Hotel evaluation: Shikikan Saito, Hachimantai, Japan

Entrance Shikikan Saito
(c) Shikikan Saito

The Tohoku area in northern Japan stays a comparatively undiscovered vacation spot for western vacationers. If you end up in Hachimantai within the Iwate Prefecture, maybe for a go to to Towada-Hachimantai National Park, then Shikikan Saito ryokan (conventional Japanese inn) is a good selection for those who’re searching for an genuine and cozy sleeping expertise.

Who for

Shikikan Saito is appropriate for {couples}, households and solo travellers. The inn has a peaceful, respectful environment and pleasant employees. The place is spotlessly clear – you’re supplied with comfortable indoor sneakers consistent with Japan’s observe of taking outside sneakers off when coming into a ryokan.


There are four types of rooms available to friends together with Japanese model rooms, fashionable western rooms and the luxurious Katakuri room, which incorporates a stupendous bathtub comprised of “Shigaraki” Japanese pottery.

Guest room with bed Shikikan Saito
Guest room with mattress (c) Shikikan Saito

We stayed in one of many conventional Japanese rooms, that are spacious and easily furnished, with beautiful views of the encircling forest. February in northern Japan is the coldest month with common bouts of snow, so it felt like we had been spending an evening in Narnia.

As with all Japanese model rooms, you sleep on a futon, which the employees lay out for you when you’re having fun with your dinner. They then return the futon to the wardrobe when you’re consuming breakfast. Other furnishings embrace a desk, chairs, TV, fridge, electrical kettle and a number of yukatas – Japanese robes embellished with vivid patterns to be worn to the onsen (scorching spring).

Traditional Japanese room
Traditional Japanese room (c) Shikikan Saito

The room additionally features a lavatory with a sink and heated bathroom, full with all of the thrilling buttons one expects in Japan. There isn’t any bathe, as you’re anticipated to scrub within the public onsen.


Shikikan Saito has a restaurant, library and a small store promoting facilities and native Japanese items. Its primary draw to this guesthouse is the number of conventional onsens, that are mentioned to have therapeutic properties. The water is infused with minerals corresponding to sulphate and sodium-calcium chloride, which may enhance circulation and provide you with wholesome, glowing pores and skin.

One of the public onsens Shikikan Saito
One of the general public onsens (c) Shikikan Saito

There are a number of indoor and outside onsens, that are segregated by gender. There are indicators exterior every onsen indicating which gender can use which onsen and at what time. All garments have to be eliminated earlier than coming into the onsen, and friends are requested to scrub completely earlier than coming into the water.

TOP TIP: It must be famous that tattoos can generally pose a difficulty at public onsens, and despite the fact that attitudes in the direction of ink are altering in Japan, if you’re closely tattooed chances are you’ll obtain some questioning appears and even be requested to depart the onsen.

Food and drink

The delicacies in northern Japan is of exceptionally prime quality, particularly with reference to contemporary fish. We went on fairly the culinary journey throughout our keep within the Tohoku area, and Shikikan Saito supplied among the most scrumptious meals I sampled throughout my journey. We loved a meal within the restaurant on our first evening and tucked right into a banquet of tempura prawns, sashimi salmon, scallops and yellowtail and a complete river fish, which tasted divine.

Cuisine at Shikikan Saito
Delicious dinner unfold (c) Shikikan Saito

Breakfast was an equally joyous expertise, with an unlimited unfold of cold and hot dishes together with pastries, contemporary fruit, miso soup, rice and scrambled eggs with scallops, heated and served on a scallop shell.

Is WiFi accessible

Yes, WiFi is offered in all rooms at no further cost.

How a lot is it to remain at Shikikan Saito

Prices at Shikikan Saito begin at JPY14,500 (round £105) per individual for the Economy Room (Smoking room and no restroom inside guestroom) primarily based on two sharing + bathtub tax JPY150.

What’s close by

The primary draw to this area is the huge and gorgeous Towada-Hachimantai National Park, which covers 854 sq. kilometres and stretches throughout the Aomori, Akita and Iwate Prefectures. Here you possibly can hike, cycle, trek and even discover the world by canoe.

During the winter you can too participate within the Oirase Gorge Frozen Waterfall Tour, which takes place at evening. There are 5 stops on the tour and every time the frozen pure wonders are artificially lit, so you possibly can take some fabulous pictures.


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