Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lake Toya Sun Palace Hotel

Stayed in Toya Sun Palace Hotel on the very first night in Hokkaido. This hotel is located along the Lake Toya and all the guests room are facing the lake which you can enjoy the beautiful spectacular view of any season throughout the year.
Toya Sun Palace hotel entrance
OMG!! So superb breathtaking view of Lake Toya from the Annex lobby floor
Oh ya, before I forget...when the moment you step into the hotel, there is one hotel's paparazzi snapping your individual photoshot. So try to be in your nice shot and angle the moment you step in as you will get to see your photo later of the day displayed at the board :-P And, you can purchase it if it looks good.

The hotel, composed of Honkan (main building) and Annex, which has about 452 guest rooms. There are 4 different types of rooms:
  • Japanese-style room
  • Western-style room
  • VIP room
  • Modern Japanese & Western Style room
And I get to stay in the Japanese-style room!! Luv it! When you are in Japan, you must get to experience sleeping on tatami. Any idea what is tatami first?

According to Japan Travel and Culture Guide website here
Tatami is the soft mat floors in most Japanese houses or buildings. Its made of rice straw and compressed wood chips. They have a covering of woven straw made of soft rush (igusa) and edge made of cloth.
No shoes allowed on tatami mats. 

My Japanese-style room:
Have you wonder how many tatami mats are inside a standard Japanese-style room? It's actually 8 mats! bed in here..where am I supposed to sleep? On tatami only?? Geez...I will have bad sleep tonite
Spectacular Lake Toya view from the room directly. You can have a cup of tea here..chit chatting while enjoying the view.
Boyfie busy taking off his shoes since no shoes allowed on tatami
There is a safety deposit box and a few yukatas in the closet
Do you all know what is Yukata? Perhaps you might have heard of only kimono, but what the heck is Yukata rite? For those who din know about it, a yukata (浴衣) is a Japanese garment, a casual summer kimono usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, and unlined. Yukata are worn by both men and women. Like other forms of traditional Japanese clothing, yukata are made with straight seams and wide sleeves.  Ok, before you go grab it to wear..there is some customs you must know about how to wear this. Dun simply wear it and walk out to meet Japanese...and ppl tot you are dead esp in the middle of the

The left side of the yukata is wrapped over the right side (commonly reversed with right over left when dressing a body for a funeral) and secured with an obi sash tied in a bow with the excess or with the koshi-himo and traditionally the bow is placed in the back.
Boyfie in his Yukata..preparing to go hot spring
Let's go to the hot spring now..can't wait to dip myself and relax every of my muscle which has been stressed out for the past few months..

Before you reach the hot spring entrance, you will passed by a huge amusement pool..suitable to let kiddies play around.
Amusement Park for kiddies to swim
Reach the hot spring entrance:
Left for ladies...right one for guys
The hot spring area. Remember to take a shower first before you jump into the hot spring. Luv that they provided the Ba Yu shampoo also for you. And facial wash too.
After done enjoying the hot spring..time to fill up the tummy! I dunno why, everytime after relaxing in hot tummy growls even you guys have the same feeling too or is it just fatty me?!

With your yukata can still head directly to the Palacio Restaurant at 1st floor to enjoy your buffet dinner. The western-style buffet restaurant offers a large variety of food from Japanese cuisine to Chinese and Western cuisines. 
Palacio Restaurant - spot ppl wearing Yukata having their buffet too?
One interesting thing which I observed in most Japan restaurants and I do hope we can implement this in Malaysia too (but fat hope I think) - we do not need to have one person "book" or reserve the table while the rest go and take their food during buffet. In Japan, they have this card which stated "Dining" or "Finished" on the other side which you can place on top of your table (dun one will go throw your card away when it's "dining", and take your seats). With the card "Dining" facing up, you can then leave the table empty to go take ur food. Respect the Japanese can be able to do this. If it's in Malaysia..gone case...the card is thrown on the floor and your seats are taken up..sheesh...and if you argue with the might get a smack and box instead.
"Dining" card..which means this table is taken
Once you have done eating, just flip the card to "Finished" and leave the table. The waiter/waitress will clean your table when they see this card is flipped to finished so it can be ready for the next customer. Doesn't it makes things easier??!
After filling up bulging tummy and relax my muscles..time to go back into the room to have a sweet dream. But..wait! I got no to have good nite sleep??!! Back to the room, and looking at the tatami choice got to sleep on it like that today...then there's where I heard ppl knocking at the door. Dun worry, that time its only around not something like scary movies "Ju-on" :-P

The hotel provided the service for their customer who sleep on Japanese-style room, to make the futon bed for us! Know what is futon?

A futon is a flat mattress with a fabric exterior stuffed with cotton, wool, or synthetic batting that makes up a Japanese bed. Futons are sold in Japan at speciality stores called futon'ya as well as at department stores. They are often sold in sets that include the futon mattress (shikibuton), a comforter (kakebuton) or blanket (毛布 mōfu), a summer blanket resembling a large towel (タオルケット taoruketto), and a pillow (枕 makura) generally filled with beans, buckwheat chaff, or plastic beads. Futons are designed to be placed on tatami flooring, and are traditionally folded away and stored in a closet during the day to allow the tatami to breathe and to allow for flexibility in the use of the room. Futons must be aired in sunlight regularly, especially if not put away during the day. In addition, many Japanese beat their futons regularly to prevent the padding from matting. They use a futon tataki (布団叩き), a special instrument, traditionally made from bamboo, resembling a Western carpet beater.

Taaa...daaa...our futon bed...
Futon beds are ready now..can have good nite sleep
For those who wanted to try make your own futon bed, checkout this video below:

Now let me have a sip of nice green tea first before go to bed...super like the way how they keep their cups.
They have nice tea set..with 2 red bean biscuits..and another 2 some snack which I have no idea what is it
Left: Red Bean biscuits. Right: No idea what is this. Anyone can read what it state there?
Finally, the last photo of the toilet..which is the one thing I dislike the most about this hotel..the super duper tiny toilet!
See how small is the toilet?
Ok, that's all! Stay tune for more Hokkaido post coming up :-)

How to get here?

Toyoko Onsen, Sobetsu-Cho,
Usu-Gun, Hokkaido 094-5731
Tel: 0081-14-275-4126

Estimate Price (for STANDARD LAKE VIEW JAPANESE STYLE ROOM ) for 2 pax:
JPY 9,750 - 18,400/person  (RM300 - RM580/person)

For the full itinerary of my Hokkaido trip, checkout here.

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