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Friday, March 12, 2010

Washoku @ Dai-ichi Takimotokan

It was quite an adventure if you are going to Noboribetsu, which famous for its natural hot spring in Hokkaido, and staying at the largest and oldest onsen.

Noboribetsu is 2-hr bus drive from Sapporo, you have to change bus in the only stop going to Noboribetsu after 1.5-hr bus drive. Not many people stop here; local tourist maybe driving or using their personal coach.

It is a very small town with Dai-ichi as the biggest building surrounding it, it is very big indeed, with its own hot spring premise divided between female and male, a small arcade for children play and shops and its restaurant.

Our stay included dinner and breakfast; it was worth every cent as we experienced both dining in washoku (traditional) style.

Such cooking skill, intricate display, healthy and fresh with seasonal produce, private dinner in our room with excellent traditional Japanese service, it just made me in awe.

Our room was the Tatami style room, when we arrived, they explained in Japanese what facilities and service there, by end of explanation, we were being asked what time would we wanted our dinner to be served in the room. 

Exactly at 7 pm, the door bell rang and a nice friendly courteous lady came in, she prepared the table which located in our sleeping area, and one by one, she brought in our meal, such an array of washoku dishes..I recalled I could not stopped admiring was like an art itself!

After we finished it, we just called the reception telling our dinner was finished. Then the same lady came in, prepared our dessert in another table near the entrance, another gentleman came in with her that turned out, to bring out our tatami bed and arranged everything in place.

It was done exactly in 10 minutes, the clearing of dishes and arrangement of tatami bed; such a precision.

Tatami bed turned out was made up with several layers and you didn't feel the hardness of the flooring as it wasn't felt that hard too and it was so comfy.

Next morning, we went down for breakfast which they also asked what time we would be coming in. At first, I thought how strange it was as I thought it was a buffet breakfast. Turned out, they did need the timing to arrange the private cubicles in the breakfast area. How amazing! 

Breakfast was again served in washoku style and what I saluted Japanese were their consideration beyond request, they thought what made it easier for customer/patron and they took initiative to make things/system better and better...

I promise myself that I'd stay in another onsen accommodation which serves washoku dining next time am in Japan.

It is such an experience...I would recommend everyone to try it when they are in Japan next time, but do find an authentic, the more remote the area, the more authentic experience you will encounter.

Our spacious room, it could accommodate from couple to family of six. We had our dinner in this table and in this section, which later being removed for our sleeping quarter.

Such Zen design

Green tea and light cookies were presented when they brought us to room upon arrival

How the table looked like, this was 5 minute arrangement by a single lady

The photos speak for itself how amazing it was....

Our dessert and a cup of green tea while we waited for our tatami bed arrangement

Breakfast individual cubicle, depending on number of pax. There was an open area for bigger  glad, we got this cubicle, such an experience

Our washoku healthy and fresh

The orange was cut into small section to make it easier for you to scoop it out and eating it properly without the orange bits squirting out when you try to scoop thoughtful!

Dai-ichi Takimotokan
55 Noboribetsu-onsen
Tel : +81-143-84-2111

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