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“Wonderful...”
Review of Pension Woody Note

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Pension Woody Note
Ranked #38 of 62 B&Bs / Inns in Kutchan-cho
Reviewed 7 January 2014

This is our fourth year at Niseko and one of the reasons we keep coming back is Woody Note. Our kids wouldn't dream of us staying anywhere else.

Toshi and Rie run a wonderful family business and work incredibly hard to make stays here a unique blend of Japanese and western hospitality. It is true pension or B&B style accommodation, with futon mattresses and (spotless) Japanese facilities to match, all in a log cabin atmosphere.

A very warm and welcoming place, ideally situated in the heart of Hirafu village just below the Niseko slopes, which we heartily recommend.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank AlistairM696
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 11 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 16 February 2013

Stayed here for 5 days over new year and it more than exceeded expectations. This was our second trip to Hirafu so we already knew the location was perfect for us - situated on one of the quiet streets in the lower village, on the lift shuttle bus route (stops right outside) and a 2-5 min walk to lovely izakayas in the evenings. The standout point was the owner Toshi. He couldn't do enough to help us despite the language barrier, continuously driving us and the other guests around town (to the lift and elsewhere) at a moment's notice. He arranged a lift pass on arrival and old but perfectly adequate ski hire was available just next door from his brother's hotel. Breakfasts were also great. Mrs Toshi is an excellent host. Yes they were a little repetitive but tasty and there was always a good spread. Our room was small but very cosy with the in room heater. The shared bathrooms were kept very clean and we didn't have to ever wait to use them despite the lodge being full. Not luxurious but just what ski holidays should be about - comfy, cosy surrounds in a big log cabin with hospitality and hearty breakfasts on tap. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: We stayed not in the main house but in one of the smaller lodges - recommended for peace and quiet.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank HongKongKate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2012

This is superb accommodation run by people who really understand hospitality. It's part of a quirky little combination of lodges that play on the "note" theme including a bar (Half Note) that delivers professional quality live jazz on the weekends. Indeed music is a very important part of the experience - it's not often you discover what looks like a fully equipped recording studio in the basement of your accommodation.

Other than that I've nothing else to add beyond what other reviews say. It's just a great place run by great people who really care.

Note that in our lodge there were facilities for hot drinks but not meal making facilitates (e.g. a microwave). A (delicious) evening meal is offered once or twice a week and you have to book in advance, otherwise you are on your own.

As is the case with many places in Japan, room heating is via oil/paraffin heater that may trouble some who are allergic to the smell. The heater in our room was vented to the outside which reduced the smell greatly.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank korokoro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

Once again, Toshi San and his wonderful family have made us all feel so welcome and at home. All the comforts,facilities and location to make our skiing holiday in Niseko fantastic. I would not stay anywhere else. We were a group of 6 friends and we had everything we needed, including Toshi's Taxi!!!!! Domo origato gazaimus Toshi!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank SuzanneJ52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2011

Toshio San and Rie San run this family owned Japanese Pension (based on French Styled Pensions) for both short and long term accommodation situated directly opposite Bus Stop 2 in Lower Hirafu. It is not intuitive but this is the best situated budget accommodation on the mountain. Toshio San takes you to the Lifts in the morning and the free shuttle bus stops right outside your door in the afternoons. If for some reason you need to take the shuttle bus to the lifts in the morning there is always a seat available as the bus stop is the second on the bus route.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank DavidYabsley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2011

Originally I was travelling to Niseko (Hirafu) by myself in late February, so asked the travel agent to recommend a 'lodge' type experience where I might meet like minded people. Because of work commitments I had to delay the trip by 3 weeks and and one of my adult sons joined me. I stuck with Woody Note and wasn't disappointed, though we were the only westerners there at the time.

Though called a Pension in Japan, it closely resembles a bed & breakfast in Australia and was built by the owner (Toshi) from logs imported from Canada. We had two rooms in the newer building at the rear of the property, though it had its own street frontage. Like ski lodges in Australia, there were shared bathrooms but this wasn't an issue. The place was kept immaculately clean and the linen & towels were changed every two days. The rooms, whilst not spacious, were extremely comfortable and had a TV.

Guests are free to use the main dining and lounge rooms to relax at the end of the day. There is also a massive bookshelf of DVDs you can borrow and three or four DVD players you can take to your room. Wireless internet is available and you just ask Toshi for the password. There are also two desktops available in the main lounge. The breakfast each morning was buffet style with each room having a table set for them with their room number on it. I might mention the breakfast was superb as Toshi's wife is a great cook.

When we arrived I noticed there was no drying room like we are used to in Australia. However, the snow is so dry that you didn't really need one and your ski gear quickly dried in the well heated rooms. A washing machine is available for the use of guests at 200yen per wash.

One great advantage of Woody Note is it is within easy walk of everything in the village of Hirafu. Toshi is happy to run you up to the ski lifts every morning in his mini bus and in the afternoon you catch the shuttle bus back to stop 2, which is right outside the door.

We will definitely be back at Woody Note in 2012.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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3  Thank Michael2810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2011

Good location
Good breakfast, lacked variety though. 
Very welcoming friendly owner, ran us to the lifts when we wanted 
Poor kitchenette for self-catering as we stayed in the separate cottage.
Drying area for snowboard gear not heated so it never drys.  
Owners dog kept us awake most nights barking. 
Please note, these are negative points are the only things I could find wrong so everything else was great.

  • Stayed: January 2011
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1  Thank chazmo78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pension Woody Note

Address: 170-241 Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun 044-0081, Hokkaido
Region: Japan > Hokkaido > Abuta-gun > Kutchan-cho
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 62 B&Bs / Inns in Kutchan-cho
Price Range: £55 - £76 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Pension Woody Note Japan/Hokkaido - Kutchan-Cho

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