If youre headed to Hokkaido, Japans northernmost prefecture, during the winter, its pretty safe bet that if youre OK with cold weather. After all, Hokkaidos two biggest wintertime attractions are the Sapporo Snow Festival and the islands world-class ski slopes.
So if youve come all the way to Hokkaido to spend your days enjoying the snow and ice, why not enjoy them at night too by staying in this beautiful ice hotel?
Hoshino Resort Tomamu (which also offers conventional, not-made-out-of-ice rooms) is located in the town of Shimukappu, where during the months of January and February the temperatures can drop as low as -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). That chilly weather means that the hotel can build an Ice Village with shops and restaurants, and at the end of the village youll find the Ice Hotel.
The Ice Hotels guestrooms are 8.5-meter-radius domes, and inside, everything is made of ice, from the seamlessly connected walls and ceiling to the tables, chairs, and even the beds youll sleep on (thankfully the hotel does provide extra-warm sleeping bags to curl up inside of).
Many of Japans high-class hotels pride themselves on their Japanese-style bath facilities, and Hoshino Resort Tomamu is no exception. While the water for its rotenburo (outdoor bath)is core-warmingly hot and the tubs housing is made of ice, and its shining illumination, reflected against the trees of the surrounding white birch forest, provides a beautifully ethereal contrast to the night sky.
Once you step out of the bath, theres a relaxation space which is, once again, fashioned out of blocks of ice, which also serves as the material for the lounge chairs.
▼ Youll also be provided with some special winterwear so that you dont lose the body warmth you got from the bath.
And if youre looking to further brace yourself against the cold, the shelves of the relaxation space are stocked with all manner of ingredients to make yourself a hot drink of either the soft or alcoholic variety. Theres whiskey, ginger, honey, lemon, cinnamon, milk, and plenty of other mixers, plus some 50 recipe recommendation cards if youre having trouble coming up with a tasty combination all on your own.
But even in Hokkaido, the cold weather doesnt last forever, and so the Ice Hotel is a limited-time accommodation option. If youd like to stay in one of the domes, your check-in date needs to be sometime between January 19 and February 28, and if these pictures are giving you shivers not from the cold, but from excitement, reservations can be made here.
Hoshino Resort Tomamu / 星野リゾート トマム
Address: Hokkaido, Yufutsu-gun, Shimukappu-mura, Naka Tomamu
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