Solo One-Day Hot Spring Plan Offers Complete Relaxation and Rejuvenation in Karuizawa
12.October.2021 | SPOT
Karuizawa Hoshino Area, a place known for bringing nature and culture lovers together, will be offering a new one-day hot spring spa plan from November 4, 2021, until March 19, 2022. This is the perfect way to unwind from the stresses of the past year while getting away from crowds and responsibilities. Because it’s only one day, it’s perfect for those who can’t take a long vacation, but who are still desperate for some relaxation! The package will include access to hot spring baths, body care, a choice of lunch and drinks, and plenty of skincare amenities.
Tonbo-no-Yu Hot Spring, open since the Taisho era, will serve as the main location for the getaway. The springs themselves are bicarbonate and chloride springs with soft and thick waters in which to achieve the perfect soak and detox. Getting out of the water will leave a veil of salt on your skin, moisturizing it and cleansing every inch of your body. The open-air bath is surrounded by trees, while the indoor baths offer excellent views through oversized windows.
Five Luxuries to Enjoy on the One-Day Getaway
[Power Up] Proper Bathing Instructions for the Best Hot Springs Experience
For those looking to maximize their hot spring experience, a comprehensive bathing guide will be provided to all guests, including breathing exercises and techniques for a great facial massage. The plan includes rental towers, and guests can feel free to enter the springs as many times as they like. At the reception desk, guests will also be given a bottle of Apple Vinegar Water to help them stay properly hydrated while soaking.
[New] Gentle Skin Care while Relaxing in the Spring
Those participating in the one-day plan will be given OSAJI amenities to use during their stay. The brand is made up of safe and organic products approved by dermatologists, to be applied before and after bathing.
[Power Up] Improve Gut Health with Healthy Beverages
When guests get out of the bath, a warm brown rice amazake will be waiting, shown to improve the intestinal environment and boost natural immunity. By using brown rice, the drink contains larger amounts of Vitamin E and dietary fiber than traditional amazake. This tasty drink will be served at Cafe Hungry Spot, adjacent to the springs.
Relieve Stiff Joints with Attentive Body Care
At Tokoyo, located within the Harunire Terrace in the Karuizawa Hoshino Area, guests will get a 30-minute body care treatment with their choice of foot massage or shoulder and neck massage. Unwind and let go of all of your stress.
Choose From Six Different Restaurants for Lunch
For lunch, six restaurants in the Hoshino area are at your beck and call, from Japanese cuisine to Italian. There’s no need to make reservations in advance; choose what you’re craving the day of, and don’t stress!
Solo One-Day Hot Spring Spa Plan
Running: November 4, 2021 – March 19, 2022 (Excluding Dec. 29 – Jan. 3 and Jan. 11 – 20)
Reservations: https://www.hoshino-area.jp (Reservations required by 18:00 the day before)
Location: Tonbo-no-Yu, Karuizawa, Nagano
The Ryokan Tokyo Yugawara Opens in Kanagawa Prefecture, Features Hot Spring Bath Cafe
The Ryokan Tokyo Yugawara, a traditional-style Japanese inn and hot spring located in Kanagawa Prefecture, will open on March 18, 2022. The hot springs in the area have a storied history, appearing in the oldest collection of Japanese poems from the year 759 AD and loved by great writers such as Natsume Souseki and Ryunosuke Akutagawa. There is also a cafe inviting visitors to enjoy delicious meals as they relax in the springs.
Onsen Dojo operates and plans hot spring facilities, including the ‘Ofuro Cafe’ brand, resort facilities, and more. The company also provides support for local business investments.
The Ryokan Tokyo YUGAWARA
Grand Opening: March 18, 2022
Address: 742 Miyakami, Ashigarashimo, Yugawara, Kanagawa
Hoshinoya Karuizawa Unveils Special Anniversary Plan on the Ice
08.December.2021 | SPOT
Each Hoshinoya location has its own unique theme, and all offer an extraordinary experience. Hoshinoya Karuizawa, a resort in Nagano Prefecture, has opened reservations for the Starry Winter Anniversary Plan, allowing couples to celebrate their love away from the hustle and bustle of the city beneath the dazzling winter sky. The staff at the resort will assist couples in celebrating the special day at various locations around the resort, and a custom-made photo tour will also be included!
