Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Takimoto Inn - An Affordable Accommodation with 24-hour Free Access to the Super Big Onsen Heaven @ Noboribetsu [Hokkaido, Japan]

Four days in Hokkaido and i am coming to the first accommodation that i thought 'can finally make it' despite its not so appealing facade; the 47-room Takimoto Inn!

Parking Your Car
Before i drill into the details, those who self-drive should be mindful that the carpark isn't within the hotel's vicinity! The designated carpark would be across the cudgel-filled sengen park, right in front of a residential block. Still confused? Refer to the navigational map above.

Exact location where i eventually parked the rented car - to the right would be Takimoto Inn whereas the left would its expensive sibling; the Dai-ichi Takimotokan with the impressive Onsen Heaven that has 7 different bath types!

Remember - park at the lot that clearly states "Takimoto Inn Guest Parking".

The Inn
Dated entrance that didn't give a good vibe; to be honest, i assumed this stay would not be that much of a difference from what i experienced in Daiwa Ryokan!

Stairs leading to the reception counter - those who couldn't climb the stairs (for example, the elderly) can take the elevator in the resident Poplar restaurant that's accessible via a gentle slope.

Simple reception counter that belonged to the 80s.

Weather for the day in other parts of Hokkaido - we visited in summer and as you can see from the list, the hottest that day was Sapporo with a max of 28 and a low of 20 degrees celcius; still cooler than Singapore! 

It's been a while since i last received a physical key; most hotels nowadays prefer key cards that are easier to program with a wide range of functions that allow the operator to categorize the cards according to guests, housekeepers etc and even the data as to when someone gains access to the room.

The Room
Room 312 - i was ecstatic to see beds! If you have been following my Hokkaido travelogue, you would know i had been sleeping on futons and even though there's an option for a bed at airbnb otaru; Alex and i lost a bet and had to make do with an uncomfortable sofa bed.

Both Alex and I agreed it was the first time we had such a good sleep since arriving in Japan; nice, comfy mattress, thick yet cool blanket and a pillow that didn't feel hollow!

I don't know the reason why but the above setup did feel rather official; as if i am going to have a serious discussion with someone. Give me a lounge chair anytime.

Dressing table with a mini fridge and a standing fan! By the way, that small screen, which is smaller than the monitor for my computer, is the television.

Most of the times, i would ignore the fridge unless i buy something from the convenience stores and need the item to be chilled like the yogurt drink in Thailand. Thankfully, i decided to open the fridge and in it was a plate with two packs of welcome sweets!

It's mochi with red bean paste and tasted pretty good.

Open concept wardrobe that had the essentials for you to be decked out in the traditional Japanese summer outfit; the yutakas! p.s. there's a safe too in case you want to keep your valuables.

This time, we were less apprehensive to try out the yutaka and eventually figured out how to wrap ourselves; really comfortable to wear! 

View from the window - nothing much even though i was, again, super glad to see a thick curtain that can be drawn to totally block the bloody 4am sunlight that will disturb my sleep!

Tiny bathroom with a Japanese soaking tub - the rare occasions when i am glad to be short although i feel claustrophobic too. How can it be so small!?

In-house Onsen
The time was about 3pm and i guessed it might be a good time to check out the in-house onsen; if luck were on my side, i could even smuggle in my camera and take a few pictures.

It was empty! This would be the room where you undress before the onsen and cool down afterwards. There's a weighting scale; hm.... you would lose weight after soaking in hot spring?

Dressing counter that had disposable combs, toothbrushes, lotions etc.

The mineral rich hot spring water that's drawn from Hell Valley further down the road; the condition of the inhouse onsen didn't appeal to me and with a Japanese tub right in my room, i think i would stick to bathing in my room instead.

Showering area; the Japanese are rather sticky when it comes to onsen etiquette. You have to shower first before you soak in the onsen and you shower again after you are done soaking!

Buffet Breakfast
Our stay came with buffet breakfast; the first time in four days that we didn't have to settle our breakfast with food purchased from convenience stores!

Take your tray, the plate and the cutlery!

The food wasn't the international spread we were more accustomed to; more towards Japanese breakfast style which was fine with me as it's always nice to try what the locals usually have, although there's a pretty high tendency i would revert back to just toast, butter and jam.

My really decent breakfast!

The resident restaurant had dinner buffet too at about 1,620 yen (about S$20) and if you really can't decide what to eat along the main Gokuraku shopping street outside Takimoto Inn, you have another option right within the inn.

Onsen Heaven
Aside from the affordable room rate that Takimoto Inn offers and the close proximity to Hell Valley, a key benefit is that the guests of the inn is provided free access to the 24-hour onsen heaven at Dai-ichi Takimotokan; just bring your room key or wear the yutaka in your room.

Trust me, the humongous onsen heaven was an eye opener and because of it, i must say i am absolutely hooked with the onsen experience and miss soaking in the seven types of hot spring; few of which overlook the hell valley! A pity i can't take pictures in onsen heaven but you may refer to the map as above to gauge the size of it!

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Location
Takimoto Inn, Noboribetsuonsenchō, 
Noboribetsu-shi, Hokkaidō 059-0551, Japan

Location Map

Refer to Takimoto Inn under "Noboribetsu (07-08 Aug)".

Pricing
9,200 yen per room (twin-sharing)

Website

Additional Information
As above.



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