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Situated amid the dense mountain forests of Nagano Prefecture, the village of Karuizawa is home to hot springs famed for nearly a century as the waters for beautiful skin. Just about an hour from Tokyo by bullet train, Karuizawa has long drawn domestic visitors looking for weekend rejuventation and is now attracting foreigners as well, thanks to the excellent HOSHINOYA resort.
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A frequent visitor to Japan, our General Manager Victoria Hilley loves the local food as well as petting the cute deer in Nara.
Set out for an invigorating hike on trails winding through the Karuizawa forest. The temperature is generally noticeably cooler, with considerably fewer tourists in Karuizawa compared to Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto, making your stay here a welcome contrast from other stops on your itinerary.
Visit the wild bird sanctuary near HOSHINOYA, which is one of the largest aviaries in Japan.
Like its sister property in Kyoto, HOSHINOYA Karuizawa combines traditional ryokan dwelling with contemporary western comfort. Situated at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level, nestled within dense mountain forests, HOSHINOYA Karuizawa features 77 villas dotted along a stretch of the Yukawa River, or the “river of springs.” Discovered in 1914, the area’s hot springs have attracted travelers for nearly a century and have earned the nickname “water for beautiful skin.” HOSHINOYA offers guests access to the indoor and outdoor onsen (hot spring bath) of Tombo-no-yu, as well as special meditation soaking pools. The ryokan’s natural setting is stunning throughout the four seasons, and summers are cooler and drier than much of Japan due to the altitude. Facilities include the Library Lounge, a meeting room, and Chaya, a traditional open-air wooden teahouse common in Japan until the Showa Era. The property also offers a children’s playroom, meals and nursery services. Restaurants include Kasuke, with its elegant décor and Japanese cuisine prepared from local seasonal ingredients, the casual French restaurant No One’s Recipe, and the café Sonmin-Shokudo. There is 24-hour room service as well, and Internet is available in all rooms. HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is located approximately 70 minutes west of Tokyo by shinkansen (bullet train).