Sharing the charm of Hokkaido living
Pension LaCollina is a lodge in Nakafurano. Its name means “hill” in Italian, and as the name suggests, it is located on top of a hill surrounded by abundant nature, with a nice view of the Tokachidake mountain range. Tsugukazu Muraoka, the owner, was born in Tokyo, but he visited Hokkaido a lot in his younger years. Even back then, he had already decided that he would someday open a lodge in Hokkaido. His dream came true after finding the perfect site in Nakafurano. Since starting the lodge 15 years ago, he has been happily living his dream together with his wife Keiko and their son Yuu, who also serves at the lodge’s cuisinier.
A restaurant offering the very best of Hokkaido
While LaCollina welcomes guests who come just to dine at the restaurant, the food here is so good that you’d want to stay at the lodge to enjoy the meals for a long time. They use plenty of local Hokkaido ingredients, including fresh vegetables, pork, beef, and rich seafood. Depending on your fancy, you can enjoy a quick and light meal, or indulge in a full course dinner. One of their highly recommended dishes is the Braised Furano Beef Shank, which uses A5 grade wagyu beef braised to an irresistible softness. The lodge’s good food, fine scenery, and great customer service is sure to delight every visitor.
Discovering your own kind of trip
Tsugukazu Muraoka believes that the best kind of trip is to stay for a long time and discover your own way to enjoy the place. This belief was shaped around 10 years ago from his experiences with Australian visitors to the lodge. They would stay for around a week, but would spend some days just reading books at their rooms all afternoon. This is quite a contrast from most Japanese tourists, who are constantly on the move just to visit as many spots as possible. Muraoka believes that you should take your time to really find out the true beauty of a place. He has even started incorporating accessibility design to his lodge, to the let even the elderly and disabled enjoy long stays as much as possible.
Local beauty yet to be discovered
Most visitors to the Furano area usually have a common objective: to see the lavender fields or visit the filming locations of a famous TV drama. However, Tsugukazu Muraoka considers it is his mission to find and promote the lesser-known charms the area. Furano may have become a highly popular tourist destination, but there are still plenty of beauty that is yet to be discovered. “Did you know that there are places in Furano where you can often see beautiful, vivid rainbows, especially in summer and autumn? Of course, one of those spots is LaCollina”, he remarks. You can feel the love for Nakafurano in his words, and that he is always looking out for the town’s future.