Release | nobu Kawashima
Hotel Chinohate - the mansion-type hotel in the up-country of Shiretoko, a World Heritage Site
“This is the unexplored region!” Everyone who has visited Hotel Chinohate located deep in the mountains of Shiretoko would feel like that.
This is the rare mansion-type hotel located in a World Heritage Site and has a natural hot spring. Why don’t you soak into the outdoor onsen surrounded by wild forests?
Table of Contents- The hotel built in the up-country of Shiretoko, where wild animals live
- Enjoy the outdoor garden bath surrounded by wild forests and uses water flowing directly from the hot spring source
- The relaxing space with work in every detail
- Wild game meat for dinner! Enjoy the heartwarming meal
- The hotel as a base of sightseeing in Shiretoko and hike to Mt. Rausu
The hotel built in the up-country of Shiretoko, where wild animals liveHotel Chinohate is located in Iwaobetsu Onsen in the up-country of Shiretoko.
You can find the junction to Iwaobetsu Onsen and the well-known tourist destinations Shiretoko Goko Lakes when you come from Utoro Region, the base of sightseeing in Shiretoko.
▲There is this sign at the junction.
The neighborhood is designated as a World Heritage Site.
There are completely no buildings, and you will be surrounded by wild nature 360 degrees.
▲The road gets narrower from the junction, and you will go deep in the woods.
It’s not rare to see red foxes and Ezo deer appear along the road, in fact, it’s normal. Even brown bears sometimes cross the road.
▲Drive carefully because you never know when and where wild animals appear.
I felt that I am really in the heart of nature where wild animals live.
As I kept going into the woods, I suddenly found a building.
This is Hotel Chinohate. It takes approximately 10 mins drive from the junction and approximately 20 mins from Utoro Region.
▲There are no lights except the lights of the hotel so it will be completely dark.
There are no buildings except the hotel. Even no electric wires.
They use in-house power generation and purify the river water for drinking.
The hotel is out of signal area except for au’s 4G. (As of 2018 autumn)
The mansion-type hotel deep in the woods.
It feels as if I am isolated from the modern world. The location definitely has an unexplored feeling.
Enjoy the outdoor garden bath surrounded by wild forests and uses water flowing directly from the hot spring sourceHotel Chinohate is famous for their outdoor garden onsen surrounded by wild forests. The hot spring in the woods, of course, the water is sourced directly from the natural hot spring source.
It is said that the frontiers found the onsen when they explored the mountain in the mid-Showa era and Hotel Chinohate was built in 1962.
▲There are two outdoor bathtubs in the outdoor garden bath.
There are outdoor mixed bath and a gender-separated indoor bath. They recently reopened the outdoor bath after renovating, and they now require guests to wear bath wears (available for free rental) in the outdoor garden bath.
Those who could not relax to bathe in the mixed bath can enjoy the bath, too! Enjoy the atmosphere of wild nature in the outdoor garden bath.
▲The indoor bath, too, provides onsen water, of course.
The hot spring source is in the property of the hotel. The water is slightly blue light white color.
▲I found countless white hot-springs mineral deposits! Feels like the onsen has some great effects!
The onsen is chloride hydrogen carbonate spring with sodium and calcium.
My skin got very smooth after the bath. The best location and high-quality onsen components! This is definitely the ultimately hidden onsen.
The relaxing space with work in every detailIf you are staying at a mansion-type hotel, you should check out not only onsen but also the quality of guest rooms and meals.
As they reopened after renovating, the lobby and guest rooms became new and clean.
And they are also planning to reform and renovate other parts of hotels after 2019.
▲The key color of the lobby is dark green and deep red to make a relaxing atmosphere. The concept is “the hotel in nature.”
▲The guest rooms mainly use gold, inspired by Ezo deer.
The Japanese style guest rooms provide beds instead of Futon.
They offer Simmons’ mattress as they value the quality of sleep.
The hotel information book put in the guest rooms is created by a designer and made with leather. When you open inside, the hotel information is written like a story in the Shiretoko woods.
▲The light looks like ones you see in cottages and the leather-made hotel information book.
The tray, kettle, dryer put in the room also have a beautiful design and make guests feel good just by using them.
When I heard the hotel is located deep in the woods, I thought their facilities would not very good, but I got betrayed in a good way. It seems very comfortable and relaxing.
Wild game meat for dinner! Enjoy the heartwarming mealYou will also be betrayed in a good way by their meals, too.
I was surprised to get this much meal at deep in the mountain!
There are several grades for the meals depending on your plans, but even the middle range standard menu had plenty of dishes.
▲The dinner for the day I visited. There are plenty of dishes.
shrimp and vegetable tempura,
agebitashi (deep-fried then soaked in soup stock),
rice seasoned and cooked with various ingredients,
meatball soup, and a whole hair crab!
And the very Shiretoko-like wild game meat; Ezo deer steak.
▲I did not feel any smell even though it was wild game meat. Their meat processing must be very skillful.
▲I enjoyed the crab! The brown meat was stuffed inside!
It was not a simple meat although the hotel is located deep in the mountain. My stomach was full and was very satisfied.
Relax in the bath after eating plenty of food, lay down on the comfortable bed, and spend a night at the unexplored land.
▲An example of their breakfast. I enjoyed Pacific saury as the main dish and plenty of others.
* Dinner and breakfast content are subject to change.
The hotel as a base of sightseeing in Shiretoko and hike to Mt. RausuDeep forests surround the hotel, and there is only one road connecting to other places. The road terminates at the hotel. However, there is a hiking trail going to the well-known mountain in Shiretoko Peninsula; Mt. Rausu.
The hotel becomes packed with hikers going to Mt. Rausu in summer.
▲The view from the summit of Mt. Rausu is fantastic! It is worth an eight hours round trip.
The hotel is also the best place as the base of sightseeing located up-country of Shiretoko such as Shiretoko Goko Lakes and Kamuiwakka Falls.
You can wholly and comfortably enjoy nature of Shiretoko if you stay at this hotel located in a World Heritage Site.
▲The trees turn yellow from mid-October.
The hotel operates only for half a year from spring to autumn, but don’t you want to consider this mansion-type hotel deep in the mountain if you plan to visit Shiretoko?
You can spend an unusual day to feel wild nature.
▲I am waiting in the up-country of Shiretoko!
Photo / nobu Kawashima, Hotel Chinohate
Text / Hokkaido Likers writer nobu Kawashima