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“Maybe the best breakfast and a great meeting place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

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Hakodate Kokusai Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   5-10 Ote-machi, Hakodate 040-0064, Hokkaido   |  
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【ファミリーorグループ旅行に!】35平米
Ranked #6 of 96 Hotels / Ryokan in Hakodate
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Sapporo, Japan
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Maybe the best breakfast and a great meeting place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

If you are not after an onsen (hot spring bath), then the Hakodate Kokusai Hotel may be a better choice than Hakodate’s most popular hotel, the LaVista.

Other hotels I have stayed at in Hakodate include the LaVista, Loisir, Grantia Eki Mae and the Dormy Inn Goryokaku Hotel. The strengths of the Kokusai Hotel are its lobby area, location and breakfast.

In Japan, the name ‘Kokusai Hotel’ is traditionally synonymous with high class. In the past, the Hakodate Kokusai hotel was the hotel of choice for the Japanese Royal Family. The original building has now aged and an Annex (Bekkan) has been recently built in the West Wing. The floors in the East Wing are being refurbished. I stayed in the older East Wing which has little to offer in the way of views but is very reasonably priced. The best deals are with a rail travel package from JR.

The first impression of the hotel is of the spacious lobby area. Also located on the ground floor is the Bar/Café/Lounge, LeHavre. Although I did not use this lounge, it looks like a great place to meet people and will be my preferred choice in Hakodate for this purpose.

Like the LaVista, on the top floor of the new annex there is a cocktail bar that has good views of the Bay.

The East wing rooms are fair. Not as big as the Dormy Inn and the facilities are what you would expect from a top class hotel, but nothing more. I heard the rooms in the newer west wing are quite spacious. The bath tub is large for a Japanese hotel. The windows cannot be opened but each room, in addition to the room air conditioning, has a portable humidifier.

The big surprise at the Kokusai Hotel was the breakfast. I am tempted to say it is better than the famous breakfast at the LaVista Hotel. Like the LaVista, bowls of salmon eggs (Ikura) and seafood are plentiful. It feels like there are even more choices of food than the LaVista. Something definitely better than the LaVista is the breakfast steak, cooked to your taste.

I walked to the hotel from the railway station and although it is not in front of the station, like the Loisir and Grantia, it is a comfortable walk for those without heavy luggage. Otherwise, it is very short taxi ride. It is closer to the station than the LaVista, making it great for those who want to experience both the bay area and areas such as the Morning Seafood Market and the nightlife of Daimon Yokocho.

Room Tip: If you are looking for a larger room, choose the Western Annex (but rooms cost more)
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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336 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

We paid about US$82 for the cheapest room in the main wing for one night. Yes, the bedspread looks like it was designed 30 years ago, and the metal doors are clangy and un-classy. But for that price, we got a clean, spacious room (big enough to even include two single-seat sofa chairs + a table) that overlooked the harbour, and everything worked, despite appearing relatively ancient.

Its location was also ideal. We drove there, so I don't know how near the hotel is to the JR station. But the famed morning market is just 5 minutes walk in one direction, and the red-brick warehouses are a 5-minute walk in the opposite direction. Our rate didn't include breakfast, so we scoured the mind-boggling seafood selection at the morning market, before settling in a little cafe that served up seafood bowls. Take your pick of any 2 seafood items with rice for 1,000 yen. I opted for crabmeat and scallop, and it was honestly the best 1,000 yen I'd spent on food on my entire trip. The seafood was so fresh (the scallops were AMAZING), I still dream about it today. The cafe also served up freshly brewed coffee for free, so all-in, it was a fantastic start to the day.

There were also pushcarts at the morning market selling corn, grilled scallops and even sea urchin. Freshly-cut rockmelon (100 yen/slice) was everywhere. Most stalls have prices clearly stated, so you don't have to worry about being ripped off.

I'd definitely stay at Hakodate Kokusai if I ever visit Hakodate again. It isn't the swankiest hotel, but it's pleasant and central, and for that low, low price, absolute value for money.

