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“One of my best experiences ever in Hokkaido”

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Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels / Ryokan in Kushiro
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“One of my best experiences ever in Hokkaido”
Reviewed May 18, 2012

This is my second stay at this property but I have still enjoyed it as much as I did for the first time. Genuinely caring staff, great service. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, with good sized TV (as per photo). Snacks are provided on arrival, and after dinner. Dinner and breakfast included are of great quality and value.

The onsen (hot spring bath) are special and nothing beats sitting in the hot spring bath when it is snowing, you just can't beat that feeling!

Be prepared that the beds in Japanese rooms come with futons where you will be sleeping on the floor. If you are not into this kind of bedding arrangements then you may need to get a western room.

Overall while it is a bit more remote (but next to the perfect lake) you won't regret coming to this place if you are looking to relax and enjoy life!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank kevinyhli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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538 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2011

We had the private room overlooking lake with private bath tub in the balcony. A bit pricey about USD350/pax/night. Minimum 2 pax to the private room. Inclusive of set dinner or buffet dinner and buffet breakfast. You sleep on the floor tatami style. If you don't mind going to the public bath and on a budget, go ahead with the normal room. Still very nice room with mattress beds. Price is half of the private tub room.
Buffet range is awesome. International & Japanese wide selection. They even have morimo jelly!!! So cute!! The morimo can be found at Lake Akan. You can walk to the pier about 200m from the resort and buy a ferry ticket to view the live morimo in the sea (underground aquarium). The manager at front desk speaks perfect English and very helpful in guiding you around with a map on what you can do there.
Upon check in, they will guide you to your room, tell you where all the things are placed in the room (very very huge room). Then they make you green tea and bring you welcome snacks (mochi, nuts, biscuits). At the lobby at certain hours, there are performances and free snacks like steamed potatoes. Also free hot spring natural water dispenser available at lobby. There is a big screen with sofas at waiting area showing morimo and intro of Lake Akan.
The resort is huge! They have 2 public (you have to pay to access) hot springs, one at the roof and one at the basement. They are swapped every 12 hours for female and male access swap. I went to the roof top on the day I checked in and to the basement on the next morning. Then enjoy my private bath tub in the room. You have to be totally naked in the public hot springs. There are more than 10 types of pools altogether. Some indoor, some outdoor. Some with water falling on your back. Some with jacuzzi feel on your back. The outdoor natural pool at basement is not to be missed. They are of different temperatures. The washing area are equipped with shower gel, shampoo etc.
There is a tribal village (a small one) right opposite of the road of the resort. Good for photo taking and a bit of last minute souvenir shopping. try getting some morimos and breed them at home. My friend's morimo had grown. Mine was eaten by fish - stupid of me to put into the aquarium, thinking can save time in changing water. You only need to change water weekly to breed it. Try it, Not expensive only about USD7-20 depending how big you want to start it off with.
Overall, enjoyed my stay too much there. Love the onsen....

Room Tip: If you can splurge, go for the lake view room with private tub. If don't mind being in the publi...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank jentmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2011

I stayed at Tsuruga hotel a total of 3 times, 1 in summer and 2 in winter. Either time I found tsuruga a fantastic hotel to stay. A typical self-sufficient onsen hotel.

They different styles of room to choose from, I stayed in a relatively big room, with a sitting area near the entrance, and a semi-open air onsen in the room. However, the onsen in the basement is a must try. I would say it is one of the most beautiful onsens I have visited. It is an onsen with many different kind of pools. the outdoor pool overlooking lake akan is gorgous either in summer or winter. There are a few souvenir shops on the ground floor. A complimentary drinks bar and a free taste of local steamed potatos are available in the lobby in the afternoon.

There are whole lots of shops just across the street, I would say it is one of the biggest onsen street in Japan. An Ainu tribe cultural centre just located 3 minutes away. A special kind of small fish that the fishermen nearby provided is absolutely fantastic. It is a must to try the fish.

