Translated by Jelena Kitamura
Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto - A Refined Stay In The City Of Art And Music
Matsumoto City, famous for its castle listed as a National Treasure, also has a remarkable music and contemporary art scene. Choose Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto to savor its culture, food, and the excellent Asama Onsen hot spring all at once!
Written by MATCHA-PR
Welcome to Matsumoto, a city you can visit from Tokyo by a limited express train on the Chuo Main Line in just two hours and 40 minutes!
This city where you can find one of Japan’s national treasures, Matsumoto Castle, also known as the Crow Castle, is also an important cultural center of Japan, with a wonderfully vibrant music and art scene. For instance, the annual international music festival Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival is held here during August and September, where music fans from Japan and the world gather to enjoy best quality classical music.
It is also famous as the birthplace of world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama, and you can easily spot numerous museums and cultural facilities in every corner of the city. Furthermore, with its rich culture of traditional handicrafts, it is certainly a must-visit place for any admirer of this type of art.
As a lodging facility for any admirer of this city’s abundant cultural life, we recommend Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto. This accommodation allows you to fully enjoy the refined culture of Matsumoto.
In this article we will present the charm and beauty of KAI Matsumoto, as experienced firsthand by our English editor.
KAI Matsumoto - A High-Class Facility Rich in Art and Traditional Handicrafts
The first sight that greets the guests to KAI Matsumoto is this lobby, bearing a significant resemblance to a marvelous music hall.
This building, designed by Japan’s prominent modern architect Takao Habuka, has many features of traditional craftsmanship, such as the ceiling decorated using the kirazuri (*1) technique, all-natural mud walls, shoji (sliding paper doors) portraying skilled craftsmanship, and other various kinds of traditional manufacturing.
As the lobby was constructed with the intention of providing a great acoustic ambiance, every night you can enjoy jazz and classical music performances, as well as other musical events. As our editor is a passionate fan of music, the live concerts witnessed here at this facility became very precious memories of this journey.
*1 Kirazuri: a traditional craft of decorating paper and other materials with mica powder.
You'll also notice the urushi glass crystal bowls (urushi: lacquer, varnish), handicrafts representative of Matsumoto displayed inside of the facility. Their refined and colorful designs are sure to charm you, and they are certainly the perfect souvenir to remind you of your trip to Matsumoto too.
Take a look at the shop in the corner of the lobby, and you'll be mesmerized by the wonderful display of traditional artwork of Matsumoto area – there are urushi glass crystal bowls, indigo scarves, cute geta (traditional wooden clogs), and many other crafts.
All of the items were carefully selected by the discerning eye of the high-class resort complex Hoshino Resorts, and you can rest assured that it is of the highest quality.
Guestrooms with a Dash of Matsumoto’s Culture
All of the guestrooms at KAI Matsumoto are traditional rooms with tatami floors and shoji doors (tatami: straw mat flooring) and are thus overflowing with the essence of the Japanese spirit. The editor’s room during this stay was a music-themed room with a local atmosphere. There is only one such room available at KAI Matsumoto, which makes it quite special and remarkable.
This room’s charming trait is the furniture, wooden speakers shaped like musical instruments, as well as the display of real instruments such as a flute. You can also listen to one of the many CDs found in the room, some related to the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival, and others in the jazz and related genres as you relax in the traditional Japanese atmosphere of your room.
All of the objects in the room are of delicate and sophisticated production, and you can take your time to admire each and every one of them to your heart’s content. Without a doubt, spending some time in this room alone is enough for art lovers to fill their hearts with pure pleasure.
If you’d like to find out more about the traits of the guestrooms at KAI Matsumoto, visit the website of the facility.
Luxurious Kaiseki Dishes Served in Temari Ball-Shaped Bowls
The flavorful culture of the city of Matsumoto is reflected in the design and combination of the dishes of KAI Matsumoto’s cuisine, too.
The main dish of the evening meal, sashimi, is served in the lovable and colorful bowl called Matsumoto temari (*2).
There are also three plates in the shape of the traditional Japanese toy temari, designed to complement the meal and make its appearance even more irresistible and charming. Guests have the pleasure of enjoying both the look and the taste of this spectacular meal.
*2 Temari: traditional Japanese toy in a shape of a ball. It is known for its beautiful geometric patterns made of strings.
Another remarkable delicacy you won’t be able to savor anywhere else but at KAI Matsumoto, is shabu-shabu cooked in wine.
It goes without saying that this magnificent dish of high-class Japanese beef sliced in thin strips and cooked in hot wine left our editor speechless with its savory aroma and refined taste. It certainly is an exquisite dish everyone should have the chance to relish once in their lives!
