10. Mai 2018
An interesting cultural experience
The biggest problem for us was that the hotel didn't really cater for kids. We travelled with a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old and where other hotels generally have things like a crib, high chairs and kids menus, this hotel had none of that. The breakfast was exactly the same both days and we were just given extra bowls for the kids in which we put things from our plates. I guess a lot of kids would have trouble stomaching a lot of the breakfast food on offer. The room we stayed in was very small. Just enough space for 3 futons on the floor and a small area with a table and 2 chairs. The kitchen and bathroom sink were in the same small space and the room had no shower at all. The toilet was clean and had a washlet. We had quite a lot of trouble sleeping due to the lack of a crib. the baby kept crawling or rolling off the futon and waking up and crying. I wouldn't recommend taking babies or young children here.
Sanseikan is located about 15 minutes drive away from the centre of the Noboribetsu hotel and onsen district. They may have a bus there (I'm not sure) but I'd definitely recommend going there by car. There are no shops or convenience stores in the area. The area was nice and quiet and there are a few hotels running in the area with a few others falling into disrepair. There's a park/ green space across the road from Sanseikan with a river, bridges and benches for sitting on, but not really enough space to kick a ball about. We went for a walk around that area and found some interesting relics from the Japan boom years. A huge empty swimming pool; cracked and long unused, piles of wood covered in moss that were clearly once buildings and other structures and houses with rooves caving in and walls peeling off. The mood of the area is nostalgic and eerie. The staff at Sanseikan were extremely friendly and helpful, but they do tend to hover around a lot which made us feel a bit uncomfortable. I think this is more just Japanese culture than anything else but we felt like they were waiting for us and we should hurry. The facilities are old but well kept and comfortable enough. The hotel has its own onsen which was the biggest highlight! The onsen has 2 showers, 2 indoor pools and a beautiful outdoor pool which is surrounded by trees and rocks. Of course, men and women's onsens are separate and they are public baths, not pools with swimwear. The included breakfast is big and contains all sorts of Japanese food such as rice, natto, salmon, various pickled vegetables, miso soup and a lot more. It's a good breakfast, but very Japanese taste.