Hoshino Resorts "KAI" opens in Upopoy area of Shiraoi, nestled amidst Ainu culture and nature

“Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto”, the 19th facility in the nationwide Hoshino Resorts hot spring inn brand “KAI”, opened on January 14th next to the Ainu culture revival hub “Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park”. General Manager Endo Misato commented, “We want to show everyone the special qualities unique to Shiraoi.”

This is the first “KAI” facility in Hokkaido. The hotel is a four-story reinforced concrete building with a total space of 4,951 m2 and 42 rooms. “A cone-shaped bathhouse nestled amidst the tranquility of Lake Poroto” is the overall concept. The room interiors were designed based on a traditional Ainu “cise” house motif, and all rooms offer a panoramic view of Lake Poroto.

The hot spring water is sourced from a dark brown moor spring. The bathhouse hot spring facilities make use of the Ainu architectural “ketunni” tripod structure. The inn also offers a full bevy of services for overnight guests. In addition to explanations on Shiraoi history and the best way to enjoy the hot spring bathing experience provided in the “Hot Spring Iroha” presentation, the hotel also offers activities like the “red-crowned crane arm-flapping exercise” for 15 minutes from 7:00 a.m. every morning.

Accommodation fees start at 28,000 yen per person for one night in a 2-person room, with two meals. See the official website for reservations and details. https://hoshinoresorts.com/ja/hotels/kaiporoto/

Lounge: The lounge offers a splendid view of Lake Poroto and Mt. Tarumae. Relax around the fire in the “irori” hearth that served as the central hub for Ainu everyday life. The hotel offers a “Make your own ikema and potpourri charm” workshop program where participants can make their own protection charms using native Hokkaido herbs like Calendula and the ikema wildflower, which is thought to ward off evil in Ainu cultural tradition. The workshop is about 30 minutes, and it is offered five times daily. Overnight guests can reserve a spot on the same day and join in for free.

Moor hot spring: For overnight guests, the special “Sankaku-no-yu” hot spring facilities are available. There are two types of inside baths included: the gensen kakenagashi (water flowing directly from the spring source) hot water “Atsuyu” bath and warm water “Nuruyu” bath. The Nuruyu bath connects to an open-air bath with a panoramic view of Lake Poroto. There is also a “Maru-no-yu” hot spring facility open to non-overnight guests as well. In this dome-shaped indoor bath, outside light shines through a round hole in the ceiling. The non-guest bath fee is 1,500 yen (400 yen for Shiraoi residents). Bathing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Rooms: The Signature Room (71 m2) is the most popular type out of the four room types offered. It always fills up with reservations immediately. There are three of these rooms in the hotel, and all accommodate up to two guests each. They feature a terrace and private open-air bath with a panoramic view of Lake Poroto. The hotel also has 24 Western style rooms (42 m2, up to three guests each), 3 family-sized Western style rooms (71 m2, up to four guests each), and 12 Western style rooms with private open-air baths (56 m2, up to three guests each). Room interiors feature art objects like wooden carved boat oars, and Ainu patterns adorn the wallpaper and cushions.

Cuisine: Kaiseki cuisine featuring Hokkaido ingredients is served in the hotel restaurant. Dishes include a bouillabaisse with horsehair crab and scallops (front center) and a potato puree called “Bareisho Kaihomori” topped with ikura salmon roe and sea urchin. A special Shiraoi ambiance can be felt in touches such as using plates with a design based on the canoes the Ainu people once used for trade. Table seating is offered in semi-private rooms, providing a comfortable mealtime buffer from other guests.

Location

Hoshino Resorts KAI Poroto

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