To tell the truth the food quality of the hotel will not impress you too much, so it is better to try the restaurants on the onsen street, one will always find surprises, the good one. I can suggest restaurant "Mocka", a small restaurant 8-10 minutes away from the hotel on the onsen street, which provide different kinds of dishes. Try the curry rice and toast.

In the summer time one can stroll around lake Akan, or take the cruise on the lake. If time permitted it si also suggested to visit the other lakes nearby which provided very scenic views.

In the winter one can enjoy the ice festival held on the frozen lake, snow mobile, ice fishing, Aino show, fireworks, if one can resist the cold wind, it is quite enjoyable.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank CLau888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2010

Stayed here in Oct with my mum - the weather was pretty wet & cold on the day we arrived in Akan Osen so we sat in the lobby for a couple of hours until check-in time. Nice to have tea and some sweets available and there are a few shops in the hotel to browse. The main shopping area is just across the road as well. There is also free internet access in the bar/coffee shop at the rear of the hotel.

We had spluged out on the room for two with private onsen overlooking the lake. We had requested a high floor above the tree line in advance and this was provided. We also had an room attendant who spoke English so we were happy that the hotel had made the effort to note our requirements. The room was lovely - long and narrow but enough space for two of us. We loved sitting facing the window looking at the lake. There was coffee machine, fridge and CD player with CDs as well of course as our private outdoor tub. In the room we were served frothy green tea (we love normal green tea but this type is an acquired taste - we had to add extra hot water when the attendant left to dilute the grassy taste), mochi and hot bun with crab filing.

We went straight to the 'public' onsen. Females were alloted the 1st floor onsen PM and the rooftop onsen during the evening. We were the first in the onsen and although the indoor ones are great the outdoor onsen overlooking the lake was fantastic. We have visited a number of onsens and we agreed that this was the best onsen we have been to hands down. It was just wonderful relaxing in the onsen with the direct view of the lake and raindrops patting down on our heads and we had the whole onsen to ourselves for a while. The rooftop onsen is fine but you don't really have a good view of the lake sitting in the onsen as the barrier is high & they are separate tubs / baths rather than the more natural baths on 1st floor.

The hotel was buzzing with guests later on and we sampled the hot potatoes in the lobby - nice touch but don't eat too many to save your appetite for dinner in your room.

The attendant had ask us to choose earlier on whether we wanted beef or seafood or crab for the hotpot. As we were 'crabbed out' on this trip we chose beef and seafood. As usual for a Kaseiki dinner, the food kept on coming and coming. The dinner is worth at least 60% or more of the room cost so whilst the room may seem a lot you are paying for high quality dinner and decent breakfast.

After dinner we went to take a walk and so our beds could be made. Our evening snacks of ice cream and rice balls were laid out.

The only small downside of the room was there were a lot of flying insects coming into the room beacuse we had a door leading out to the outdoor tub and due to the hotel's proximity to the lake. We didn't end up using the tub much due to the insects & it couldn't compare to the 1st floor onsen.

Breakfast was the only real let-down. They have 2 restaurants - a smaller one where I understand the quality is better and a larger one. We were given tickets to the larger one and it was very crowded and a bit chaotic. The food was ok and decent but nothing special to write home about. We were happy that we had dinner in our room.

The weather was glorious that day and we took a trip around the lake which we enjoyed.

Check-out was also very busy. We had to wait a while for our car to be brought over from their car park to the entrance and there were many other cars in the small space outside the hotel. We went straight from the hotel to Kushino and later to the airport. The town is not very interesting - although the fish market it supposed to be famous it is ok but not worth a special trip. The airport is adequate but not much choice for last minute shopping.