Surrounded by rich nature at the foot of Mt. Asama, Karuizawa reaches low temperatures in winter, creating beautiful scenery dotted with icy trees and snow glistening in the sunlight. This plan is perfect for those who want to escape the stresses of the current pandemic.
A Special Seat on the Ice
The Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary is located directly beside Hoshinoya Karuizawa and houses the Kera Pond at the entrance. Used as an outdoor skating rink during the winter months, a large two-person seating area is erected on the ice which can only be reserved for couples. Lovebirds can enjoy champagne, dried fruits, and cheese as they gaze up at the starry sky.
Guest Rooms Decorated for the Celebration
With rooms offering spectacular nature views, couples can enjoy herbal tea, sweets, and flower arrangements only included in this special plan. The flowers may be taken home, and the sweets include florentines made with miso, a specialty of the Shinshu area. They are said to be ‘sweets that bring happiness,’ and may be the key to many more happy years together!
Custom-Made Photo Tour
The landscape around the resort pays homage to traditional Japanese landscaping and includes terraced rice paddies, rivers, and unique vegetation. The custom-made photo tour is a private tour limited to one group, in which couples stroll around the grounds with a photographer to take photos at these spectacular locations. These will be made into an album with the Hoshinoya Karuizawa logo.
Spend the Winter in a Unique Shinshu Snow Hut with Limited-Time Package
17.November.2021 | SPOT
A part of Hoshino Resorts, KAI Alps is an incredible hot spring inn located in Omachi, Nagano prefecture, at the foot of the Northern Japanese Alps. In February 2022, the hotel will allow guests to book the Shinshu Snow Hut Experience, where visitors can enjoy the winter in a traditional snow-packed hut surrounded by bamboo lights. This area is one of the snowiest places in the region, and the locals have plenty of knowledge when it comes to getting through the cold.
Nagano prefecture is often called the ‘Space prefecture’ for its beautiful starry skies. Inside the snow hut, guests will be surrounded by lights, and bamboo lanterns will light the way. These gentle lights are perfect for the white of winter, despite the cold.
Exclusively for this package, a kotatsu (heated table) will be placed inside the huts, and guests can wear traditional local clothing perfect for the weather. Sweet sake made at the Hokuan Sake Distillery in Omachi City and local rice cakes with Nozawa pickled greens, a Shinshu specialty, will also be served up.
How would you like to partake in this traditional experience?
Shinshu Snow Hut Experience
Running: February 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
Price: ¥2,000 per person (Tax & Service Charge included)
Reservations: Make on the website at least one week in advance
Capacity: 1 group per session (2-4 people per group)
Location: KAI Alps – Hoshino Resorts
Hours: 19:00-19:45 / 20:00-20:45
Limited to Hotel Guests Only
Socially Distanced NAKED Night Walk Art Project to Open in Kaga, Ishikawa
08.November.2021 | SPOT
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how many people live their lives, with fewer and fewer people venturing outdoors. Now, Japanese creative company NAKED has announced a Night Walk at the picturesque Katayamazu Hot Springs in Kaga, Ishikawa. While practicing social distancing, visitors can explore an illuminated wonderland from December 17, 2021, until January 16, 2022.
Lights of the Dragon God: Ukimidou
Sunny Spot Baths: Katayamazu Hot Springs Sunahase Park, Aiai Plaza
NAKED Distanced Lanterns: Katayamazu Hot Springs Sunahase Park, Aiai Plaza
NAKED Flower Cleansing: Katayamazu Hot Springs Sunahase Park, Aiai Plaza
The Halo of Life: Aizenji Temple
Crystal-Dyed Paper Lanterns: Aizenji Temple
Guests will be invited to explore the grounds while carrying a NAKED Distanced Lantern–both an art piece, and a way to illuminate your steps. With safety in mind, there will be plenty of space between visitors, so people can enjoy the event with peace of mind.
