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Highlights

  • Surrounded by mountains, rivers, volcanoes and pretty villages, this is natural charm within striking distance of Tokyo
  • Sitting on your villa's private wooden deck that extends over the river
  • The range of onsen, including the 'meditation bath'

Retreat from Tokyo to stay in a private, riverside villa, enjoying onsen soaks, sumptuous kaiseki dining and teahouse living. It’s all wrapped up in a mountainous world of ski runs and ice skating that thaw into stunningly verdant walks. Tucked away among the foothills of Mt. Asama, Karuizawa is the perfect introduction to the Japanese Alps. And its valley scenery is the idyllic host for seasonal skiing and summer hiking, with Hoshinoya poised to explore from its idyllic, riverside setting. The region is also something of a favourite retreat for well-heeled Tokyoites – this might have something to do with the current emperor having met his wife here.


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In more detail

It’s a sense of romance that’s not lost on Hoshinoya, with cute pavilions tucked among forested hills. Each features picture windows and expansive decks to take full advantage of the charming setting, with some even sited on a bird sanctuary. Inside, a considered aesthetic marries contemporary design with traditional ryokan charm in soaking tubs of and chic, knee-high furnishings.

There’s a similar blend with the accommodation’s dining options. In Kasuke, you’ll be treated to kaiseki-style dining as the finest in Japanese cuisine is perfectly presented across multiple degustation courses while Bleston Court Yukawatan offers more recognisable dishes. Here, French menus showcase Japan’s love for the finest in European dining. 

That said, the retreat’s amenities are quintessentially Japanese. There are teahouse libraries, onsen hot springs and nature tracks animated by flying squirrels and native birds. There are even horse riding trails. In addition to the onsen, more contemporary relaxation can be found with the spa treatments, with atmospherically lit rooms taking advantage of the geothermally heated waters.

 

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