Located in the heart of an untouched forest in Tsubetsu in Hokkaido prefecture, sitting beside a 12-kilometer lake is Chimikepp Hotel, Chimikepp(チミケップ, which means “The place where water flows to beat the cliff” in Ainu language, is the name of the Lake where the small two-story building made of wood sits, housing eight humble guest rooms and a restaurant where they serve french cuisine. If one is looking for an escape from the busy city life, no place could be a better hideaway.
The nearest form of civilization is approximately forty minutes away by car, away from the bigger towns and cities, making it a perfect haven to unwind. There are no television sets or radios in the guest rooms. Instead bird books, sketch books, and crayons are provided for the guests’ use, perfect for whiling away in the wood deck outside and bird watching as the forest surrounding the area is a home for hundreds of different birds and animals alike.
One of the selling points of Hokkaido is that you can experience all four seasons especially distinctively, as well as the transitions in between. Chimikepp Hotel will be your home during summers on the days perfect for canoeing in the lake, or simply just sitting outside to feed the wild squirrels who often come out to play.
When Winter comes, Chimikepp Lake freezes over, making it a perfect sleighing environment. As the lake is abundant of Kokanee, those who are fond of fishing wouldn’t need to go far to enjoy it. Hokkaido boasts negative temperatures reaching up to -32 degrees Celsius, but with Chimikepp Hotel close by, you can enjoy a fine dinner in a toasty table by the hearth while drinking a glass of wine from the selection in the Hotel Cellar.
In the warmer seasons, one can experience the calmness of Chimikepp Lake as it reflects the sky and the forest surrounding it. Sunsets can be described as romantic more than anything else, with everything appearing frozen in time as you standing on the wooden dock and looking over at the simplicity the humble place offers.
Chimikepp Hotel is not a place you visit by chance. With it being very far from the main city, you would have to ‘mean’ to go there. And though the roads leading to it are rough and undeveloped, the journey is half the fun. Guests often say that it would not be as special if anyone were able to go there, and the fact that it is so far away from everything makes it all the more personal, making the guests feel like it is their own secret hideaway. If ever you decide to visit Hokkaido and would like to experience nature at its finest, there could be no better place.