The location for the event, Katayamazu Onsen, was recently a runner-up in the Onsen General Election 2018 spectacular scenery category. Surrounded by crystal blue waters and with a beautiful view of Mt. Haku, the location will have guests feeling completely calm by the time their visit comes to an end.
NAKED Night Walk -Katayamazu Hot Springs-
Running: December 17, 2021 – January 16, 2022
Address: Katayamazu Hot Springs (Sunahase Park, Aiai Plaza, Yonomoto Park, Aizenji Temple)
Official Site: https://yoru-sanpo.naked.works/katayamazu/
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI: Rent Out a Renovated Japanese House in Niigata
15.July.2021 | SPOT
Japanese design company Jiyujin launched its new Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE chain of accommodations this month which offer a single group of guests a one-night stay in an entire house.
The first branch to open is IZUMI which features a fully-renovated Japanese-style house located in the city of Uonuma in Niigata. A gorgeous outlook is offered from the house with an unbroken view of lush forests, rice fields, and Mt. Makihata, which is listed as one of the ‘100 Famous Japanese Mountains.’
A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath
The spacious living room
Fully renovated from a 150-year-old private house, the building is supported by beautiful wooden beams and columns, and in the middle the oe, a sunken hearth. This, along with the beams and sashigamoi joints, are made from keyaki Japanese zelkova which is an elm-like tree. This species of tree is rare even in a tree-covered region such as Uonuma. The lumber used for this house was cut, preserved, and dried out for a number of decades before being processed into building material for the house. The heart in the middle of the living room is reminiscent of a time when large families would gather around one and serves to recreate that lifestyle.
The Nishiyama region is known for is production of delicious rice. IZUMI in fact looks out over Kabanosawa, a special and important place of rice production in Nishiyama. This vantage point also gives guests an opportunity to appreciate the hot and cold temperatures of the daytime and evening, the rivers, the shape of the land, and the earth the city sits on. The drastic change in temperatures in the day and night are especially noteworthy as this, along with the basin between the mountains, gives rise to a sea of clouds.
IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.
The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.
For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.
After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.
Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI
Japanese Name: 里山十帖 THE HOUSE IZUMI
Address: 671-1, Amanosawa, Minamiuonuma, Niigata, 〒949-6433, Japan
Official Website: Opening early July 2021
Access: 7-minutes by car from Jōetsu International Skiing Ground Station (JR Joetsu Line) / 16-minutes by car from Shiozawa-Ishiuchi IC
Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA
13.June.2021 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.
Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.
Stargazing on top of the water
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.
Calm the heart with an enchanting performance
When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.
Indulgent drinks and food
Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.
Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~
Japanese Plan Name: 森のほとりcafe&bar ～水上の特等席～
Running: July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Book Here: https://hoshinoya.com/karuizawa/
*Bookings must be made 5 days in advance
Requirements: Must be aged 20+ years / HOSHINOYA Karuizawa guests only
Capacity: 1 group of two people per day
Notes: Will not take place if it rains
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/
Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan
07.June.2021 | SPOT
Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.
The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.
Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.
Firefly & Sunset Hotel Plan
Address: Kissho Yamanaka, 1 Chome-14−3 Yamanakaonsen Higashimachi, Kaga, Ishikawa 922-0114, Japan
Official Website: https://kissho-yamanaka.com/
Bathe With Real Ducks at Tamagawa Onsen in Saitama
01.June.2021 | SPOT
As part of their 10th anniversary event, Tamagawa Onsen, a Showa retro-style bathhouse in Saitama, opened their ‘Real Duck Baths’ on May 29 which lets people bathe with real ducks. The experience is available on weekends and public holidays only.
