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“Horrible Place”
Review of Owashi Lodge

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Owashi Lodge
Reviewed October 9, 2013

My partner and I lived there for a snow season and had the most horrible time. The owners were intrusive, rude, arrogant and just all round horrible people. We were not allowed to use the heaters to much, it was cold, the internet hardly worked, and when you complained we were told to take a hike basically. We all got so fed up that a group of us actually moved out towards the end of the season. The rooms were tiny, horribly dirty when we arrived, and just all and all a horrible place to live. I would NEVER EVER recommend this place to anyone, let alone even consider staying there again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Soybeanooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owashilodge, マネージャー at Owashi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2013

Hi Soybeanooo

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of Owashi Lodge. We take our guests' views very seriously so we're sorry you had such a poor experience.

We haven't had guests stay for a full season since 2010/11 so it seems you might have mixed up your dates. In addition we haven't had any guests cut short their stay since that season. We did have some problems in 2008/9, when the lodge operated as seasonal staff accommodation. This was the first year we operated and we concede that there were some teething problems. If that was indeed the season you spent with us, we did our best to make up for those problems with our guests so we're sorry if you didn't feel that was the case. We certainly learnt a lot from that season and have worked very hard to keep improving on the level of service we provide to our guests.

Since that time we have changed our business model and upgraded our facilities and services by employing full time professional management and staff to operate the lodge year round, outsourced the cleaning of the lodge to a professional cleaning company and quadrupled the internet capacity within the lodge (we are not saying it is perfect but the improvement is substantial and it has always been free to guests).

We note your comments about the owners. However, none of the owners were in Japan in December 2012 so you either did not meet the owners or you have your dates wrong.

Rooms in Asia are traditionally smaller than those in the West but we also ask you to remember when considering the size of the rooms that we are a backpacker lodge. We believe that our room rates reflect excellent value for money given our location so close to the lifts. Obviously hygiene is important to us and that is why we employ a professional cleaning service.

We make every effort to resolve any problems with the internet and we continue to invest in improving our infrastructure. We can also confidently state that there is no problem with the heating throughout the lodge.

We are proud of what we offer our guests and incredibly proud of the fantastic job our staff do. We believe this is reflected in the overwhelmingly positive feedback we get from our guests, as evidenced by the other positive reviews here on Trip Advisor. We hope that you continue to support the wider Niseko community.

Best wishes
The Owashi team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 43 of 56 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

I stayed in a shared bunk bed for 6 days and luckily no other people checking in during the period so I stay by myself the whole time.

This lodge is close to Hirafu resort, within a 5-10mins up hill walk to lift. 10-15mins walk to convenient store and shuttle bus stop is right at the driveway. The room is very basic, just a bunk bed with a small closet and that's it. Bathroom and toilet are shared. Amenities not provided so you have to bring your own towel, shampoo, toothbrushes etc. It's clean generally. Staff are nice, they are willing to give you lift when you're check in/out so you don't have to drag to bag to the bus stop. They provide a dry room for your boards and boot but it's pretty full.

They run a bar at the basement where you can meet some people there. There is also a pingpong tables too. Pretty interesting place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank alan-hob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owashilodge, マネージャー at Owashi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2013

Hi Alan-hob,

Thank you for your very kind review.
Most of our guests come to Owashi Lodge for ski/snowboarding so we make our rooms basic & simple with reasonable price. We are pretty full from mid-Dec till mid-Mar but as long as we have a room available, you will have a change to use dorm rooms by yourself.
Thanks again, we look forward to seeing you next winter!!

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Reviewed March 1, 2013

Most of the staff here were amazing and helpful. The location is perfect just a short walk to the ski lift. clean rooms and facilities. Bar downstairs means we didn't need to trek out into the snow to have a ball.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jess P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owashilodge, Guest Relations Manager at Owashi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2013

Hi Jess,

Thank you for your very positive review. We are pleased to hear that you and your friends enjoyed the Owashi experience. The close proximity to the Ace Quad ski lift is definitely something that separates Owashi Lodge from other accommodation of similar price and we are very glad that this contributed to your overall satisfaction.

It is great to hear that you guys had a ball in our bar downstairs. It was named Kanpai Bar earlier this season after a naming competition. 'Kanpai' means 'Cheers' in Japanese!

We would also like to thank you for acknowledging the helpfulness of our staff and the clean rooms & facilities.

If you have any suggestions to help make our future guest's experience more enjoyable, please don't hesitate to contact us on; info@owashilodge.com

Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you next time!!!

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Reviewed December 28, 2012

I stayed at Owashi Lodge for 4 days this Christmas. Here are the pros and cons:

PROS:
1. Very affordable - budget accomodation at its best
2. Proximity to Grand Hirafu - it is less than a five min walk
3. Very friendly staff - great people, very helpful
4. Side trips organized. We went to Niseko Grand Hotel Onsen one day - that was beautiful
5. Great company of travellers
6. They get you a discount for rentals too!
7. In-House bar

CONS:
1. The heater in rooms can be better - the reception area can be better heated too.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank AthmaGyaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owashilodge, Guest Relations Manager at Owashi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2012

Hi Athma,

Thank you for your very positive review. I am glad that you you enjoyed your stay at Owashi Lodge. We were very pleased to hear that you enjoyed our daily events, in particular the Mixed Onsen Trip to Niseko Grand Hotel and that you were surrounded by great company of other travellers.

We have taken your concern about heating into account and if you have any other suggestions that will help to make our future guest's experience more enjoyable please don't hesitate to contact us on; info@owashilodge.com

Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you next time!!

