Lake Akan is a lake in the eastern part of Hokkaido, surrounded by mountains and forests. For ages, it has been home to the indigenous Ainu people, and recently it has become a popular sightseeing spot along with its hot springs.
With the theme of relaxing and enjoying deserved pampering at a local spa, we headed to TSURUGA Akan Yuku-no-Sato, a hotel renowned for the quality of its hospitality.
Majestic natural scenery and Ainu culture: Attractions of Lake Akan Onsen
Lake Akan Onsen is an area located in the southern part of the Lake Akan lakeside, a 60-minute drive from Tancho Kushiro Airport and a 90-minute drive from Kushiro City.
Moss balls (called “Marimo” in Japanese) which were designated as a National Treasure are living in the lake. This area has not only nature but also examples of the Ainu culture which you can see at “Kotan” Ainu village.
This hot spring area has an old history. When Bushiro Matsura, who was investigating Hokkaido, found the place in 1858, Ainu people were already using the hot spring.
After the Akan-Mashu National Park was registered as a national park, many people started visiting the area, helping the park develop as a landmark. Right now, there are a lot of hotels, restaurants and souvenir stores.
The hot springs’ quality of this area is simply rich in hydrogen sulfide and comes in temperatures from 38 ° to 85°C degrees (100° to 185°F). It is said that this material is good for neuralgia, coldness, fatigue recovery, rheumatism, chronic digestive diseases and hemorrhoids. You can enjoy seeing the nice scenery in open-air baths. Moreover, there are footbaths and handbaths all along the hot spring street.
Art inspired by great nature of Lake Akan welcomes you
TSURUGA Akan Yuku-no-Sato is one of the most popular and reputable hotels in this area. You will be able to spend a great time there with a wide variety of rooms and a heartfelt hospitality.
The hotel is located a 5-minute walk from both the Kotan Ainu Village and the dock. Behind the hotel there is the lake, and you can enjoy the view from some of the rooms and while you have a good time in the hot spring.
When I entered the hotel, the wonderful sculptures of cranes and owls welcomed me. These are the works of the sculptor, Mr. Masamitsu Higuchi. He admired a young man who sculpted a bear in Akan when he was young, and he moved to this place to become like the young man. Since then, as a woodcarving sculptor, he has continued making sculptures form the grand nature of Akan and Ainu culture, using driftwood and buried trees as materials.
His works are displayed all over the hotel. The sculptures seem to make you warm and heal your tiredness from the long trip.
Spend a luxurious time in 5 different styles of rooms!
This hotel has five buildings including the HONKAN (main building), BEKKAN (new wing), RERA and so on. Furthermore, various types of rooms are available for any occasion, from spacious guest rooms to Japanese rooms with private open-air baths.
First of all, we will introduce the BEKKAN Japanese & Western Style rooms (per room for two people, from 28,000 yen / tax is not included) with a large Japanese-style living room and a comfortable bedroom. From the windows, you can see the magnificent view of Lake Akan.
At BEKKAN, there is also a BEKKAN with Private Open-Air Bath rooms (per room for two people, 30,000 yen / tax is not included). Have your own time at the private open-air bath and enjoy both the beautiful night sky and the early morning silence.
“RERA-no-Yakata” is a building where you can explore the Ainu culture. The rooms are decorated with the Ainu inspired furniture. The unique atmosphere made from the culture will make your trip more special.
There are also footbaths only for the guests on each floor of the “RERA-no-Yakata”. Why not to spend a special time with your partners, friends or family!
And for those who want to have more quality time, the rooms of the “KOMOREBI” building (the word is describing the sunlight filtering through leaves or trees) are highly recommended. Like the name suggests, there are elegant and beautiful rooms just like KOMOREBI.
Besides them, there are great guest rooms as well, such as the HONKAN and the "SHIORI-no-Yakata".
The best hot springs with majestic nature
Lake Akan Onsen is a hot spring area where the spring water sprouts with high temperature. The spring water will make your skin moister and enrich your heart. There are two public baths on the first floor and the eighth floor. These public baths for men and women switch depending on the time. Both of them have open-air baths, and you can enjoy different types of baths within each of them.
The large public bath “Tennohara” on the 8th floor is inspired by the Ainu culture. Besides the large bath, there are also a bath with gas, a sauna and a bedrock bath without extra charge.