P.S: If you walk towards the ropeway, stop right where the steep slope upwards begins, and look on your right. You'll see a local supermarket with good prices - ideal for stocking up on fresh fruit and drinks.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
World Wide Traveller
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

The hotel is located between the JR station (10 mn walk) and Morning Market and the old parts of the city.(20 mn walking from hotel).
We first where assigned a smokers room, but asked to change because of the smell. That room ws clean but outdated with an old TV and some burns and stains on the carpets.
The new non smoking room we received was located in the annex of the buiklding. It did not have the nice view as the previous one but was much newer, cleaner, with a flat screen TV.
Buffet breakfast was nice and you have a choice of taking your breakfast at the morning market in one of the fish restaurants up to 11.00 AM (the hotel buffet cl;oses at 09.30).
Nice friendly staff, some spoke english.

Room Tip: Probably in the hotel annex
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2010

We stay at this hotel for 4 nights. Overall the stay was pleasant mainly because I was not having a very high expectation at this hotel after reading all the review.

Great location I must say, 5 mins walk to the fish market and 5 mins walk to the Red Brick shopping district.

There are 2 wings at this hotel and unfortunately, we were staying at the main building which was very dated. Carpets were all stained and the beddings were rather beat up. With the price we paid, you can actually stay at La Vista instead which is by the Red Bricks.

Another thing about this hotel is the sound proofing. Apparently the every door has a huge gap at the bottom and they are all made with metal. When people talking on the hallway or in the adjacent room, you can literally hear them clearly.

Good thing about this hotel is the staff there, most of them speak adequate English and they are very friendly and helpful.

Will I stay at this hotel again? Most likely not unless all hotels were fully booked.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
459 helpful votes 459 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2008

My husband, one year old son and myself stayed one night here at the Hakodate Kokusai. The hotel is large with two wings. We stayed in the older wing, which i have to say is dated. The lobby was a bit dated and felt like going back a few decades, but the bar area looked quite nice. Staff are very friendly and helpful, their english was pretty good. There is a large gift shop, a bakery, and a shop that sells local Hokkaido goods, such as cookies, gifts and other goods. When we got to our floor, the doors to the many rooms are metal plated, which i have to say isn't that attractive. The rooms are worn, but clean. We had a double bed, which was smaller than a queen. The hotel did not have a baby bed or crib for my son, so he had to sleep in bed with us, which wasn't easy in such a small double bed. From our room we had a great view of the harbor. From the JR Hakodate station, it's an easy 10 minute walk to the hotel. I thought the location was quite good. You are almost in the middle of the morning seafood market, where you can admire all the crabs, fish and squid and get some steam, grilled or have some very fresh squid sashmi for breakfast. If you walk a few minutes the other way, the Hakodate Brewery restaurant is two buildings down. The red brick warehouses, that have restaurants and shops are around a five minute walk away. If you like to walk, it's around a 20 -30 minute walk to the historic Motomachi area, which is famous for their beautiful western style houses, Russian Orthodox Church and Catholic church. The tram to Mt. Hakodate is a bit further. In total, location is great. If you stay here, try to get a room in the newer wing. The tram is a 10 minute walk and a good way to get around, especially if you go to the Goryokaku tower/fort.

  • Liked — location, non-smoking rooms
  • Disliked — rooms in the old wing are in need of renovation
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2008

This is my first visit to Hakodate, and was recommended this hotel by my travel agent.

The hotel is accessible by airport shuttle bus and located almost in the mid point between Hakodate JR station, and the main "shopping" districts at the waterfront. However, it is about 10-15 mins walk in each direction, and the tram station is about another 10 mins walk away.

The hotel is pretty old and the room is small, but clean and comfortable nonetheless. There is a new wing which appears much nicer but I didn't have a chance to explore.

Hotel staff are friendly and helpful, but command of English is limited.

Breakfast is largely Japanese-oriented with limited options for western style food.

  • Disliked — Not really accessible by public transport, other than airport shuttle bus.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seoul
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2007

This hotel is one of the biggest hotel in Hakodate.
Except only one thing that this hotel is quite old, I was almost satisfied with this hotel.

The room where we stayed also cozy and clean, but a little small. :-) And I can remember the breakfast was very nice.

The location is very near from Hakodate Station,
but it was a little far to go to the trolly station. About 5-10 minutes by walk? So maybe it would be a little uncomfortable to trip around here and there of Hakodate.

But I know there's not many hotels in Hakodate, so I think it was very good choice!

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

Address: 5-10 Ote-machi, Hakodate 040-0064, Hokkaido
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Hokkaido > Hakodate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 96 Hotels / Ryokan in Hakodate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hakodate Kokusai Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 305
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