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The Hotel Furano LaTerre, Spa & Onsen, at Nakafurano, Hokkaido, Japan

October 28, 2023
Osman Dadi
This was the first Onsen hotel we stayed at on our trip to Asahikawa-Furano-Biei in Hokkaido Japan. Overall, my stay was excellent across the board, whether at the Onsen or the Japanese-style hotel. The dinner cuisine is a major highlight.
Location:
Nakafurano, Hokkaido, Japan
Dates:
June 2023
Managed By:
Hotel Furano LaTerre
Accessible To:
Everyone
Last Updated:
June 2023
Website:
https://www.f-laterre.com

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.

Exterior view of the hotel and spa

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.

A Japanese style room in the Onsen Hotel
A Japanese style room in the Onsen Hotel

The hotel also offers a fantastic journey through some of the healthiest and freshest Japanese cuisine.

A small part of the dinner feast at the Furano LaTerre
A small part of the dinner feast at the Furano LaTerre

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.

Google maps directions from the airport to the Hotel Furano LaTerre
Google maps directions from the airport to the Hotel Furano LaTerre

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.

The large sign outside the hotel on the back-side

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.

Check-In Process

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.

Check-Out Process

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 large yellow electric motorcycles in the Hotel Furano LaTerre lobby.
The motorcycle, in the lobby, check In area behind
The motorcycle, in the lobby, check In area behind

The second level features both the Onsen and many different vending machines of all kinds.

Lobby seating, gift shop, and Onsen stairs in view
Lobby seating, gift shop, and Onsen stairs in view

On one side of the Onsen, there are spectacular mountain views.

Mountain views to the back of the hotel
Mountain views to the back of the hotel

That is another reason why the Onsens switch twice daily, alternating the men’s and women’s sides.

Hotel Furano LaTerre foyer with seating and something yellow!

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.

Some rooms also feature amazing mountain views
Some rooms also feature amazing mountain views

We had booked to stay in a Japanese-style room.

The view into the main room area in the Japanese style room
The view into the main room area in the Japanese style room
Japanese style room
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.

Slippers for use in the hotel and room
Slippers for use in the hotel and room
The mini bar came with two complimentary bottles of water.
The mini bar came with two complimentary bottles of water.

The rooms feature a closet, storage, and counter in the entryway. Below the counter in the millwork, you can find a fridge.

The room comes with a mini bar fridge and complimentary slippers.
The room comes with a mini bar fridge and complimentary slippers.

This section also has a sink with some towels and amenities. Next, there is the bathroom with a tub and toilet.

The sink and towels on just inside the doorway
The sink and towels on just inside the doorway
The side bathroom with toilet and tub
The side bathroom with toilet and tub

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.

low table with seating
Low table with seating

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 TV, dehumidifier and phone.
The TV, dehumidifier and phone.

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.

Low seating with the TV in the background

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.

The The Hotel Furano LaTerre room in its sleeping configuration
The The Hotel Furano LaTerre room in its sleeping configuration
The Hotel Furano LaTerre sleeping mats stowed away
The Hotel Furano LaTerre sleeping mats stowed away

Room Amenities

  • 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.

Restaurant (Dinner)

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.

Restaurant in dinner configuration
Restaurant in dinner configuration

Sadly, I could not read the menu for dinner too well, so as the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words.

The laid out dining table for what turned out to be a banquet
The laid out dining table for what turned out to be a banquet

This was spectacular in size and taste and an extremely healthy meal.

The spectacular first course presentation for dinner
The spectacular first course presentation for dinner
The selection of appetizers was so fresh and tasty
The selection of appetizers was so fresh and tasty

There were lots of fish and different appetizers, which were delicious.

Appetizers
Appetizers
Appetizers
Appetizers
Some of the freshest fish I've ever had
Some of the freshest fish I’ve ever had
Salmon
Salmon
Another of many dishes
Another of many dishes

I also loved the Shabu-shabu with Wagyu beef.

Raw wagyu meats and vegetables ready for cooking
Raw wagyu meats and vegetables ready for cooking
An attendant came to light the flame for the Shabu-shabu
An attendant came to light the flame for the Shabu-shabu
Cooking raw meat in the Shabu-shabu
Cooking raw meat in the Shabu-shabu
Meat cooking and boiling
Meat cooking and boiling
Final step to dip the meat into the spice, to eat it
Final step to dip the meat into the spice, to eat it

The main course ended with local rice, soba noodles, and melon, which again was fabulous.

Local rice, soba noodles, and melon served after the first course
Local rice, soba noodles, and melon served after the first course

To wrap everything up, we were served a dessert of coconut ice cream followed by a hot coffee.

The coconut ice cream dessert was delicious
The coconut ice cream dessert was delicious
The coffee was also tasty and wrapped up a nice meal perfectly
The coffee was also tasty and wrapped up a nice meal perfectly

One thing to note about the food is that Hokkaido is a farming province, so everything served was incredibly fresh and tasty.

Restaurant (Breakfast)

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.

Dining area set for breakfast
Dining area set for breakfast
Self serve juices and teas
Self serve juices and teas
The breakfast meal was also spectacular
The breakfast meal was also spectacular

Gift Shop

Just at the entry to the restaurant, there is a large gift shop with an extensive list of offerings.

Souvenir shop entrance next to the restaurant
Souvenir shop entrance next to the restaurant

These included many items unique to Hokkaido.

Gift shop items
Gift shop items
Gift shop items
Gift shop items

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.

Jewelry at the gift shop
Jewelry at the gift shop
The Shima-enaga, or Long-tailed Tit featured heavily in the gift shop.
The Shimaemaga, or Long-tailed Tit, featured heavily in the gift shop

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.

Separate Onsen entry on the hotel exterior
Separate Onsen entry on the hotel exterior
Onsen check-in and locker storage area, the stairs lead up to the onsen
Onsen check-in area and locker storage area, the stairs lead up to the onsen
Services at the Onsen
Services at the Onsen

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.

Indoor locker area
Indoor locker area
The Onsen features some spectacular views of the Hokkaido mountains
The indoor Onsen features some spectacular views of the Hokkaido mountains
The outdoor Onsen features some spectacular views of the Hokkaido mountains

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.

The jar baths are about the best ever invention for a relaxing soak
The jar baths are about the best ever invention for a relaxing soak

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.  

Late night solo-lounging in the exterior Onsen pool
Late night solo-lounging in the exterior Onsen pool

The Onsen also features the following:

  • Sauna
  • 2x Bowls to sit in
  • Cold Bath
  • Indoor hot bath
  • One massage hot bath.
  • Two hot bath shallow pools.
  • Two single-person hot bathtubs.
Night time view of the outdoor Onsen pools
Night time view of the outdoor Onsen pools

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 unique Cave Onsen on the women's side
The unique Cave Onsen on the women’s side

Onsen Amenities

The Onsen features a wide range of amenities including:

  • shampoo
  • heel rub
  • Horse oil moisturizing cream (for the whole body)
  • Conditioner/Treatment
  • hairbrush
  • swab
  • Body Soap
  • Hairdryer
  • 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)
The Hotel Furano LaTerre Onsen pools were so comfortable
The Hotel Furano LaTerre Onsen pools were so comfortable

Final Thoughts

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.

Exterior view of the Hotel Furano LaTerre
Exterior view of the Hotel Furano LaTerre

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!

Official photograph of the Furano LaTerre interior
Official photograph of the Furano LaTerre interior

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

Verdict: 9.5/10