Top 4 Hokkaido hotels & ryokan inns serving delicious crab cuisine

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Top 4 Hokkaido hotels & ryokan inns serving delicious crab cuisine

by minna no kotoba sha
Live Japan

Hokkaido is a treasure trove of fresh seafood! In addition to the abundance of freshly caught seafood and sashimi, crab dishes are a huge hit among tourists. Enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth, unique texture of sweet crab meat and rich crab butter. Various types of crabs are prepared through a range of cooking methods just to spark your tastebuds.

Here we will introduce the top four hotels and traditional Japanese inns where you can try some delicious crab dishes. Take a trip to Hokkaido and enjoy the prefecture’s umami-filled delicacies!

1. Sounkaku Mountain Resort 1923: Enjoy grilled snow crab at a beautiful mountain resort

Sounkaku Mountain Resort 1923 is a mountain resort that offers breathtaking views of its surrounding gorge. The hotel was renovated and reopened in 2022, centering around the concept of “a comfortable and homey stay.”

Accessing the resort takes approximately three hours and 20 minutes from New Chitose Airport and about 90 minutes from Asahikawa Airport by car or about 35 minutes from JR Kamikawa Station by bus.

The hotel’s buffet serves “dynamically grilled snow crab”! The aromatic, large crab legs are sure to whet your appetite. Enjoy the umami-packed flavors of a generous serving of crab meat!

Chefs prepare dishes right in front of you in the open kitchen! Here you can enjoy Japanese, Western, and Chinese dishes, as well as delicacies from the mountains and the sea. Depending on the season, you may also enjoy teppo-jiru soup, a luxurious miso soup packed with crab.

Foreign guests who have stayed at the hotel have also commented, “The buffet-style meals are wonderful and offer excellent value for the cost.”

Renovated in May 2022, the 162 guest rooms come in a range of designs. Many of the rooms are of a traditional Japanese style, but you’ll also find natural and luxuriant Western-style rooms. Room information is available in English. The hotel values comfortable services and private experiences.

At the “Keikoku open-air bath,” enjoy views of the sweeping Sounkyo Gorge and feel the northern breeze while soaking in warm waters! This bath will enable you to forget about the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The spacious indoor “Marumo large public bath” is also highly recommended! The spring water is clear and odorless and is a simple hot spring that’s gentle on the body. It’s a soothing option that families with children can enjoy comfortably!

The common area, entrance, and store on the first floor have a sophisticated atmosphere and offer a superb, comfortable stay. In the future, the hotel plans to grow by enhancing its website and putting more effort into the famous buffet.

Sounkyo Gorge is surrounded by spectacular scenery! Ginga Falls (Milky Way Falls) and Ryusei Falls (Shooting Stars Falls), which have each been selected as one of the “100 Best Waterfalls in Japan,” are only a three-minute drive from the hotel!

Ginga Falls is otherwise called “Onna (female) falls” because of its silvery thread-like streams of water. On the other hand, Ryusei Falls is known as “Otoko (male) falls” because of its aggressive torrents of gushing water. What’s more, Ginsendai, famous for its fall foliage, is a 45-minute drive away. Ginsendai derives its name from its role as the source of Ginga Falls.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken – No contact check-ins- Cashless payments supported - Individual packaging of amenities - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Installation of alcohol sanitizers in main areas- - Humidifiers and air purifiers installed - Guests requested to wear masks

Address: Hokkaido, Kamikawa-gun, Kamikawa-cho, Kaminokyo Onsen 078-1792

2. Oyado Shimizuya: Enjoy crab cuisine at a heritage ryokan inn within the Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Spring Resort!


Oyadoya Shimizuya is a long-established traditional Japanese inn tucked away deep in the Noboribetsu Onsen hot spring resort in southwestern Hokkaido. The inn boasts hot springs in which water flows freely from the source! What’s more, you can enjoy special kappo-ryori (Japanese-style cooking), served to your room.

Noboribetsu Onsen is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts, with several different spring sources and a history of over 200 years. It’s said to have been used as a medicinal hot spring by the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido.

It takes about an hour and 20 minutes from Sapporo City to Noboribetsu by train on the JR Line. From Noboribetsu Station, a bus or inn pick-up service is available. By car, it takes about two hours and 30 minutes from Sapporo City, which enables you to enjoy the magnificent scenery of Hokkaido along the way!

Make sure to savor the inn’s signature “couple’s meal with raw hairy crab”! In addition to a 13-course kaiseki, a multicourse Japanese meal that includes a variety of seasonal and local ingredients, you can enjoy raw Hokkaido hairy crab leg and boiled crab meat!


Upon request, the inn will boil the “couple’s meal with raw hairy crab” down to the legs! Choose according to your preference, and enjoy bursts of hairy crab umami!

