While winter can be bone-shivering cold, it’s also one of the most beautiful times of year in Japan. And Hokkaido is the place to go for a real winter wonderland experience, with places like Hoshino Resort Tomamu opening dreamy ice hotels that you can actually stay the night in.
Hoshino Resort Tomamu's stunning ice hotel will be open to guests from January 20 through to February 28 at Shimukappu Village, where the hotel is part of the area’s winter Ice Village. During the beginning of the year, temperatures in Shimukappu can drop to a freezing -30 degrees Celsius, making an ideal climate for a hotel made entirely of ice. The Ice Village is made up of eight special ice domes, but only one is open for overnight stays.
The room, with space for up to two guests, is constructed inside a seamless dome-shaped ice hut where the ceiling, walls and furniture are all made of ice. To help keep you warm throughout the night, sleeping bags and fuzzy blankets will be provided to keep you nice and cosy until morning comes around.
There’s even an outdoor ice bath at Shimukappu Village’s Scan Portopia Yunosawa Onsen for you to soak in while gazing up at the mesmerising winter sky.
Of course, your hotel experience wouldn’t be complete without an appropriately themed ice dinner. The stay includes a three-course meal served in a magical outdoor dining room complete with ice tables and chairs.
Dinner starts off with an appetiser of iced vegetables featuring tomatoes, bell peppers and cauliflower served with a warm garlic dipping sauce. Your main course is an iceberg bouillabaisse covered in shaved ice, which melts as the soup is slowly heated at the table.
Dinner ends on a sweet note with a frozen mixed fruit dessert of strawberries, raspberries and kiwifruit, topped off with hot wine and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Hoshino Resort Tomamu's Ice Hotel will be open until February 28 and costs ¥28,000 per person per night. Reservations must be made at least one week in advance. For more information, visit the official website.
Love the snow? Check out the best ski destinations around Japan.
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