Spanned by numerous mountain ranges, Hokkaido, the most northern of Japan's islands, owes its reputation to its varying scenery, made up of virgin forests with running waterfalls, active volcanoes and large lakes.
The Village of Sahoro is located in the middle of woodland not far from a lake and nature reserve, guaranteeing you a stress-free holiday and plenty of sport, what with the swimming pool and golf practice, tennis lessons and massage sessions*. Club Med Sahoro is situated in the mid-southern part of Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan
It is the only CM SKi resort in the Asia Pacific region.
2007 marks the 20th anniversary of CM Sahoro.
Its abundant facilities also mean you can flirt with gravity on a flying trapeze or bungee trampoline, before relaxing completely in a jacuzzi or sauna.
Access by air
4 daily JAL flights to Obihiro airport (Hokkaido) from Haneda Airport (Tokyo) 1.5 hours, then by coach transfer another 1.5 hours. You can fly to Obihiro via Kansai/Nagoya (limited flights a week). Alternatively, you can take several daily flights (ANA & JAL) to New Chitose Airport (Hokkaido) take a train (about 2.5hrs) to Shintoku town (15 km away from club med) followed by a coach transfer
Location / Village / Accomodation
The Village is set in a nature reserve where bears roam in the warmer months. The Village is officially rated as 3 tridents in the CM publications (not 4 as reported). Village is hotel style accomodations about 181 newly renovated rooms; 2 suites, deluxe rooms which has beds and tatami mats, and standard rooms. Rooms are comfortable furnished with kettle, fridge and a humidifier!! Place is spotless and kept dry. Room toilets do not have bidets or toilet seat warmers only the loos located in the lobby DO!
The Club has a modern western feel to it. You don’t really sense that you are in Japan unless you bump into the maintenance or housekeeping staff. There is a gas stove fireplace. Hardly any contests - most take place after lunch and usually cater to the non-skiers and the injured skiers. There is no medal award ceremony except for the kids when they graduate to the next ski level. This occurs twice a week.
CM 88 T-shirt + Blue jeans, Black and colorful, Elegance, Cappucino, Dress like a country, All White, Free
They are from all over, Japan, Taiwan, France, South Africa, Indonesian, Koreans, Americans and even an Ethiopian and two Americans.
The G.Os were incredibly friendly here.
Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Malaysian, and a good number of Singaporeans. I understand from a G.O that for December, the Singaporeans outnumber the Japanese in terms of headcount for some of the weeks, and total days of stay. Most japanese usually go for the weekends or short stays while Singaporeans would go there for at least 4 days.
An excellent selection of japanese beers (Asahi, Suntory, Kirin and Sapporo), sake, plum wine, liquors etc. They serve Smirnoff Ice as well (included). Efficient and friendly bar even during peak periods.
A couple of Birthdays were celebrated with the customary birthday cake during dinner. All G.Os leave the dining table they're seated at (when the CDV gives the signal) and take part in the birthday celebrations.
Cuisines offered: Japanese, Asian, French/ Italian, Chinese, occasional Thai dishes. Pastries and desserts were surprisingly average given that japanese have sweet tooths.
Horse riding in the snow and a trip to Kuttari Onsen hotsprings. The Onsen has no hot-tubs for couples. Pirka Spa - Newly opened. Rates start from 120,000yen for aromatherapy massage for 60 mins.
Ski / Facilities
Practially everyone comes to Sahoro to ski or snowboard. They're opening an ice skating rink around Xmas. Snow trekking is available twice a day.
Ski set rental costs about US$43 per day. You get a discount of 20% for the 5th day if you rent the skis for 5 consecutive days.
Lessons start from 9am and everyone is back by noon for lunch. Then, they get ready for the afternoon session which starts from 1.15pm.
The gondolas and lifts are owned by Sahoro resort hotel and club med has no control over the openiong of the lifts/gondolas.
The highlight after a day of skiing is the outdoor canadian bath. It is an outdoor hottub which means you get literally snowed on when you sit in the tub. Most popular with everyone
In addition to the standard CM t-shirt and clothes selection, the boutique sells Puma sportswear. T-shirts are priced from US$29. They also sell a lot of Hokkaido todbits and snacks like chocolate, potato chips, maize, cheese cakes.
Only 1 laundry / dryer room with about 8 machines each. Costs about US$2 (200JPY) for a wash and US$1 (100JPY) to dry. You can use JPY coins. Detergent can be bought from the boutique.
English is widely used.
Sahoro is an extremely hospitable and friendly village - probably due to the nature of the activities and the size of the village as most G.Ms and G.Os hang out around the small bar after dinner. Looks like I may head there again next winter. Anata-wa ski desu !!