In addition, the “quality time plan” offers a choice of three main dishes for dinner: Tokachi Wagyu beef grilled on a ceramic plate, simmered Kinki (channel rockfish), or king crab with a creamy sauce Americaine. The king crab covered in the sauce has a very luxurious flavor!

Oyado Shimizuya serves meals in guest rooms for both breakfast and dinner - a rarity in Hokkaido. Room attendants will consider your eating time while bringing seasonal kaiseki dishes one by one. Enjoy a peaceful dining experience where you can speak freely with friends and family without the risk of spreading Covid-19!


Skilled staff gently welcome you to the softly-lit inn with a relaxed, traditional Japanese atmosphere. Guest rooms are generally comfortable Japanese-style rooms with options such as Japanese-style rooms attached with a drawing room or Japanese-Western mixed rooms. All rooms come with their own bathroom and bath area. Upon entering the room, the faint sound of the nearby murmuring river will help you relax and unwind.


The bath is filled with free-flowing spring water from Noboribetsu Onsen! Soaking in the milky white sulfur spring water will melt away your daily fatigue. In addition to the outdoor hot springs, we also recommend the fresh-smelling hinoki cypress baths. The large indoor baths are also filled with free-flowing hot-spring water.

The inn has English-speaking staff who provide a highly-rated service. Foreign guests have commented, “The staff are amicable, and the hot springs are wonderful.” and “The service staff’s attitude is excellent, very friendly, and attentive.”

Free Wi-fi is available throughout the entire inn, and beverage menus and bath information are available in multiple languages. Oyado Shimizuya is planning to actively hire foreign staff to provide more multilingual services in the future.

Jigokudani (Hell Valley), a representative landmark of Noboribetsu Onsen, is a ten-minute walk from the inn. Here you can enjoy awe-inducing natural scenery! Grab a "Noboribetsu Onsen Stroll Map" and explore the area in search of the demons that inhabit it!

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Cashless payments supported - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Installation of alcohol sanitizers in main areas- -Humidifiers and air purifiers installed - Meal plan changes - Limitation on the number of people who use the hot springs- Guests requested to wear masks

Oyado Kiyomizuya 御やど 清水屋
Address: Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 173, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, 059-0551
View Map
Nearest Station: Noboribetsu Station (Muroran Main Line)

3. Dai-ichi Takimotokan: Offering delicious crab dinners and hot springs with spectacular views!


Dai-ichi Takimotokan is a 160-year-old, long-established inn within the Noboribetsu Onsen hot spring resort! The hot spring water, which has been passed down since the Edo period (1603-1868), continues to heal the tired bodies of today.

Many staff members, including Yumori (experts responsible for maintaining the daily supply of fresh hot spring water), provide courteous hospitality.

The inn is located a mere two-hour drive from downtown Sapporo City and an hour drive from New Chitose Airport. It can also be accessed by taking a 15-minute bus ride from JR Noboribetsu Station.


The main building accommodation package allows you to choose dishes served during the kaiseki. This includes a luxurious, crab-filled meal! The menu changes depending on the season, but crab dishes are available year-round.

Some foreign guests commented, “The winter kaiseki we had for dinner was wonderful, and the snow crab was one of the best dishes!” and “It was hearty, rich in local flavors, delicious, and professionally plated by the inn’s staff.”

The crab meal enables you to enjoy a delicious crab dinner from the comfort of your room! It’s the perfect choice for crab lovers, serving three types: hairy crab, king crab, and snow crab.


Moreover, the inn offers a wide variety of guest rooms! Options center around Japanese-style rooms and twin rooms and also include Japanese-Western-style rooms and wheelchair-friendly rooms. There’s even a pet-friendly “doggy room”! All guest rooms have a modern Japanese atmosphere, providing a stylish yet relaxing experience.


We especially recommend rooms with a unique open-air bath space! Here you can enjoy free-flowing hot spring waters while taking in a spectacular view of Jigokudani (Hell Valley) all to yourself!


The large public bath spans a whopping 1,500 tsubo (4,950 square meters). The 35 bathtubs, both men's and women's combined, offer five different springs available 24 hours a day! From the windows, a steamy Jigokudani (Hell Valley) looms over you, letting you enjoy its seasonal scenery. A soak in these waters invites you to feel the true power of nature.


In the spacious open-air baths, guests can enjoy alcoholic beverages and soft drinks! It’s very rare in Japan to find an inn that serves alcohol in an open-air bath.

Enjoy a blissful drink while basking in the autumn sunlight filtering through the trees or while watching the snow gently fall onto a white landscape. (Guests are advised to be responsible in their drinking, alcohol is served from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

The inn has signs and explanatory notes about the hot springs in multiple languages. Foreign guests commented, “Staff were friendly and helpful, and the receptionist at the front desk spoke English fluently!” and “The staff was very friendly and spoke both Japanese and English.”

