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Lodge Furen Contact? (1 Viewer)

k1s3k1

New member
Hi,

I'm planning to go to Eastern Hokkaido next year January.

Trying to contact Lodge Furen on [email protected] to ask about accommodation and other details, but I can't seem to get hold of him?

I have tried emailing with 2 different email addreses but got no responses :(

Has his email address changed recently or something? Would anyone be able to help?

Thanks!
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Welcome to the Forum. That email certainly worked for me a year or so back when I visited, so I'm not sure what the problem is.
 

k1s3k1

New member
Emailed [email protected] again, still cannot get in touch with them.

Anyone here can help me try to email them on my behalf, see if they respond?

I'm worried it could be my Gmail emails are not reaching him.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
This email worked for us but often took a while

email worked for us but there were delays;

we also used this number

+81 15325 3919

when we wanted to check on imminent boat trips
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Hi: We stayed at Lake Furen in August 2016 (it turns out August isn't a good month anyway, but whatever...). We used the Lake Sunset lodge on the edge of Lake Furen, not far from Minshuku Furen (you'll find it on Google Maps or similar), and we found it fine, although the people who ran it didn't know much about birds (and you have to eat in a thirty minute window early in the evening).

However, the main reason for us for staying there was to go along the Shunkunitai boardwalk through the 'taiga forest'. But it turned out that this boardwalk had been destroyed in a typhoon the previous year, and hadn't been, and wasn't going to be, repaired or replaced. The home pages of none of the local lodges mentioned this (surprise surprise). Without this boardwalk, I can't see that there is any special reason for staying in this spot, rather than visiting Lake Furen from Nemuro for example. However, we live in Japan and speak Japanese, so I appreciate that the idea of a local expert who speaks English might have a greater appeal to you. But if you do manage to get in touch, ask about the Shunkunitai boardwalk (maybe they did repair it in the end). Maybe the lodges in the area have shut down because Japanese birders won't bother without this boardwalk?
 

Ls2018

New member
I'm going in February next year and I contacted him using the same email address as you and he did get back to me though he had returned from Spain recently. I'm staying at his lodge for a few days.


Hi,

I'm planning to go to Eastern Hokkaido next year January.

Trying to contact Lodge Furen on [email protected] to ask about accommodation and other details, but I can't seem to get hold of him?

I have tried emailing with 2 different email addreses but got no responses :(

Has his email address changed recently or something? Would anyone be able to help?

Thanks!
 

Tony Knight

Well-known member
The lodge looks and sounds very basic (and shared toilets which isn't great fun in the night !) but like others I'm attracted by the idea of a local guide who speaks english and can help with the owl trip. Are there any other hotels in the area which can help on the birding front or a combination of a decent hotel and a local guide ? Other posts had mentioned a wooded local reserve very lose to the property - would that be the same "Shunkunitai boardwalk through the 'taiga forest'" mentioned above and if so does anyone know if it has been rebuilt ?

thanks
Tony
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
The lodge looks and sounds very basic (and shared toilets which isn't great fun in the night !) but like others I'm attracted by the idea of a local guide who speaks english and can help with the owl trip. Are there any other hotels in the area which can help on the birding front or a combination of a decent hotel and a local guide ? Other posts had mentioned a wooded local reserve very lose to the property - would that be the same "Shunkunitai boardwalk through the 'taiga forest'" mentioned above and if so does anyone know if it has been rebuilt ?

thanks
Tony

Although the lodge isn't a luxury hotel I would say it was pretty pleasant to stay in and not that basic. The standard of food is extremely high there. The lodge for the owl (Washi-no-Yado) is much more basic.
 

Tony Knight

Well-known member
Although the lodge isn't a luxury hotel I would say it was pretty pleasant to stay in and not that basic. The standard of food is extremely high there. The lodge for the owl (Washi-no-Yado) is much more basic.

Thanks Andrew. It looked like a large shed in the images on Tripadvisor |=)|! I'm just wondering if that area is still the best to stay, especially given it is some way from the owls and it sounds like the local boardwalk is no more. If area 75km north was just as good and I could find a local guide then i could travel to and from there for the owls without staying overnight at the owl lodge ?
 
