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“i love love love this place!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kourakuen

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Kourakuen
Ranked #8 of 21 Hotels / Ryokan in Otaru
Japan
Level Contributor
172 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“i love love love this place!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

They had a private onsen at around 3000yen per pax. from 11am-2pm. Best to reserve via email early just in case. you can take the bus #13 down from the otaru bus terminal, or catch a taxi there ( ard 2500yen).

Upon reaching, we were greeted by really friendly staff and led to our room. The room was spacious and traditional japanese. What i loved best was the private onsen that was just perfect for any couple to relax in. We also ended up taking the optional lunch at an additional price. It was worth it for the food was fresh and just so so good!

I will definitely recommend this place and look forward to returning one day!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WanderlustJournal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

From the moment we entered the front gates we were already impressed with Korakuen. The place was covered in snow and we drove down a long driveway to get to the main door. From the moment we arrived we were greeted and were helped with our luggage. All the staff at reception spoke good english which made communicating very easy. It was also interesting that they took our shoes when we entered the door, and for the time we were inside the hotel we were barefoot (they also provide socks in the rooms). This was good because the whole hotel was clean and it made you feel at home walking barefoot down the hallways to dinner, to the onsen etc. My sister was very sick when we arrived and everyone tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible. They set up the bed for her in the afternoon and when she couldn't make it to dinner, they made rice balls for her.

We had 2 rooms here, one of the smaller ones upstairs without a private onsen, and Kiku, a much bigger room with a private onsen. Of course Kiku was much better. It was spacious with heaps of room for 2 people, the private onsen had a beautiful view of the snow covered trees. You'd be able to just relax in the room, whereas it gets a bit crowded in the smaller rooms. Everything was again very clean and everything provided.

The public onsens are also nice. The bigger, nicer one is rotated between men and women daily. I would recommend just going to this one rather than the one on the other side near reception as this is much bigger and has a better view of a pond and in winter a snow scene. Change room is a bit small but it was still clean.

Dinner and breakfast was provided. Dinner is like a feast! Many small dishes are put in front of you, and they were all so delicately presented. Definitely of a high quality and I think this hotel is quite famous for their food. Breakfast was also a few small dishes for us like grilled salmon, tofu, rice, miso soup.

There is also a little sitting area near the nicer onsen, where there's a kettle boiling and tea and coffee for you to drink. There are some japanese magazines and some tables where you can sit and admire the view outside.

Added bonus is that there is free wifi in the whole of the hotel!

This place is definitely a 5 star experience. Especially if you want to experience Japanese hospitality and sleeping in a Japanese room.

Room Tip: If you don't mind paying extra, larger rooms with the private onsens are definitely worth it!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kewlaurel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

Spent Christmas here.

Pros: It is a beautifully Japanese styled, clean and modern Ryokan. Service staffs are friendly and helpful. Rooms with private onsen are beautiful and overall, this peaceful Ryokan really lived up to the reviews. Take bus 13 from Otaru station.

Cons: No ensuite shower though. There is attached toilet but no shower facilities within the guest room; you have to shower in the open public area at each gender’s onsen room (no cubicles either, so if you are uncomfortable showering in plain sight with strangers…well you can book the rooms with private onsen during non winter seasons, or you have to get use to it or be prepared to towel bath yourself).

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thiakx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2012

Had the best stay here compared to other onsens and hotels in Hokkaido! Service was excellent. Upon arrival, we were brought to our rooms. A lady came to serve us tea and biscuits, and also asked us when we wanted to have dinner. At dinner time, we were greeted by that same lady who seemed to be waiting for us to arrive. She also served us dinner and breakfast the next morning. All meals here were especially awesome - fresh and presentable.

Onsens are rotated at different times of the day so that males and females get to enjoy the different onsens here. Each onsens presents a different view. They even have a private onsen room further away from the reception area that can be booked (or used when not booked). All onsen rooms have an indoor and outdoor onsen with rows of showers. Soaps are provided here.

Wifi is provided in all areas so tech-savvy teens like my brothers and I were especially pleased.

