Location: Guests can reach the resort in under one hour by the enthralling adventure that is the Japanese bullet train, which can reach speeds of up to 260 kph. The resort is nestled in the enchanting rainforest below an active volcano, with an almost 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain tops.
History: Karuizawa’s first inhabitants date back almost 2,500 years, making the area one of the most culturally exciting places Japan has to offer. An archaeological dig near the area found remains of a village that once prospered around 500 BC.
Service: Here at the Hoshinoya, the local Japanese staff pride themselves on their luxurious five-star service that caters to even the most difficult of inquiries and requests.
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).