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MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Hi Tony:

First of all, apologies again for being a bit intemperate on the other thread about your trip.

I have just checked (with my wife to make sure my Japanese translation is OK) and there's good news and bad news about Furen. Apparently they did some kind of crowdfunding thing and repaired the boardwalk at Shunkunitai by March this year - good. But although the boardwalk is there, because of bears in the area, the repaired boardwalk is closed - bad.

Anyway, the lodges in the Furen area are OK, toilets or whatever. But they are a long way (a day's drive) from Rausu and the Blakiston's Fish Owls.

The lodge near the owl river in Rausu is really basic, but there is also a whale-watching / pelagic trip from the harbour in Rausu, ten minutes' drive away, if you check times, (no whales when we took it, and they didn't slow down for birds, but your luck may vary).

Back at the (very uncomfortable, full of mosquitos with no way to control them) owl lodge in Rausu, the (elderly) ladies being paid to run it didn't speak a word of English (indeed my wife only understood some of their Japanese). But if you go there for the owls, there is nowhere else in the area to stay, I think, and the time is too late to get out. But if you can find somewhere else (we went a few years ago), then do so

If you do go there - on the other thread I gave reasons why I don't think it will fit with your schedule - I would advise trying to get to Notsuke peninsula in a rented car rather than wandering around Furen.
 
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Tony Knight

Well-known member
Hi Tony:

First of all, apologies again for being a bit intemperate on the other thread about your trip.

I have just checked (with my wife to make sure my Japanese translation is OK) and there's good news and bad news about Furen. Apparently they did some kind of crowdfunding thing and repaired the boardwalk at Shunkunitai by March this year - good. But although the boardwalk is there, because of bears in the area, the repaired boardwalk is closed - bad.

Anyway, the lodges in the Furen area are OK, toilets or whatever. But they are a long way (a day's drive) from Rausu and the Blakiston's Fish Owls.

The lodge near the owl river in Rausu is really basic, but there is also a whale-watching / pelagic trip from the harbour in Rausu, ten minutes' drive away, if you check times, (no whales when we took it, and they didn't slow down for birds, but your luck may vary).

Back at the (very uncomfortable, full of mosquitos with no way to control them) owl lodge in Rausu, the (elderly) ladies being paid to run it didn't speak a word of English (indeed my wife only understood some of their Japanese). But if you go there for the owls, there is nowhere else in the area to stay, I think, and the time is too late to get out. But if you can find somewhere else (we went a few years ago), then do so

If you do go there - on the other thread I gave reasons why I don't think it will fit with your schedule - I would advise trying to get to Notsuke peninsula in a rented car rather than wandering around Furen.
Thanks Mac - no problem re the heat anger !
Good news re the boardwalk - i guess they must allow access at some point but i guess if you meet a bear coming the other way on a boardwalk when walking back to your car you're a bit stuck !
I wonder whether my best bet is to have a have a day up near Aken for the scenery and then stay a couple of nights at Rausu and then a day down near the Kushiro wetlands for the cranes ? It looks like you can stay at other hotels near Rausu and i guess just pay the owners at the lodge that feeds to fish-owls so they allow you to park up for the feeding ??
 

James Lowther

Well-known member
my two penneth worth.

Furen lodge is definitely not basic, the rooms are simple and the bathroom shared but that is quite often the case in Japan, even at nice (Japanese style) places. The food is superb, and the guy who runs the lodge is lovely and can help with arranging boat trips and any target birds.

Given the shunkunitai reserve is about 5 minutes by car from Nemuro, i can't see whether it is open or not would have any real bearing on choosing to stay at the lodge unless you don't have a car. But anyway, i'm not really sure about macnara's timeline given the reserve was certainly open in June last year. Perhaps we are getting confused between the little reserve by the main road east of Furen lodge and the big reserve north of Furen lake west of the lodge?? The lodge is also very close to lake onneto which has some good forest birding (although it also has bears...)

Washi-no-yado lodge at Rausu is more basic with less english spoken although the food is still pretty good. It's very close to Rausu town so if there are any hotels there(?) that's an alternative. Not sure of the arrangements for visiting as a non guest but you will definitely need a car.

cheers,
James
 

Tom Lawson

Well-known member
Hi Tony:

First of all, apologies again for being a bit intemperate on the other thread about your trip.

