The Hokkaido Way by Rea Kim

Guest Contributor | December 14th, 2011

KUKI is tucked away in a little fishing village in a most unlikely location. From the outlook it is almost like a concrete castle, something you do not expect to see in Japan. We were greeted by two very small Japanese ladies dressed in I can only describe it as a steam driver outfit complete with vests and a cap.

Inside of the Ryokan is ever so stylish and Japanese. Ryokan means a traditional Japanese inn where people are visiting for the local hot spring and the Japanese breakfast. KUKI has 7rooms; each room can accommodate up to 4 people and has a private hot spring running in a stone bathtub. The water is rich in ion giving a slightly opaque and pinkish colour. One thing I was not familiar with was the toiletry provided by the ryokan, something called BA-YU apparently it’s made from horse oil a traditional Japanese ingredient that’s been used for over hundreds of years. You can purchase a BA-YU product in KUKI. It does not smell funny and my skin was very soft and velvety after a bath could have been the hot spring or BA-YU body wash.

Dinner at KUKI was also an experience with freshest ingredients and local sourced produce.
The owner of the KUKI runs a farm near by (Takumi Farm), providing the freshest ingredients for the guests. I have sampled raw eggs, lamb and rice and I have to admit that I did not know there was a lamb on the menu and it almost fooled everyone on the table thinking it was beef. I would also strongly recommend you to try the Hokkaido Wine and whisky. I am not a big wine person but, I could taste it was different from what I was used to.

It was a short but, a peaceful stay. Japan never fails to impress me and this time was the same. If you are ever in Japan and want to do something different try the Hokkaido way!

“We don’t follow Tokyo or Kyoto we do it our own way, the Hokkaido Way!”
- Owner of KUKI

Eashi – Kuki, 1-5 Aza Ubagami-cho, Esashi-cho, Hiyama-gun, Hokkaido 043-0041, Japan + 0139 52 2020; www.esashi-kuki.jp/en/index.html

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