My arrival at the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kushiro in Kushiro, Hokkaido was a re-introduction of sorts. I had been in Kawayu-Onsen during the previous week and been, for all intents or purposes, "off the grid." Checking into my spacious and well-appointed room - at a rate considerably less expensive than in major cities in Japan - was an instant reminder of one of the things I love most about Japan: Modernity and tradition.
The ninth-floor room I am staying in has just about everything one could want. It has a large work station with plasma-screen television, hi-speed wireless internet service, a full-sized bathroom, a personal safe, a small refrigerator, an electric kettle for boiling water for tea and coffee in the morning, and a number business and personal services.
The Hotel is located next to Kushiro’s Fisherman’s Wharf and the nearby Nusamai Bridge. It is also close to the very popular Washo Fish Market and Kushiro Train Station and Bus Terminal (10 minute walk to all). On my arrival, I walked from the station to the hotel but plenty of taxis are available once you exit the station, so the option of being driven to the hotel is readily available and will cost approximately ¥600.
As the building sits in an area consisting primarily of hotels, it means that a number of dining options are available in-house. It is true that you can book conference rooms for business meetings or even shop at the bridal boutique and consult with a wedding planner. But for those visiting as a tourist, you'll be focusing on other amenities such as the restaurants and lounges. Visitors traveling to the nearby Kushiro Shitsugen National Park or those just weary from travel in general can take advantage of the hotel's relaxation center which provides massage therapy services.
On the top floor (18th) is a lounge overlooking the city, Kushiro River and surrounding ocean. The top floor also has a teppanyaki restaurant serving elaborate multi-course meals that include seafood and high-quality Wagyu Beef from Hokkaido. I was happy to find a traditional Japanese restaurant on the 5th floor that had both a modern dining room and traditional tatami-style private dining rooms. The rows of sweet potato Shochu also caught my attention.
Hotels and the dining, banquet, business and bridal services they offer is still a very big deal in Japan. While domestic tourists, residents and the business community can take advantage of such services, the hotel still offers a number of attractive amenities for those arriving in “tourist mode.”