Also, don’t miss out on the nearby attractions! Jigokudani Onsen is only a five-minute walk away and offers a spectacular view from its observatory. Here you can feel the earth breathe in a steam-shrouded landscapeLake Kuttara, a caldera lake that is part of the active Kuttara volcanic group, is a 12-minute drive away.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Cashless payments supported -Individually packaged amenities (sanitized) - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Installation of alcohol sanitizers in main areas- Humidifiers and air purifiers installed - Guests requested to wear masks

Dai-ichi Takimotokan 第一滝本館
Address: Noboribetsu Onsen-cho 55 , Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, 059-0595
View Map
Nearest Station: Noboribetsu Station (Muroran Main Line)

4. Hanabishi Hotel: Relish whole hairy crabs served at a heritage hotel within Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen


Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen is a hot spring resort with more than 350 years of history! Hanabishi Hotel has been operating within the resort for over 70 years. You can really feel the local culture and atmosphere here. Many of the hotel staff were born and raised in Hakodate and have a love for their hometown.

Hanabishi Hotel is conveniently located an eight-minute drive from Hakodate Airport and a 15-minute drive from JR Hakodate Station. Another way to get to the hotel is to take a nostalgic tram ride from JR Hakodate Station! A 30-minute ride on the tram gives you a tour of Hakodate City. The hotel is a mere two-minute walk away from the "Yunokawa Onsen" stop.


One of the best dishes to enjoy is the magnificent “whole hairy crab sashimi”! This dish is available year-round, either as part of an overnight stay package that includes crab dishes or as an add-on dish to other packages.

The “delicious whole hairy crab sashimi (one-night, two-meal package)” offers a whole 400 to 450-gram hairy crab! This is an ideal option for those who want to enjoy an entire crab to themselves! The rich crab butter and delicate meat of Hokkaido’s hairy crabs, carefully selected by the chef, is exceptional!

Other plans, such as the “seafood boat with hairy crab, salmon roe, and more (one-night, two-meal package),” enable you to enjoy the best of Hakodate City’s seafood through special kaiseki! A fresh seafood boat with hairy crab served in its shell is genuinely a port town delicacy! You can also enjoy bounties from the land, such as grilled Hokkaido Wagyu Beef.


The hotel, named after the Hanabishiso (California poppy), soothes the soul with its enchanting garden! You’ll also find traditional Japanese decors such as Japanese ikebana flower arrangements and a wooden bear carved from a single tree. The hotel is highly regarded for its hospitality and service and is beloved by both local and international visitors.


Guest rooms are generally a spacious 16.2 square meters and Japanese-style with tatami mat flooring. Other rooms in the main building include Japanese-Western-style rooms, non-smoking rooms, and rooms with two adjoining rooms-enabling you to find a perfect fit depending on the nature of your stay!

Additionally, the "Gagyutei" and "Suehiro-tei" annexes offer a higher-grade stay! There is a range of rooms to choose from, including rooms with large windows, ones with a Japanese-style garden, and ones with an open-air bath (wheelchair-friendly rooms are also available).


The men's bath, "Hishino-yu", has two types of open-air baths and two types of spacious indoor baths. The wild rock baths and the woody aroma of the hinoki cypress baths offer a leisurely experience. The women's bath, "Hana-no-yu", has a spacious indoor bath and three open-air, garden baths. Soaking in famous hot spring waters while gazing at the garden's seasonal scenery will melt all your worries away!

The Hanabishi Hotel has staff who speak English and Chinese. The hotel is also making efforts to provide multilingual services, such as providing English-language guides and restaurant menus.

Foreign guests who stayed at the hotel commented, "I stayed in a nice Japanese-style room. The Japanese bath and dinner were lovely.", and "The service from the hotel's Chinese staff was excellent, the room facilities and hot springs exceeded my expectations, and everything was clean.”.

There are many things to see and do around the hotel! It’s a ten-minute walk to Yukura Shrine, the birthplace of Yunokawa Onsen. Also, Goryokaku Tower, an observation deck and one of Hakodate’s landmarks, is a ten-minute drive away. Why not relax and enjoy the charm of this port city?

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Cashless payments supported - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Restricted staff access to rooms - Installation of alcohol sanitizers in main areas - Humidifiers and air purifiers installed - Guests requested to wear masks

Hanabishi Hotel 花びしホテル
Address: Yunokawa-cho 1-16-18, Hakodate, Hokkaido, 042-0932
View Map
Nearest Station: Yunokawa-onsen Station (Hakodate Tram Line 2 / Hakodate Tram Line 5), 4 minutes on foot

Crabs packed with flavor are truly the pride of Hokkaido and a treasure of its seas. Experience a relaxing stay at a hotel or traditional Japanese inn where you can enjoy delicious crab dishes!

*The information in this article is current as of October 2022. Please check the official website for the latest information.


Via Live Japan

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