Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pension Ohno (Hokkaido)

As with life, a lot of decisions are made based on calculated risks. So, when Tripadvisor shows very few (albeit good) reviews of a place, you sometime have to make the call whether those are genuine reviews. And with a stroke of luck, you may just find something good- Pension Ohno is one of them. (Note: Trip was in July 2013). 

1) Location 
Pension Ohno is located right opposite Lake Toya. It's a 15-20 minute walk from the popular Toya Sunpalace, a hotel where everyone stays when they go to Lake Toya. There is a convenience store within a 5 minute walk away. 

For one night's stay and meals for two people, we paid a total of 16,660 JPY (around S$202). This place does not have a website of its own so we booked it on Japanican. 

2) Accommodation and amenities 
While the room may be slightly dated, it is very clean. Toilets are small. There is a free coffee/tea machine. An onsen is also available although it looked pretty dark and small.

3) Food 
This is one of the highlights of staying at this place. By paying an extra fee, you get to enjoy dinner/breakfast here. The food is lip-smacking good!

For dinner, we had a fresh and healthy combination of seafood, vegetables, meat and soup! A very wholesome meal awaits.

This is what we had for breakfast. No wonder Japanese have the highest life expectancies. This is testimony that healthy food does not need to be boring or bland. We enjoyed every morsel of food at Pension Ohno cooked by the owner. All the fresh local produce really makes a difference to the eating experience.

4) How to get there
This is the slightly tricky part if you are not going by car. It's possible to reach there by public transport just that you would have to make sure that you get down at the correct stop. Take the DonanBus from JR Toya Station to the bus stop. Continue walking in the direction of the traffic flow for around 10 minutes, ask around and you will see Pension Ohno on the opposite side of the road. I can't give any more precise directions than that because google maps have limited use when they come to addresses in Japan. When you return to the JR Station, walk back to the bus stop right in front of Toya Sun Palace.

5) Service 
The owner was friendly but not intrusive. Let her know if you have any dietary requirements in advance so that she can take note before preparing your meals.

6) What to do 
Besides walking around Lake Toya, we also walked a short distance to watch the fireworks held daily for about twenty minutes (except from November to late April). One day is more than sufficient to spend at Lake Toya.

Pension Ohno
56-2 Sobetsu Onsen
Sobetsucho, Asugun


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