[Hotel Review] – Dai-ichi Takamotokan (Japanese Style Room – West Wing), Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan (20 – 22 Feb 17)

Dai-ichi Takamotokan

Location

Dai-ichi Takamotokan is about 1 hour bus ride from New Chitose Airport and about 20 mins bus ride from Noboribetsu JR Station. The hotel located at the end of Gokuraku Shopping Street in Noboribetsu Onsen. It is the closest hotel in town to Jigokudani or Hell Valley sitting right at its entrance. Noboribetse Onsen is a very small town, walking from on end to the other along Gokuraku Shopping Street takes mere minutes.
Lobby of Dai-ichi Takamotokan
Dai-ichi Takamotokan is a large hotel and has a few  wings. The west wing is the closest to the onsen

The Room

Porch

We checked into the 27㎡ Japanese style room in Dai-ichi Takamotokan in its west wing. The hotel is a large hotel with several wings, west wing is the building closest to the onsen in the hotel. As with most Japanese style rooms in other hotels, there is a small porch area when we entered the room. This is where we take off our shoes. There is a 3 tiered shoe rack stocked with sandals that we used while in the hotel grounds when we were in our yukatas. The bathroom is on the right side of the porch. Further into the porch, before the Japanese style doors, is where the mini bar and wardrobe is located. Other than the mini fridge, the room is stocked with kettle and green tea at the mini bar area. The wardrobe is rather small, which can only hold 4 pieces of winter jackets. The in-room safe is found in at the bottom rack of the wardrobe.
View of the porch area from the entrance to the room
Shoe rack at the porch, next to the entrance to the room. We used these sandals while walking in the hotel in our yukatas
The mini bar is located at the porch area, next to the bathroom
The wardrobe is rather small and this is where the yukata are found. The in room safe is found at the bottom rack of the wardrobe

Sleeping Area

Passing the inner Japanese door inside the room, we entered the sleeping area. The tatami floor is furnished with a short table and a couple of chairs in the middle of the room. At the side, placed by the wall is a small cabinet which guests can use to store some small items on one side and a 2-tier TV console with a LED TV placed on top facing the small table. The Japanese style room feels spacious due to the use of futons instead of beddings. In the evening, staffs of the hotel would come into the room (while we were out for dinner) to set up the futons, converting the space for sleeping. The small table is being shifted to near the lounging area to create the space. The futons will be kept away in the day. The sleep quality on the futon over the tatami floor is excellent, I got great rest at night and woke up feeling refreshed. However I do find the pillow a tad too soft for my liking and had to request for additional pillows.

The sleeping area in the room
TV console at the side of the room
Futon being set up at night for sleeping
Snacks placed on the small table at the time we entered the room

Lounging Area

The lounging area is a small area at the far end of the room, just by the window, with 2 armchairs and a coffee table. Dai-ichi Takamotokan thoughfully placed a neck and head massager here for guests to relive any aches. The lounging area is a great place to sit by with a cup of hot green tea in the cold winter especially at night when the futons were set up. The view of Noboribetsu overlooking the mountains is beautiful.
The lounge area is at the end of the room right by the window
View from our room

Bathroom

As with most Japanese hotel, the bathroom is small but functional. It has all the essentials that is needed for one’s bathing. The toilet bowl with washlet, sink and a bathtub is tightly fitted into the bathroom. Despite the small size, there are still space for one to move around in the bathroom. Showering has to be done in the bathtub as there are no separate walk-in showers. Dai-ichi Takamotokan provides the essential bathing amenities for the convenience of guests.
The space in the bathroom is very small but large enough for one to move around

Onsen

Dai-ichi Takamotokan has one of the largest onsen in Noboribetsu Onsen. Due to its proximity to Hell Valley, the onsens here offers one of the best view in town. Dai-ichi Takamotokan has a total of 7 different type of onsens spread over more than 10 onsen baths. All 7 different onsens have different properties that promote good health and blood circulation. The onsen water mainly has sulphuric properties, a signature of Hell Valley.
Entrance to Male Onsen
Map of the onsens in Dai-ichi Takamotokan

Breakfast Service

Breakfast is served in Gensirin Restaurant on level 3 of the main building. This dinning hall is large enough to cater to a large crowd. There is a good mix of Japanese and Western cuisine for breakfast. Despite having to cater for a large crowd, the quality of food is good.

Breakfast served in Gensirin Restaurant 
There are quite a huge choice for breakfast at Gensirin
Japanese cuisine for breakfast at Gensirin

Dinner Service

Our room rate includes dinner at Yunosato Restaurant located on the 5th floor in the main building. Each meal is 10 course and the menu varies from day to day. The food quality is excellent and the sashimi are very fresh. Guests are brought to a semi-private room to have their set dinner served to them course by course. Dinning in Yunosato Restaurant makes one feel pampered.
Entrance to Yunosato Restaurant
Menu for the first night of my dinning at Yunosato
Sumptuous dinner served in Yunosato
Menu for dinner served on the second night
Menu differs each night when I dined at Yunosato

Facilities

Dai-ichi Takamotokan is a huge and self contained hotel. Other than having 3 restaurants, the hotel has a souvenir shop that sells a huge variety of local produce guests do not have to leave the hotel to get souvenirs. The shops here offers tax rebate to tourists. There is also a karaoke and a game centre for children to entertain at the basement. At certain timing of the day, a huge 2 storey statue will come to life with musics and dolls singing and dancing to entertain guests.

Yunomachi Gift shop where guests can get souvenirs without having to leave the hotel
Entrance to Yunomachi Gift shop
The 2 storey high statue that comes to life at certain time of the day to entertain guests

Service

The service in Dai-ichi Takamotokan is nothing short of excellent. I was made to feel welcome the moment I stepped into the hotel. The staffs I met will always smile and greet me “Konichiwa”. Check-in was very efficient and the staff ensured that I do not have to wait longer than necessary to hand over the keys to my room. I was escorted by another staff to my room and along the way she gave me an orientation of the facilities around the hotel.

Service at Yunosato is exemplary. I was warmly greeted every time I went there for dinner. The manager at the front desk saw me once and can remember which room I was from the next day. The staff serving me food introduced every dish that was being brought to me with a smile. At the end of the dinner each night, the staffs asked how the dinner was and even thanked me for having dinner there.

Check-out was done in an efficient manner, without much delay. Before I depart the hotel, the staff checked if I needed help with my luggages. The staffs at the entrance of the hotel bowed and thanked me for staying with Dai-ichi Takamotokan.

Overall

Dai-ichi Takamotokan is a great place to stay in Noboribetsu Onsen. It has the largest onsen bath and is right at the entrance of Jigokudani or Hell Valley. Dai-ichi Takamotokan is conveniently located at the end of Gokuraku Shopping Street in town. The room is of decent size and the sleep quality on the futon over the tatami floor is excellent. The staffs made me feel welcome and is always smiling and helping guests. I would return to this hotel the next time I visit Noboribetsu Onsen