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Introducing: IGLOO

I’ve mentioned a few times that as well as our latest adventures with Social Bus, we also run some guesthouses in Sapporo.

The two ideas work together. Our dream for the future of Social Bus is that we could create the friendly, community atmosphere of a traveling guesthouse. A mode of transport where people can make new friends, relax with old friends, and explore Hokkaido together.

So over the next few months, I thought I’d sometimes introduce some of our other projects and the story behind them – just so you can get to know a little bit more about us and our wider vision.

There will be some interesting stories thrown in for sure… 😉

IGLOO (a guesthouse with dormitory accommodation & breakfast)

Today I want to welcome you to our smallest guesthouse size-wise – IGLOO.

We opened in the summer of 2016. It was the second hostel we reformed, and a true labour of love and DIY. It involved favours from friends, all-night working, injuries, some tears, and plentiful coffee.

We look back nostalgically, but the reality of the place when the guys found it was something else.

Guesthouse building before reform
The original outside, before the reform. What you can't see here is that there's only an OUTSIDE staircase between the ground and second floor.
Guesthouse before reform - inside
And the inside, pre-reform.
DIY guesthouse renovation
Ochan in a pretty typical position for this 2 month reform period. All day, all night renovating!
DIY guesthouse renovation
Late night ceiling work...

Yep. I’m not kidding when I said this place was a little-bit-hard-work.

But… We like to think, it was completely worth it.

Reformed Guesthouse building
Let's start with a look at the outside. New, blue and greatly improved!
Guesthouse Living Room
And the completed downstairs living room and reception.
Igloo Guesthouse Dining
And my personal favourite.... Our handmade dining table.

Just a little bit different, right?

Sitting at that completed dining table, surrounded by the scent of fresh paint and varnish, deciding on where to hang the final hand-made artwork, was honestly the best feeling.

I think that in the final week of renovations a small team of about 5 of us survived on roughly 2 hours sleep a night. I ended up painting 6 original pieces of art in less than 48 hours in order to make the place look more ‘cosy’. Ochan and Soichi were still pulling shifts at our first guesthouse and heading back to IGLOO afterwards to keep working. It was crazy.


We opened on time and *just-about* on budget.

And the result is that about 18 months later, IGLOO is still going strong.

We have an amazing team now based there full-time who are incredible at communication and always wanting to run a variety of events for travelers spending time in Hokkaido.

IGLOO is warm, safe, cosy, and a true home-away-from-home. 

It’s a place to relax. Make new friends at the dining table over hot coffee. Eat breakfast together. Truly chill out. Take part in late-night conversations. Plan travel. Be welcomed.

We love it.

Igloo Guesthouse Entrance
Igloo's welcoming entrance.
Igloo Guesthouse Party
Igloo guests and staff often cook and eat food together in the evening. There's always a chance to meet new people!
Igloo Breakfast
Igloo provides a simple but filling breakfast to start your day of travel each morning!
Igloo Dormitory
Our small but well-designed dormitories rooms provide beds for between 2 and 8 guests. Perfect for small group or solo-travel!

So, if you are looking for a slightly different style of guesthouse. If you are hoping for small, warm, friendly, handmade accommodation. If you would like to meet welcoming staff and other travelers.

Well, I recommend IGLOO.

You can check out our website HERE and you are able to book directly.

Or you can contact Social Bus and we can put you in touch with them.

We love to bring the guests staying at our different types of accommodation together in order to explore Hokkaido, so if you stay with us and would like to take part in some Social Bus activities, then we can meet and hang out too.

Igloo Coffee
Igloo - where the coffee and the kettle are always on!
Igloo Bathroom
The detail is in the design - our bathrooms with reused sewing machine bases!
Igloo Dorm2
All our beds have private lights, electric sockets and are spacious enough to get a good night of sleep.
Igloo Luggage Storage
Large storage is freely available for all of our guests.
Igloo Sapporo Guesthouse Information
Plan the next step of your journey with our staff recommendations for the local area.

Come and visit friends! You won’t regret it.

And if you need any help finding us, well, here’s a map for you too!

Peace & love!

Igloo Map
The closest subway station is Hosui Susukino - really convenient for the city centre and next to Nakajima Park.

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