Hickory Wind Wilderness Lodge is a haven for travelers seeking to explore the natural world of Hokkaido in northern Japan. Our warm, comfortable rooms and well-prepared meals will draw you back at the end of your day of exploring the mountains, lakes, and forests of Hokkaido. For our guests, this is a time to rest and discuss the day’s events before enjoying another excellent meal with the other guests. Visitors will be happy to find an excellent onsen available in nearby Tsurui where they can re-fresh their bodies and minds before dinner.
Our home and guest rooms are located in an area of eastern Hokkaido that is known for its traditional farms and its park land. We are next to the Tsurui Japanese Crane Sanctuary, where visitors can hear and see these sacred birds during winter time, and we are within driving distance of all three eastern Hokkaido national parks.
SpringIn spring trekking, fishing, and bird watching are important outdoor activities in Hokkaido. Many dedicated birders come to Hokkaido because it is home to 200 species. Makoto is a professional guide who is licensed by the Japanese government to guide visitors throughout Hokkaido, including the wilderness areas of the national parks where only three professional guides are authorized to guide visitors.
SummerSummer is one of the best times to explore Kushiro Marshlands National Park. The marshlands are the summer home to Japanese cranes and the other wildlife of Kushiro. Visitors might see deer, brown bear, fox, or some of the 200 species of birds that live nearby. Wildflowers and trees provide color and interesting discussions during any trek in the marshland.
During July and August travelers also have the option to camp in Akan National Park. Makoto will lead canoeing, trekking, or fishing adventures, and he also creates the meals his guests enjoy while they are camping.
AutumnIn autumn visitors come to Hokkaido for trekking and to view the autumn colors — especially the brilliant yellow of larch trees.
WinterWinter is a very special time on Hokkaido. The ground is covered with snow, and the world-famous Japanese cranes gather in several preserves where they are fed extra food to help them through the severe winter times. Travelers can visit the cranes at three locations within a short distance of Hickory Wind. In fact, Hickory Wind is strategically located in the center of these crane viewing areas. This is when photographers from around the world come to Hokkaido to see these birds.
Makoto creates tours to several natural areas in eastern Hokkaido during winter. Visitors might see Whooper Swans at Lake Kussharo or trek along the rim of Lake Mashu’s volcanic crater in Akan National Park. Traveling to the northeast corner of Hokkaido, guests might visit the rocky shoreline of Shiretoko National Park, where fishermen and sea eagles gather even in winter.
While Makoto provides guiding services and shares his extensive knowledge of Hokkaido, Shinobu visits the busy port city of Kushiro to purchase fresh ingredients for the meals she will prepare for the next day. Her research and her years of experience have made her proficient both with traditional Japanese and French cuisine.