Forget bathing with bright yellow toy ducks – now you can have the real thing. These ducks were hatched and raise from ducklings by the bathhouse manager Arai at their home. The ducks are still small so the hours when they will be out are not set in stone, but the bathhouse hopes that guests will watch their and support their growth as they mature over time.
Real Duck Bath
Running: Weekends and public holidays from May 29, 2021
*Subject to cancellation on any day depending on the condition of the ducks
Where: Tamagawa Onsen
Address: 3700 Tamagawa, Tokigawa, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0342, Japan
Official Website: https://tamagawa-onsen.com/
Hokkaido’s New Hotel Boasts a Famous Hot Spring and Overlooks the Tsugaru Straits
16.May.2021 | SPOT
Core Global Management is set to open the all-new Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort on July 1, 2021. In line with its opening, Japanese calligrapher Shoko Kanazawa has been put in charge of designing the hotel’s name logo.
The sea and sky meet in the Infinity Onsen
Tsukifune: the buffet restaurant
Enjoy Japanese-style food at Kumonami
Fires prepared by the staff everyday
A look inside the guest rooms
A look inside the guest rooms
Yunokawa Onsen is one of the three major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido. During the Edo period, Matsumae Chikatsumaru, who later became the lord of the Matsumae domain, and Enomoto Takeharu, the president of the former Tokugawa shogunate, are said to have bathed in this very hot spring. Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort is a chance to enjoy the good old days of Hakodate Yunokawa.
The rooftop offers an unbroken view of the incredible Tsugaru Straits. Guests can also enjoy a tranquil moment at the historic hot spring with a cup of Hakodate’s local sake and dango in hand underneath a moonlit sky while surrounded by the lights of fishing fires. There’s also a chance for both kids and adults to take a dip in a tatami bath – something you don’t really see in Japan.
Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort
Address: 3-9-20 Yunokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 042-0932, Japan
Access: 5-minutes by car from Hakodate Airport
Official Website: http://hewitt-resort.com/hakodate-yunokawa/
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse Reopens With New Sauna Area
08.May.2021 | SPOT
Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse reopened on April 29 after refurbishments to install a new sauna. The hotel, located in Yamagata Prefecture, is known for being situated atop rice paddies. Along with the sauna, it has also introduced a new spa program and healthy new menu made using organic vegetables grown by the hotel company itself.
An authentic Finnish-style sauna
The sauna is based on the Finnish-style löyly sauna, fully equipped with an authentic kiuas sauna stove inside which sauna stones are placed to heat up the room. Hinoki scented water is also used in the sauna.
The Sauna Features
The male sauna features hexagonal designs on the seats, ceiling windows, and bath. The seats can be moved around freely so guests can decide how high they wish to sit for optimal heat customisation. The sauna rooms overlook the rice paddies outside, and there’s open-air baths outdoors too so guests can feel at one with nature.
The women’s sauna is also a löyly type but uses raised benches instead of chairs. After sweating it out, guests can head to one of the outdoor baths and enjoy the view and sky.
There’s also a bar where guests can order local beers, sake, and wine, as well as fruit juice and ice cream. While relaxing, they can pick out from one of the 1,000 books available.
As well as fitness and massage services, morning yoga will begin this June. The MOON TERRASSE restaurant is also introducing new healthy dishes and drinks made with organic local ingredients.
SHONAI HOTEL SUIDEN TERRASSE
Address: Shimotorinosu-23-1 Kitakyōden, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0053, Japan
Official Website: https://www.suiden-terrasse.yamagata-design.com/
Surround Yourself in Atami’s Natural Environment and Relax With a Special Hot Spring Plan
22.April.2021 | SPOT
Onsen ryokan hot spring inn SOKI ATAMI is collaborating with Shiseido’s skin and mind brand BAUM to offer a special new accommodation plan for the spring season. SOKI ATAMI x BAUM -Fresh Verdure & Healthcare- will run from May 1, but pre-bookings are already open on SOKI ATAMI’s website.