Overall we had a lovely stay and would recommend the hotel. Akan town is small but ok so do have a walk around but spend as much time as you can in your room and the onsen to make the most of your stay. Oh and finally do pick up some bottles of horse oil shampoo (you can try it in the shower areas before you soak in the onsens first) it leaves hair silky soft & you don't need to use conditioner afterwards. It's a bit expensive but well worth it!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Puddinggow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2009

My husband traveled here in May, 2009, wanting to experience a genuine Japanese onsen resort. We had a lakeview Japanese style room. The room was really big and had a small kitchen area and a separate "living room" . Since not many employees speak much English, they thoughtfully assigned an employee (Yuko) who speaks fluent English to help us throughout our stay. She even gave us her cell phone number in case we needed anything. It is my understanding that they also have western style rooms if the Japanese custom of sitting and sleeping and eating on cushions on the floor isn't for you.
We both enjoyed the hot springs area and the yukatas supplied by the hotel. Everyone really does wear them around, even in a big hotel like this one. They switch the 2 areas daily between men and women so we could experience both areas while we were there. The outdoor hot springs area overlooks the lake and is a great experience. In both areas, they have several hot springs pools of various temperatures to choose from and lots of showers.
The first night we had the kaiseki dinner in our room. It was such a huge amount of food that I don't see how it could be humanly possible to eat it all. It was excellent, but it also had a lot of raw fish and seafood which I personally don't go for. The beef that we grilled ourselves was fantastic. After that evening we decided to go for the dinner buffet in the main restaurant. It is a huge restaurant with 3 buffet areas: Japanese, Chinese and Italian (ie Western). We found lots of different dishes to satisfy our western tastes and were able to sample some new dishes. We also had breakfast buffets in this restaurant, and they are also excellent with a huge selection of dishes.
They also have computer terminals with internet for use by guests with no charge. There are several gift shops with a good selection of locally made souvenirs. You can also shop for souvenirs in the numerous shops on the street nearby and also in the Ainu village which is just a block away.
We had a really good time here and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank gardnermanker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Planet Earth
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2009

We had the pleasure to enjoy the Akan Yuko no Sato Tsuruga Hotel. It reminded me very much of Kyoto. Associates were buuzing around in Kimonos, we enjoyed Macha (made the Urasenke style) and Japanese Sweets for a welcome and the room was spacious and very Japanese with its own Hot Spring tub overlooking Lake Akan.
You have to try the Onsen on the first floor, huge, amazing and it has a grand view over Lake Akan. Enjoy during Winter Fireworks in a hot tub!! You have to put aside at least 2 hours to enjoy all the facilities in there, amazing, not to forget sitting in a 600 year old treetrunk hot bath!
The Buffet is plentiful and more then enough (Abashiri Tsuruga does a better job quality wise) and the service tries very hard to keep up. (the chef was a bit grumpy)
I must congratulate the Front Desk, they ensured that an English speaking associate was on duty on arrival and she explained us everything into the detail, a great ambassador for that property. People on the floor were gracious and helpful.
The biggest challenge was the hot room, we were not able to control the temperature and had to open the window to enjoy a comfortable night (not exactly the most eco friendly way). For the Futon, well Abashiri Tsuruga and the Westin Miyako Kyoto 's Kasuien have the best!
We will be back for the Onsen, but like to try out the Hinanoza next time!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Onsenhopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2009

Room is modern on the Rera side. We stay at the Semi Japanese room. 24 hrs convenience store is outside hotel, less than 5 mins away. Free snacks are offered. We took the buffet package, it was average only. Perhaps you can try other meals option.

Ainu Village is just in front of hotel, 5 mins walk. Iceland Akan is 10 mins walk away, we try snow mobile.

Took the hotel shuttle bus from Kushiro bus terminal (next to JR Kushiro station).

Hotel sent us to Akan Bus terminal (5 mins). Took Akan bus (it's a public bus). It was a bit uncomfortable with 3 luggages. The bus also went past a school, so when we alighted at the Kushiro Airport, we squeezed through the teenage students.

  • Liked — small things like snacks, yukata for hot springs
  • Disliked — A bit far from Sapporo
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Christine_Mint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga

Property: Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga
Address: 4-6-10 Akancho, Akanko Onsen, Kushiro 085-0467, Hokkaido (Formerly Tsurugakan Bekkan)
Location: Japan > Hokkaido > Kushiro > Akanko Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kushiro
#1 Spa Hotel in Kushiro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga 4*
Number of rooms: 233
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Also Known As:
Akan Yuku No Sato Tsuruga Kushiro, Japan - Hokkaido

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