The wine used for this dish is the pride of Nagano prefecture, Shinshu wine. Nagano is very well-known for its exquisite wine brands, and its flavorful and rich aromatic red wines, made from Merlot and Concord grapes, are quite sought after throughout the country.
Lovers of this particular drink will be thrilled to hear they can take part in a special event held four times every day in the lobby of KAI Matsumoto. The event is called Wine Travelogue and is a chance to hear the story of Nagano’s wineries while relishing three brands of Shinshu wine. If you appreciate luscious and savory wines, you ought not to miss the remarkable flavor of the Shinshu brand!
If you are interested in the menu served at KAI Matsumoto, you can look it up some more on their website.
Onsen and Massage to Soothe Your Body and Soul
KAI Matsumoto is located in one of the oldest hot spring areas in Japan, Asama Onsen, where customers can rejuvenate in eight different types of spring water by using as many as thirteen bathtub types – such as rotenburo (open-air baths), stone baths, sauna, and other relaxing types of baths.
Picture posters with detailed and easy-to-understand explanations on how to thoroughly enjoy Japanese baths are displayed at the entrance to the bathroom, thus making the whole Japanese-style bathing experience even more enjoyable for everyone, including the guests from other countries.
Asama Onsen is renowned for the effectiveness of its hot springs since the olden days. KAI Matsumoto is putting much effort into protecting that reputation, by catering to their customers’ physical and spiritual needs with hot spring and massage services – guests can even receive a massage treatment in their own rooms.
Those who feel a little unsure about their Japanese skills can easily get their preferred type of massage or point out the area they would like to receive treatment the most by answering a short questionnaire beforehand. Don’t get too surprised if you should feel reborn and light as a feather after a delightful bath time and a shiatsu massage – that is just the kind of feeling you are bound to experience!
Read more about KAI Matsumoto’s exceptional hot springs and massage service by visiting their website.
Indulge in the Extravagant Evenings of Live Concerts
KAI Matsumoto also provides with spectacular musical evenings, featuring many local musicians who play jazz, classical, and other genres every night.
Our editor had the pleasure of indulging in a refined jazz piano concert during her stay.
The pianist performed a variety of pieces, including beautiful songs from the region of Shinshu, a medley from the much-loved Disney movies, as well as the world-famous soundtrack songs from various movies. The concert took the writer on a journey to a dreamland where the unknown and new met the well-known and dear, making her heart jump with joy during the whole evening.
Should the performance stimulate you to find more about the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival or the local music scene, head to the travel library that can be found inside the facility. In this room filled with charming books and photo-books, you can unravel the world of Matsumoto City’s culture and music history.
But KAI Matsumoto hasn’t yet revealed all of its hidden aces – visitors to this facility also have the opportunity to experience various activities related to the vast and rich Japanese culture. You can learn what kind of events and activities they have planned for you to partake in by visiting their website.
Explore Matsumoto’s Culture to the Core at KAI Matsumoto
Needless to say, anyone who has stepped foot into the city of Matsumoto and experienced its perfect balance of traditional culture and modern art, ought to have felt powerless against its charisma.
Considering the superb location of KAI Matsumoto (in Matsumoto’s Asama Onsen), an ideal starting point for sightseeing in the surrounding area, it should make for a pleasant and eventful stay for those who wish to visit this facility more than just once, too.
The symbol of Matsumoto City – Matsumoto Castle, parades its many looks each season, charming with lovely cherry blossoms during spring, or showing off its sparkling-white makeover during winter.
Along the Metoba River on the path from Matsumoto Castle flourished the shopping street Nakamachi, where downtown stores overflow with the genteel aura of old Japan. You will also find the rest of the surrounding area to have quite a distinctive and charming presence, telling a story of the past, so it ought to be pleasurable even just to take a stroll down the city.
So, if you’re in the mood for discovering the most refined aspects of Japanese culture, how about paying a visit to Matsumoto, a city where the traditional and the modern meet eye to eye?
Don’t miss the opportunity to stay the night at KAI Matsumoto, where you can thoroughly absorb the rich culture of Matsumoto! We guarantee it is a remarkable, dreamlike lodging facility that will make you come back to it sooner than you’d expect.
Those who wish to check if there are rooms available, or would like to make a reservation, can click on this link to easily access the information.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto Official Website: http://kai-ryokan.jp/en/matsumoto/
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Photos by Miho Yamaki
Sponsored by Hoshino Resorts
Hoshino Resorts operates hotels and ryokan (Japanese inns) in 35 locations all around Japan. Their facilities are ideal for travelers who wish to fully enjoy the charms of Japan.
Each facility has English speaking staff who make sure that visitors from all around the world experience the full breadth of Japanese hospitality without inconveniences.
The Hoshino Resorts brands include HOSHINOYA, KAI, RISONARE, and OMO.