I would say that this is definitely a great getaway but not so much of a base for sightseeing and touring just because I never ever want to leave the place because it is so comfortable, and has everything you need except maybe lunch (breakfast and dinner is provided by the way). I just want to soak in the different onsens all day. My stay here was definitely more expensive than other locations. Would definitely return again! My family loved the place!

Room Tip: Had the family room at the far end of the place, was good enough because the wifi modem was right ou...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank foldedheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
111 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2012

My first time in a traditional ryokan and an onsen hotel! If you come in by JR train from Sapporo, might as well get off at Otaruchikko station then take taxi to the ryokan - it will be much closer. If you plan to take local bus then No.13 outside the Otaru Station will get you right in front of Korakuen for 210yen in 20 minutes. We took taxi from Otaru station and ended up at 2200yen.
Upon arriving at the ryokan at 2PM and told we couldn't check in yet. So don't try to arrive too early thinking the room would be ready anyway... Adhere to stated time of 3PM.
We originally booked Room Fuji through Japanican.com, but was told the boiler in the room had problem so were given Room Ayame in Annex building instead. Both had private open-air onsens so we didn't mind much. Ayame turned out to be just fine! You can check out all different rooms on Korakuen's own website here: http://www.otaru-kourakuen.com/english/s_room.html
Some rooms are a little bit more private than the others but all equally charming! No shower in all rooms so we have to take showers in public bath. The public baths in Annex was huge and amazing! Much better than the ones in Main Building IMO. And for both nights I stayed there, the baths were literally empty. Everything (shampoo, body soap, body lotion, even an exfoliator and hair essence) is provided in the public bath and in own room.
Our own private open air bath was nestled in heavy snow, linked to the tatami room by a small terrace and a changing room with towers. Yukata (bath robes) and split-toe socks were provided. Dinners were served in the room and different menus on two nights. After dinner staff set up futon (bed) in the room. Breakfasts were served in dining room with beautiful view to the garden, where we saw squirrels running on the tree. Service was very friendly and although not much English was spoken, they tried their best.
No mixed baths here but there's one big indoor bath for private rental if you don't want to splurge on the private outdoor bath. It's really pricey but worth the experience!

Room Tip: I'd go for rooms in Annex building, close to baths in Annex which are much bigger and beautiful!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank echoytx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2012

did not stay for a night but instead booked a day plan only (for 3 hours). getting there may not be very convenient but it helps that otaru bus services provides their timetables online and there's tourist info center in the otaru JR station. its definitely worth a visit here as the service is good and its a beautiful place to relax in. the sushi meal set was fresh and simply delicious.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank madabtkochan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2010

This is a perfect option for someone who is willing to experience a modern ryokan.
15 minutes away from the Otaru Chikko JR station by cab. Less than Y2000 the ride (US$20.00).

The room with outdoor bath is amazing (Popura), huge space, tatami floors, beautifully decorated and comfortable. The outdoor bath - rotemburo - is beautiful, stone built with no control over water temperature. The scenery of the outdoor bath is the garden (in our case covered in snow), and we managed to spot little wild life like squirrels.

The private outdoor shower does not work during the winter season so the plumbings wont freeze, but that was not a problem. There is a common bathing room which is spotless. There is also a private toilet/ sink in the room.

It is possible to rent the communal bath for yourself at night for an hour, so you can enjoy a bigger bath indoors and also a sauna with your friends and family.

Our dinner was served in our room, kaiseki style and delicious. The lady who was attending us was very polite and since we were curious, explained everything we were about to eat in English and also when she was setting the bed.

The breakfast was in a common area with a private table, also kaiseki style with an communal table for coffee, salad and extras to serve it yourself. Everything is beautifully prepared and everyone in the hotel is very attentious.

It was the perfect experience and I will definitely try to go again.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Superaventuras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kourakuen

Property: Kourakuen
Address: 5-23-1 Shinko, Otaru 047-0152, Hokkaido
Location: Japan > Hokkaido > Otaru > Asarigawa Onsen
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Otaru
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Closed due to fire ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Korakuen Hotel Otaru
Kourakuen Otaru, Hokkaido

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