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Reviewed December 20, 2012

i stayed there in Feb 2012, and i can't wait for an opportunity to go back.
the hostel got a little loud, and sometime the other travellers got a little roudy - but there the people working at owashi try their best to keep things under control...without stopping people from having a good time.
i was travelling with friends, but was staying in the hostel on the last night on my own (since my friends left early). i was staying in the 6 person mixed share room, and one of the guys working at owashi offered to give me a private room for the night at no extra charge - in case i didn't feel comfortable being the only girl in the room. i didn't take it since i'd gotten to know the other travellers - but it was really considerate of them to offer.
the place is crazy close to two lifts - either walk up hill to the main lift, or downhill to the bottom of the bunny hill to connect back up to the main lift.
the bathrooms are clean, and the kitchen had enough room for people to all cook at the same time.
while you have a lock on the door, there are no individual lockers for personal items. you can get a few things locked away at reception if you're paranoid about some stealing your stuff...but theft did not seem to be a problem during my stay

Room Tip: Might want to consider not staying on the ground floor since it's above the basement where the g...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank AllMountainPass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owashilodge, Guest Relations Manager at Owashi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2012

Thank you for your very positive review. We really appreciate your acknowledgement of the considerate nature of our staff and are glad that you still hold very fond memories of Owashi Lodge a year down the track.

We are very happy to hear that you were pleased with our Kitchen/Bathroom facilties and the close proximity of our accommodation to the base of Grand Hirafu.

If you have any suggestions to help make our future guest's experience more enjoyable, please don't hesitate to contact us on; info@owashilodge.com

Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you next time!!

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Reviewed December 20, 2012

The worst thing about skiing and boarding in other countries is relying on shuttle busses or having to defrost your own car the morning of a big day on the mountain! OWASHI LODGE is a short 5min walk (with gear) from the base of Grand Hirafu. The other highlights include
- locked drying/gear room overnight
- hot showers
- friendly staff
- comfy private room (bunk beds from ikea)
- heaters in bathrooms
- cheap laundry facilities
Recommend to everybody looking for the cheaper option that has the best location!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Ashleigh F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
owashilodge, Guest Relations Manager at Owashi Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2012

Hi Ashleigh,

Thank you for your very kind review. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Owashi Lodge, the close location to the base of Grand Hirafu is definitely something that makes our accommodation very unique and appealing to our customers.

We are pleased to hear that you were happy with our facilities (incl. drying room, showers, heating and laundry) if you have any suggestions that will make our guest experience more enjoyable, please don't hesitate to contact us on info@owashilodge.com

Thanks again, we look forward to seeing you next time!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2012

I had a really enjoyable stay at Owashi Lodge for four days.

Firstly, I found the staff at the Lodge to be excellent. They were all very professional, and were eager to make your stay more pleasant. They were very knowledgeable of the town and slopes, and made sure that I had everything I needed. One note in particular was how the staff accommodated their guests even out of the normal working hours. I arranged a taxi at very late notice at 10pm for the next morning at 4am. Little things like this make the stay at Owashi that much better.

The standard of the rooms and lodge in general was very good. The lodge was notably clean; with the rooms having comfortable beds and plenty of room also (I stayed in a two person dorm). The kitchen facilities were good, and the place had a suitable games and TV room.

A friend of mine recommended Owashi Lodge for accommodation after staying there during the 2010-11 season. Other than the website, there was little information at travel agencies such as flight centre in Australia (Darwin) to promote Owashi Lodge as budget accommodation on the mountain. Owashi lodge is catered towards budget, backpacker style accommodation, being VERY close to the lifts also (100m).

Your webpage needs a little work on the booking section. Not all computers load up all the relavent information, and smart phones don’t load it at all. I just went back on the website to check if I was still having trouble, and I can’t seem to easily book. All it says is “Please enter your preferred dates of travel to check rates and availability. Then send us a booking request and we'll contact you to confirm your booking.” However it never specifies what you need to include in the booking request, and at current it didn’t quote how much per night for different rooms. If you email the team at Owashi lodge to book (like I did), you should have little trouble.

A massive positive is their daily social events (group dinners / bars / onsen). This is great to do something each day and everyone gets into it; being a great way to socialise.

Thank you for an enjoyable stay at what I find to be a professionally run, clean, cheap backpacker style hostel which is complemented by very welcoming and helpful staff. I hope to be back one day to carve more powder...

Cheers,

Jack

Room Tip: I found the 2 person room to be a good size if travelling alone and you don't mind the company o...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank JacksinDarwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Owashi Lodge

Address: 188-7 Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun 044-0081, Hokkaido
Location: Japan > Hokkaido > Abuta-gun > Kutchan-cho
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 65 Specialty lodging in Kutchan-cho
Price Range: $40 - $93 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Owashi Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A mere two minute walk from the main quad lift, Owashi Lodge is a backpacker's hostel designed to cater for the modern independent skier and boarder. A combination of small private rooms and great communal spaces gives guests the option to relax in quiet comfort or party with fellow snow enthusiasts.Owashi Lodge is more than just great rooms at great prices. We can help you with many of the other mountain services you might need: ski equipment hire at discounted rates, all resort lift passes and loads of information about the many other activities available in Niseko.Free WiFi internet access & 2 shared public computers with internet accessBarPool tableDarts x 2Table tennisVending machineCoin operated washing machine and dryer with washing powder availableCommercial grade guest kitchenFood store roomTV / DVD roomLinen, doona & pillow providedSki, snowboard storage & drying roomWax table and wax Iron is available at drying room Hair-dryer is available at receptionDaytime reception desk with night wardenRooms cleaned with linen change after 7 nightsDaily cleaning of common areas / bathroomsWeekly event (Onsen, Poker, Dinner, Pool competition etc.) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Owashi Lodge Japan/Hokkaido - Kutchan-Cho

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