On the rooftop, there is an open-air bath "Tenyo-no-Yu" (Water of angels). The large panorama of Lake Akan will attract you. There is also a hot tub on the roof and a small pottery bath (closed during winter) this can make you feel as if you’re in a private hot spring.
On the first floor, there is a hot spring named “Houdegan”. There are 11 baths, including a garden open-air bath on the lake, as well as a cypress bath and a cave bath. Your body and mind will be healed by the soft spring quality.
You can enjoy the large public baths for one-day (1,500 yen for an adult, 750 yen for a child from 4 to 12 years old. Operating hours are from 2 pm to 5 pm, the last admission is 3 pm). It would be good to come by during your trip.
By the way, there are large public hot springs of the chain hotel "Lake Akan Tsuruga WINGS" for both overnight and day trip guests. They are known to be of the finest spring quality with alkaline earthy spring that is good for the skin and the “Silky Bath” in which you can receive a gentle massage from the air bubbles (Operating hours are from 11 am to 5 pm; Last admission is 3 pm).
This bedrock bath is available at 1,000 yen (tax excluded) for the guests of either Lake Akan Tsuruga WINGS or “TSURUGA Yuku-no-Sato” and for the one-day guests it is available at 2,000 yen (tax excluded), the entrance fee includes access to other hot springs as well as the bedrock bath. You can relax your mind and body in a quiet space.
Buffet style and Japanese cuisines--dishes using rich ingredients from Hokkaido
Meals are also one of the greatest pleasures on a trip to Hokkaido. You can choose the dinner style from a buffet style or Japanese style in "TSURUGA Yuku-no-Sato”. Both dishes use the seasonal ingredients of Hokkaido.
In the Main Dining Room, Tenkawa, you can enjoy a wide variety of around 100 dishes, including Japanese food, Western food, Chinese food, sweets and classic Hokkaido’s meals.
You’ll be satisfied with the fresh seafoods and steaks made by the professional chefs. From children to elderly, everyone will love the food.
On the other hand, the Japanese food, using the local seafood and vegetables, has an original course created by the chefs of TSURUGA. You can enjoy the seasonal ingredients that can only be tasted here, including “Shunsaizen”, “Tsuruga Hotate Nabe” and “Do-san Gyu no Mushiyaki”, using the ingredients from the East Area.
There are “Marimo-zen" with the seasonal and excellent ingredients from Lake Akan and the Sea of Okhotsk, and the "Kotan-zen", a classic Japanese style dish.
Activities to enjoy nature and in the lakeside garden full of flowers
In TSURUGA Akan Yuku-no-Sato, they prepare various activities within the facilities to make your stay much better. Here we’ll introduce some of them.
In the lakeside surrounding TSURUGA Akan Yuku-no-Sato and the Lake Akan Tsuruga WINGS, has the “Alan Iomapu Garden” in which the Ainu culture and nature mix. There are “Kamuini” (Totem Pole) designed with Ainu pattern and “Dress Garden” in which it looks like you wear a beautiful flower dress when you take a photo in the middle of the park. From early summer to autumn, there will be a photogenic place and you can also enjoy the landscape.
TSURUGA ADVENTURE BASE SIRI is one of the travel agencies doing mountain activities like fishing, trekking, hiking and so forth. Even if you don’t have plans or know what to do in Akan, they will help you.
"TSURUGA Akan Yuku-no-Sato” where you can experience the best in its hospitality, rooms, hot springs, meals, as well as the beauty of Mother Nature of Akan and the Ainu culture. How about visiting on the way of your trip around the East Area of Hokkaido?
Check in: From 3 pm
Check out: By 10 am
BEKKAN Japanese & Western Style from 28,000 yen.
BEKKAN Private Open-Air Bath from 30,000 yen.
RERA Japanese & Western Style from 19,000 yen
KOMOREBI Japanese Twin with Jet Bath from 19,000 yen
These rates are per room and per night for 2 people.
(All of the rooms are Non-Smoking. Tax is not included.)
Hours: From 2 pm to 5 pm (last admission is 3 pm)
Entrance fee for one-day use: 1,500 yen for an adult.
750 yen for a child from 4 to 12 years old. (Tax is not included)
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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