have that special something that makes your trip memorable. Whether it is a relaxing hot spring and spa experience, the best local food, or experiencing how rural life here really is, we have you covered.
Lake Shikaribetsu Hot Spring Hotel Fusui
Our first stop brings us to a relaxing enclave at Lake Shikaribetsu called Hotel Fusui. Due to being located at an altitude of 800 meters, the temperature is always refreshingly cool – even in summer. In winter, the climate is actually one of the coldest in the entire prefecture, sometimes reaching minus 30°C, thus making it a true winter wonderland. The hotel makes the most of its lakeside scenery, with every room offering a view of the lake as well as the nearby forests and mountains. One of the highlights is definitely the in-hotel hot spring facilities, which feel especially relaxing on one of those freezing winter days. Naturally, the food makes the most of local ingredients, with seasonal ingredients specific to Tokachi utilized to make the perfect Japanese feast. For mains, grilled Dolly Varden trout, venison skewers, and pork shabu shabu are among our favorites. Whether you visit to cool down in summer or to brave the cold temperatures and enjoy the magnificent winter nature scenery, you will not be disappointed by this lakeside recluse.
Lakeside of Shikaribetsu, Shikaoicho, Kato-gun, , Hokkaido
Spa Resort in the Forest Hokkaido Hotel
Boasting a 100 plus year history that is as old as the town of Obihiro itself, you can feel Hokkaido’s history as a Japan’s frontier land for yourself at the aptly named Hokkaido Hotel. Today, the hotel is a wellness oasis located within the small urbanity of Obihiro, but simultaneously taking full advantage of the nearby forest. Here too, one of the highlights is the hot spring. Specifically, the hotel boasts a moor hot spring bath, rare in itself and renowned for its medicinal properties – in addition to being extremely relaxing. Hokkaido Hotel is also known for its unique interior and exterior design: the bright red brick building features oak staircases, which are accented by wooden ornaments, decadent carpet designs and one-of-a-kind plaster walls. Another highlight is the food. Here too, the chefs take full advantage of the fact that the Tokachi region is renowned as an agricultural region, with seasonal local produce being incorporated effortlessly in the Japanese and Western offerings. The tranquil atmosphere, combining a frontier town vibe with Hokkaido’s great nature, make the Hokkaido Hotel an absolute standout in the region.
Nishi 7-jo Minami 19-chome 1, Obihiro, Hokkaido
Tokachi Millennium Forest
The Tokachi Milennium Forest is a truly ambitious project. As its name suggests, the vision for this space is to be sustainable for 1000 years. Indeed, this truly visionary environmental conservation project aims to preserve Hokkaido’s famous natural landscape. The park, which is spread out across a plateau and the wooded foothills of Hokkaido’s central Hidaka mountain range, was built by a local entrepreneur with two main goals. First, to halt the loss of natural habitat in the region and preserve nature in its original form. Second, to help cultivate and promote deeper understanding of this nature for the park’s visitors. Combining both Eastern and Western agricultural preservation and gardening methods, Tokachi Millennium Forest is not only dedicated to an important cause, but also brings together cultures in this sense. Indeed, the landscape features aesthetics and horticultural practices from the world over, making it a must stop for nature lovers. Underscoring this, the most famous garden in the complex, the Millennium Forest Garden, was recognized as the “most beautiful garden in the world” in the British Garden Design Contest.
Hokkaido Shimizu Town Haobi Minami 10 Line
Tokachigawa Hot Spring Sanyoan
Sanyoan, located along the Tokachi River, is a hot spring resort like no other. The name comes from a famous local educator, Sanyo Tsuchiya, and refers to three specific times, which are said to be especially important to achieve affluence of mind. These three times are winter, at night, and on rainy days. Sanyoan aims to offer the same quality time and peace of mind that these three periods provide, keeping the so-called “sanyo spirit” alive. Sanyo’s influence permeates even the guest rooms, which are named after novels and literary works that are deemed in accordance with his teachings, each having a distinct earthy color tone and layout. Another way to keep the atmosphere alive is through the distinct lighting, which was installed by a famous Japanese lighting designer. The open kitchen concept is another highlight, which places emphasis on appealing to the guest’s senses through their almost performative cooking. The menu is of course changed in accord with the seasons, to make best use of local ingredients. Finally, Its botanical moor,natural hot springs in 11rooms add the cheery on top of the thorough, spiritual pampering you can look forward to enjoying here.
13 Tokachigawa Onsen South, Otofuke-cho, Kato-gun, Hokkaido
For something more down-to-earth, there is the charming and quaint Guesthouse Masago. A family-run affair, this cozy guesthouse features a wooden interior that reminds of a classic log-cabin. The rustic at-home feel is enhanced by the atmosphere in the lobby, which doubles as an after-work gathering spot for locals – the perfect place to make some new friends and learn more about this fascinating region in Hokkaido. As the owners are true stalwarts of the community, they will be more than happy to introduce you to all the activities you can enjoy in the region. This is also one of the reasons why so many people come back: the guesthouse boasts a high rate of return, with many freelancers or remote workers even staying for months at a time. This means that there are always interesting people, from near or far, staying here, and it is this lively atmosphere that serves as the perfect introduction to how local life in rural Hokkaido really feels.
1-11-1 Sakaimachihigashi, Urakawa-cho, Urakawa-gun, Hokkaido