Translated by Greg
Feel Refreshed! 6 Lodgings With Extraordinary Service And Activities
Written by Kajiyama
How about stepping back from your busy life for a completely relaxing vacation? We introduce six luxury hotels where you can experience quality service and special activities, from immersing yourself in the great outdoors and tasting organic food, to nutrition retreats in award-winning suites.
Luxurious Accommodations to Help You Energize!
You're feeling a bit gloomy and somehow not your usual self. During times like these, how about going on a trip with the sole intention of staying at a hotel?
Unwinding at a hotel surrounded by nature is a golden opportunity to refresh both your body and soul.
Today, we'll introduce elegant and refined accommodations where you can experience something extraordinary. Lose yourself to breathtaking nature and enjoy lodgings with organic food, fasting programs, and guest rooms designed by famous architects.
1. Hakone Retreat före in Kanagawa Prefecture
Hakone Retreat före is not a conventional hot spring facility or standard hotel, but rather a luxury lodging representing a brand-new kind of resort experience unbound by traditional concepts. In Swedish, "före" means "forward."
This resort reopened for business in April 2019 following a company rebranding.
Hakone Retreat före has modern Scandinavian-style guest rooms and a shared outdoor terrace where you can enjoy the blue sky. This is the ideal place to read your favorite book or write, and a myriad of ways to soothe and refresh your body and mind.
There's also an onsen that draws its spring water directly from the Owakudani area. Guests will receive complimentary original blend coffee throughout their stay. Guests can also try natural yeast bread, made in collaboration with Paradise Alley Bread & Co., a bakery in Kamakura.
Photo by Pixta
2. Waterside Cottage Heron in Kyoto
Waterside Cottage Heron is a lodge in an unusual location in the northern region of Kyoto's Kyotango City. You can arrive in about two hours and thirty minutes after making the proper train connections from Kyoto City.
This hotel is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful nature. A river that empties into Kumihama Bay flows directly out in front of the guest rooms, and ducks often visit here in search of food.
Dinner and breakfast consist of simple and honest food made with locally grown ingredients. We also recommend staying here during the oyster season to enjoy their plump texture and delicious flavor.
The view of Kumihama Bay's oyster farm is designated a Kyoto Prefecture Cultural Landscape.
From the tasteful furniture and linen to the sandals, everything in the guestrooms has been carefully handpicked by the owner. In the hotel's adjoining gift shop, you can purchase a variety of items, including clothes, miscellaneous goods, and special homemade jams using local ingredients.
The elegant decor of the hotel will surely inspire and help you find new ways to add spice to your everyday life. You will leave the lodging feeling re-energized and excited.
Photo by Pixta
3. bio terrace ORGANiCA HAKONE in Kanagawa Prefecture
With only seven guest rooms, bio terrace ORGANiCA HAKONE is a retreat hotel furnished with a hot spring bath sourcing water straight from the spring. The hotel's design concept is based on an ethical approach to sustainable living.
The food here is plant-based macrobiotic cuisine that uses entirely organic ingredients and seasonings. Each guest room has bath amenities from Japan-made organic brands.
To top it off, there's a 24-hour yoga studio and an outdoor terrace, both of which offer stunning views of Sagami Bay and Mt. Myojogatake. The attention to detail of this lodging symbolizes the cooperative effort between hotel guests and nature.
The following words are from the hotel's official homepage: "Untangle yourself from your daily routine that's so busy you don't even have time to think. Here, you'll be free from worries and distractions so you can turn your attention to the earth. Our hope is that each and every hotel guest can experience a special connection with nature here."
This message alone will make your heart feel lighter.
Photo by Pixta
4. Tobira Onsen Myojinkan in Nagano Prefecture
Tobira Onsen Myojinkan is one of only eleven lodging facilities in Japan that have been certified by Relais & Chateaux (an association of luxury hotels and restaurants).
This is a rare accommodation, standing quietly in the mountains just 40 minutes away by car from Nagano Prefecture's Matsumoto Station. Guest rooms cost about 30,000 yen per night for single occupancy.
There are three different hot springs to enjoy at Tobira Onsen Myojinkan. First, there's a tachiyu, where guests stand in the bath and admire the scenery that changes with each season. Then there's the rotemburo, or outdoor hot spring. The neyu is where you can lie down in a shallow pool, rest your head on a log, and gaze up at the sky and mountains.
In all three baths, the temperature is maintained at 38°C to 40°C—ideal for relaxing your tired and strained nerves.
You can stay in the hotel and enjoy spending time in the hot springs, but activity-seeking guests are recommended to head outside. Why not go for a hike in the spectacular nature, raft on a transparent spring river, or perhaps even ride a hot air balloon?
The 40-minute car ride might seem far, but there's a complimentary shuttle bus from Matsumoto Station to Myojinkan that operates twice a day.
How about indulging in the luxurious amenities that only a world-class facility can offer?
Photo by Pixta
5. Nasu Sunlight Hotel in Tochigi Prefecture
Fasting may be one thing people would like to try but somehow can't get around to doing.
The Nasu Sunlight Hotel offers a fasting program, where participants drink an original juice made from vegetables and fruit, grown especially for the hotel, four times a day, replacing solid food.
The various flavors of juice allow participants to continue consuming liquids during the fasting period. Beginners can feel rest-assured, as a registered dietician will gently guide everyone along when it's time to resume eating regularly again.
Hotel patrons can spend time in the bright and sun-filled guest rooms, which are always kept fresh and tidy. This is also an excellent opportunity to try fasting with a friend.
Photo by Pixta
6. Setouchi Retreat Aonagi in Ehime Prefecture
Setouchi Retreat Aonagi was designed by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando. All of the seven guest rooms are deluxe suites, making this a facility with multiple layers of luxury.
With only seven rooms and a small number of guests, the hotel lays offers a long list of exclusive amenities and services.
There's a 30-meter indoor pool where the water's edge appears to blend in with the distant Seto Inland Sea. The heated pool is available year-round along with the hot spring jacuzzi and sauna that both look out onto a refined garden.
The hotel's dinner is a traditional kaiseki cuisine in which each dish presents a theme based on the Seto Inland Sea. After completing their course meal, guests will have made a culinary trip around the Seto Inland Sea by savoring a wide variety of original dishes!
Photo by Pixta
Main image by Pixta