Free gift bag to the first 100 people who make a reservation
Enjoy deep relaxation with sachets filled with natural smells like wood
A candle-lit night under the starry sky
Fresh verdure and caring for one’s health is the theme of this event which takes place deep within Atami. The plan includes the Forest Twin bedroom which is fitted with a half open-air hinoki area that faces the mountains and lets guests feel like they are surrounded by the new green leaves of spring. Rooms are also kitted out with amenities such as BAUM’s Hydro Essence Lotion which captures the essence of fresh trees and shrubs. Guests are invited to experience Atami’s hot spring culture and cuisine as they allow their mind and body to relax, ultimately benefitting their health. This season is known for its bounteous verdure and refreshing breeze, but it’s also said to help alleviate the May blues which many Japanese people experience after starting school or work again, the negative feelings of the rainy season, and more, all of which can put one’s spiritual state out of kilter. The scent of trees will rid guests of stress, nerves, and tension, and bring about relaxation, peaceful sleep, and a good detoxing.
BAUM is a skin and mind brand that helps support the strength of one’s skin by focusing attention on the water storage, growth, and environmental protection of trees and forests while showing the importance of looking after your mind and body. The brand is giving free gift bags to the first 100 people that make a reservation to show how anyone can enjoy a sustainable life using an everyday item.
On the top floor of the inn is a tearoom where guests can make their own sachets using hinoki cypress. Guests can also enjoy the Aroamtic Room Spray and Aromatic Candles provided by BAUM, all to further aid in relaxation and restoration. In the evenings, the lights will be switched off at the cafe and be replaced with candlelight which will serve as a romantic replacement to shine against the overhead backdrop of the starry night sky.
Karuizawa’s New Apple Farm Opens in Collaboration With Hoshino Resorts and Local Farmers
The Karuizawa-based hotel and hot spring complex Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-yu joined hands with local apple farmers last year to help support apple cultivation for their apple hot springs. This is now being taken to the next level with the opening of Ringo Tsuchi, an apple farm that Tombo-no-yu staff helped to build. The farm opened on March 19, and locals will be able to visit part of the farm for free starting on April 26.
The project ties in with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative, specifically the 12th goal: “Responsible Consumption and Production,” which looks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Karuizawa is located in Nagano Prefecture which is ranked as the 2nd biggest producer of apples in Japan. When growing apples, those fruits which incur any kind of damage or grazing isn’t shipped to the country’s supermarkets or stores. It’s these not-so-perfect apples that Tombo-no-yu uses for its apple hot spring experience. Though it may just be a small step towards that goes, it still goes a small incremental way towards achieving it.
Free entry to Ringo Tsuchi
The main raw materials at Ringo Tsuchi (“Apple Earth”) are the apples used in the apple hot springs and fallen leaves from around the Hoshino area. In addition to compost and water, the materials are fermented, which adds the necessary nutrients to growing apples and creates soft and breathable soil. And since compost is added, it creates an environment where gardening tools can be used in the earth without any prior preparation.
The completion of Ringo Tsuchi
In the mid-October last year, work was carried out at Nomoto Kajuen Orchards in Mimakigahara Okubo, Nagano, to carefully select picked apples and not-so-perfect apples. These apples were used for the apple hot springs at Tombo-no-yu over a three day period from October 23 to 25. The apples are placed in both the male and female hot springs to float on the water.
After that three-day period, the apples were collected, washed, and cut to be used for compost. Since fermentation removes water content, the staff also had to add water twice a month to manage the compost.
Working with the locals
Katsuya Nomoto is a representative of Nomoto Kajuen Orchards, a farm that grows apples, prunes, and more. The farm takes advantage of the area’s high altitude and takes pride in its work to cultivate produce that is healthy to the body and environment using soil microbes as an organic fertiliser. It’s also officially recognised as a farm dedicated to supporting Nagano’s environment, and carries out school trips for children to visit, creating ties with the local community.
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp