We were visiting the Asahikawa-Furano region in central Hokkaido, and this hotel was one of three we stayed at. Despite the Western-sounding name, this is a Japanese-style hotel with a very suburban feel. The property also has an attached Onsen, with a large outdoor area with spectacular views, although more about that later.
The Hotel Furano LaTerre is located north of Furano in Nakafurano, between that city and Biei and Asahikawa. Its position in a volcanic valley gives the hotel some fantastic views of the mountains to the east.
The hotel also offers a fantastic journey through some of the healthiest and freshest Japanese cuisine.
Overall, my stay was excellent across the board, whether at the onsen or hotel. However, I liked the very cool motorcycle in the lobby.
Hotel Furano LaTerre Location and Access
The hotel is straightforward to find, located next to restaurants, souvenir shops, and a Bestom store. These are discount Walmart-style department stores, and one is directly next to the property.
The nearest train station is at Nishinaka, about eight minutes walk away. The hotel location is central to many attractions, including Farm Tomita, which is a short cab ride away, and also the famous Shirogane Blue Pond. Staying here, you are spoiled for choice regarding food, with many nearby options, including a Soup Curry and Nepali Curry at Pokhara Dining a short walk away.
Hotel Furano LaTerre Booking & Check-In
Booking the Hotel Furano LaTerre, Spa & Onsenn was straightforward, and we did so online. However, as is often the case, our travel plans changed. As a result, we called the hotel to put us on the waitlist to change the date.
Fortunately, the travel gods were smiling on us, and They called us right after someone canceled their booking and offered us the spot.
The check-in process was pretty standard and similar to almost every other Japanese hotel I have stayed at. However, I did notice no rooms were preassigned.
During the check-in, you confirm when you would like to have dinner. This is important since the hotel staff use this to complete the turn-down service for each room. We opted for a 7 p.m. dinner, giving us plenty of time to try the Onsen.
Again, like the check-in, the check-out process was pretty standard. I did note that the hotel does offer a late checkout service, and it was free (surprisingly) if I remember correctly. Once we checked out, the hotel kept our luggage while we went to eat at a nearby restaurant and see a shopping center close by.
Hotel Furano LaTerre Style & Character
The Hotel Furano LaTerre has a Japanese feel and warm character. The lobby features tall ceilings and a lovely fireplace and is decorated with warm yellow and orange-tan finishes. The lobby also has a sizeable electric motorcycle as an informal centerpiece. I’ve never seen this type, probably due to the rural nature of this part of Hokkaido.
The second level features both the Onsen and many different vending machines of all kinds.
On one side of the Onsen, there are spectacular mountain views.
That is another reason why the Onsens switch twice daily, alternating the men’s and women’s sides.
The hotel rooms are in a Japanese style and are subdivided into the lobby/bathroom vanity section and the main room. As mentioned earlier, the staff visited each room during the dinner service and converted them to a bed with sheets on the ground.
Hotel Furano LaTerre Rooms
The Hotel Furano LaTerre, Spa & Onsenn features 25 rooms of mixed types between Western and Japanese. Currently, the hotel has 13 Western-style rooms, 10 Japanese-style rooms, and two mixed-style rooms.
We had booked to stay in a Japanese-style room.
Japanese Style Room
Upon arriving, we found the room to be exquisitely prepared for us. We found water bottles waiting for us, and slippers were provided for use in the room and the hotel.
The rooms feature a closet, storage, and counter in the entryway. Below the counter in the millwork, you can find a fridge.
This section also has a sink with some towels and amenities. Next, there is the bathroom with a tub and toilet.
The main room is entirely covered in mats and has daytime and nighttime configurations. Daytime has a table in the middle and some chairs on the ground. Tea, coffee, and some small snacks were located on the center table, and you can also find a guide to the Nakafurano area and local restaurants and the Wi-Fi password.
Another area has a TV and display, plus a phone. One thing I did notice in the room was that there was a distinct shortage of electrical outlets. So, if you have multiple devices, you need to charge some juggling may be in order.
The staff converted the room to nighttime mode during dinner. This is in a traditional Japanese style where you sleep on the ground. I found it very comfortable and warm and thoroughly enjoyed this authentic Japanese experience.
The room also features Yukatas and other amenities to wear in the hotel and when visiting the Onsen. Since it was summer when we visited, the weather was hot; however, the air conditioner worked well.
- Cotton set
- Shaving kit
- Foam soap and liquid cleaner (from Shower Break)
- Toothbrush set
- Comb set
Hotel Furano LaTerre Amenities
The Hotel Furano LaTerre has a decently extensive range of amenities.
The restaurant opens for dinner at 5:00pm and has pre-scheduled reservation times for all parties. In typical Japanese fashion, you’re expected to be exactly on time. The view to the mountains includes the hotel’s name sign and a colorful panel display.
Sadly, I could not read the menu for dinner too well, so as the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words.
This was spectacular in size and taste and an extremely healthy meal.
There were lots of fish and different appetizers, which were delicious.
I also loved the Shabu-shabu with Wagyu beef.
The main course ended with local rice, soba noodles, and melon, which again was fabulous.
To wrap everything up, we were served a dessert of coconut ice cream followed by a hot coffee.
One thing to note about the food is that Hokkaido is a farming province, so everything served was incredibly fresh and tasty.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I did not get the chance to document the breakfast experience properly. However, from a distance, I can honestly say it looked as plentiful and delicious as the dinner menu.
Just at the entry to the restaurant, there is a large gift shop with an extensive list of offerings.
These included many items unique to Hokkaido.
Many gifts feature Hokkaido’s fluffy little white bird, the Shimaemaga, or Long-tailed Tit. These birds seem somewhat of a mascot on this part of the island.
Hotel Furano LaTerre Onsen
The Onsen can be used whether you are a hotel guest or not. The entrance on the exterior is a separate one to the left of the hotel.
The facility operated on two shifts per day, first, from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., then from 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. During this time, the Onsen switches the male and female sides, so each gender gets a session to enjoy the mountain views and the cave onsen.
The Onsen is located on the second floor, and you enter past a curtained area into a locker room. You must remove your shoes before entering this area. Once you proceed further into the Onsen, you are greeted by some stunning views of the mountains from the Onsen pools.
Of all the Onsens I have visited, I found this one to be one of the most relaxing, and I could sit in the pools for a very long time just enjoying the view and warm but not too hot water.
The Onsen also features the following:
- 2x Bowls to sit in
- Cold Bath
- Indoor hot bath
- One massage hot bath.
- Two hot bath shallow pools.
- Two single-person hot bathtubs.
While the male and female onsen are virtually identical, I noticed the women’s Onsen was unique in that it also has a cave Onsen room, which is very cool!
The Onsen features a wide range of amenities including:
- heel rub
- Horse oil moisturizing cream (for the whole body)
- Body Soap
- hand soap
- cleansing foam
- Mineral BB cream (women only)
- Safety razor (men only)
- Peeling gel
- Whitening moisture
- Hair Tonic (Men Only)
- Heel cream
- Sake lees pack (women only)
- Hair liquid (men only)
Overall, I must say I really enjoyed my stay at the Onsen Hotel. I found the rooms comfortable and spacious, with comfortable beds. Not to mention, the Wi-Fi was good – which is really a surprise in this part of Japan. Also, the food was delicious, and the portions were generous, and the dinner service was shockingly good, way better than I could have imagined.
On the Onsen side of things, the facilities were immaculate, and I really enjoyed my time there. The outdoor section is spectacular, with a view of the mountains and a cave pool! The great news is that you can visit the onsen and the restaurant even if you are not staying at the hotel, which I may do the next time I am in town!
- Amazing spa and lounge experience.
- Great view of the mountains. From the room as well.
- Comfortable and relaxing Onsen – temperature allows lounging for many hours.
- Spacious rooms.
- Delicious food, and plenty!
- Very comfortable Japanese-style room – came stocked with many amenities and Yukatas.
- I slept very comfortably.
- Amazing hospitality, especially during the breakfast and dinner services.
- Stable Wi-Fi
- The hotel is slightly inaccessible, 49 minutes away from the airport. Suburban/rural type of location. It’s not very walkable; you need a taxi or car. Direct bus service is available every 90 minutes. There’s a train station a twenty minute walk away with infrequent service.
- Difficult to work in the room – more for lounging and sleep than a business or working hotel.
- Outlets in the room were inconvenient and challenging to use.