I have just checked (with my wife to make sure my Japanese translation is OK) and there's good news and bad news about Furen. Apparently they did some kind of crowdfunding thing and repaired the boardwalk at Shunkunitai by March this year - good. But although the boardwalk is there, because of bears in the area, the repaired boardwalk is closed - bad.

Anyway, the lodges in the Furen area are OK, toilets or whatever. But they are a long way (a day's drive) from Rausu and the Blakiston's Fish Owls.

The lodge near the owl river in Rausu is really basic, but there is also a whale-watching / pelagic trip from the harbour in Rausu, ten minutes' drive away, if you check times, (no whales when we took it, and they didn't slow down for birds, but your luck may vary).

Back at the (very uncomfortable, full of mosquitos with no way to control them) owl lodge in Rausu, the (elderly) ladies being paid to run it didn't speak a word of English (indeed my wife only understood some of their Japanese). But if you go there for the owls, there is nowhere else in the area to stay, I think, and the time is too late to get out. But if you can find somewhere else (we went a few years ago), then do so

If you do go there - on the other thread I gave reasons why I don't think it will fit with your schedule - I would advise trying to get to Notsuke peninsula in a rented car rather than wandering around Furen.

When three of us went in February 2015 we stayed in a 3 star European-type hotel in Rausu about two miles from the Owl site,and 'did' the Owls from the derlict small bus which is permanently parked overlooking the dish with the fish.This was arranged for us by Take at Lodge Furen. The hotel in Rausu was called the Mineno-yu, 0081 157-83-3001,but nobody spoke English so if you wanted to book it yourself you would need some Japanese.If you can book it its a much better option than the house overlooking the fish dish,which we had stayed in several years earlier!
Tom Lawson.
 

StuartReeves

Local rarity
I visited Hokkaido in February 2014. For the fish owl we stayed at a different place, an onsen inland at Yoroushi. Here the owls come to a small pond outside the windows of the lodge and you can arrange to get a call from reception if when they appear. Much more luxurious than the place at Rausu, and we saw sable around teh same pond too.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
As for Shunkunitai, I was talking about the boardwalk through the 'taiga forest' which is shown on the attached maps taken from Brazil's 'Birdwatcher's Guide to Japan' (without permission, but I think it's OK). We had been to Hokkaido and Furen before, but we specifically wanted to do this boardwalk. Because it's the only taiga forest patch left in Japan, it's supposed to have birds you can only see here; the other forest around is not taiga. You can see from my photo that the first hundred metres or so was OK, but that the rest had been destroyed by a typhoon- but nobody mentioned this. We were told that there were no plans to repair it, but as I said, apparently they have repaired it.

There is also a pelagic boat trip from Ochiishi, but whether it runs or not is dependent on the weather and the fishermen who do it as a sideline.

If you can find the three-star hotel in Rausu, then go for it. In the winter you will be able to see the Steller's Sea Eagles from the whale-watching boat from Rausu harbour. Otherwise the inn where you can see the Owls on a river from the dining room mentioned by Stuart Reeves is often recommended (I haven't been there myself).
 

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James Lowther

Well-known member
ok, i understood the shunkunitai nature reserve to be further east, in between the two bridges north of the road, there is a forest park there that uses the name Shunkunitai and has some good birds.

anyway, i'd be intrigued to know what species might occur in the island reserve but not elsewhere in Hokkaido?

James
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
You are quite right, James. We wandered through that 'forest park' (with a big sign announcing itself as Shunkunitai) and were seriously disappointed, before we re-traced our steps and found the entry to the place that Brazil indicated. But as I said, the boardwalk had fallen over.

I can't recall what special birds we were hoping to see. You are probably right that there's nothing that can't be seen elsewhere in Hokkaido, but I think it was said that there are various buntings and similar that are much easier to find and see there than anywhere else.

I saw your report of your trip in June 2017 on Kantori where I used to be a viewer, not contributor. Since Kantori has moved to Facebook, I can no longer access it since I don't want to join Facebook.
 

Julian H

Well-known member
I posted our Japan trip report in the thread lower down...it may answer some of these questions so worth the time to read...
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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