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).
The rooms at the Hoshinoya are the epitome of contemporary comfort, while still incorporating the essence of Japanese culture and design.
These cosy rooms, featuring up to 219-square-feet of space, are sprawled across the riverfront with balconies that hover elegantly over the water. Beds are in the traditional Japanese futon style, while the room also features a separate living room and bathroom.
These luxurious-yet-traditional twin rooms incorporate plenty of Japanese style and comforts into their 157-square-feet of space. Beds are in the traditional Japanese futon style, while the room also features a separate living room and bathroom. Their crowning feature is the wide terrace, which opens up from the living room.
These hillside villas provide guests with charming views of the Wild Bird Sanctuary, with their elevated location on the hotel's second floor. Beds are in the traditional Japanese futon style, while the room also features a separate living room and bathroom. These rooms can comfortably sleep three guests, and additional guest sleeping provisions may also be accommodated.
Guests hosting events will make good use of the hotel's banquet hall, built upon the riverbank. The design is a nod to the traditional Japanese warehouses of yesteryear, and can hold up to 30 people.
Enjoy the rich traditions of Japanese tea appreciation, in this old Japanese house, which has been restored to a new level of opulence. Morning stretching sessions and breathing exercises, as well as craft sessions, are available to guests.
The hotel provides guests with free shuttle service to its collection of 14 attractive shops and restaurants, set amongst the lush foliage of the local forest. Restaurants serve up Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and other cuisines.
The healing hot springs for which this resort is most famous, have been attracting attention for an entire century, since they were discovered in 1914. Over the years, the onsen has developed a reputation for providing water for beautiful skin.
The hotel offers kids room services from early morning to late night, available to guests on a complimentary basis, while babysitting services do cost extra.
Guests who enjoy a good read will get a kick out of the hotel's comfortable library, open 24 hours a day, featuring large, plush sofas and a wide selection of literary favorites, as well as CDs. Complimentary drinks, snacks, and WiFi are available.
The Hoshinoya's Spa offers the newest and best treatments, including the trendy Toji-style bath, designed to promote stress relief amongst nature's bountiful surroundings. Guests can enjoy other such treatments that incorporate both ancient Japanese healing traditions, as well as cutting-edge beauty and health techniques at which Japan is at the forefront.
Those who wish to taste the melt-in-your-mouth beef and other meats for which Japan is famous ought look no further than Kasuke, which serves grilled grade-A Japanese beef, as well as fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables.
This Japanese restaurant serves up light meals, including set-meals and a-la-carte options, in a casual atmosphere. Local beers and sakes are served with a smile.