Better options, especially for non-fluent Japanese speakers
My husband and I were looking forward to our stay in Shirogane, but unfortunately this hotel was the big letdown of our 2-week Hokkaido honeymoon. We booked the hotel in order to hike Mt Tokachi-Dake, and it was the only nearby accommodation available for reservation in english.
While we booked a non-smoking 6-tatami mat room, we somehow ended up in a tiny, tiny room in the Annex that smelled intensely of smoke. There was no air-conditioning as listed, and the lack of air flow was a big issue. Due to lots of tour groups, there were apparently no other rooms for our stay. We also booked a half board option at the hotel and had sent along an email and left a voicemail requesting vegetarian options. These communications didn't make it through and one night I was unable to eat anything except rice amid a very nice looking kaiseki dinner. With our elementary level Japanese, none of these problems could be properly addressed...it was just a challenging situation, and one I've never encountered in 4+ trips to Japan.
After hiking Mt Tokachi-dake we ate at a tiny hotel at the base of the trailhead. It cost 1/4 of the price of Shirogane, had english-speaking staff, and was in a great location. For westerners looking to experience the outdoors, I might consider this option.
The one redeeming feature of the hotel was the onsen. My husband said the male onsen afforded amazing views of the falls. The female outdoor onsen wasn't great, but the indoor one was lovely.
Couples - Sep 7, 2017