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7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Tochigi 2019.09.29 Bookmark

Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji is a modern hot spring ryokan in Kawaji Onsen, close to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. In addition to hot springs and a relaxing stay, guests can enjoy Japanese crafts such as making paper or grinding soybeans to obtain delicious Kinako powder.

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Experience the Idyllic Life of a Mountain Village

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Picture courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

The mountainous hot spring resort of Kawaji Onsen is an exclusive, little-known getaway located 2.5 hours north of Tokyo, in Tochigi Prefecture. The jewel in the crown of Kawaji Onsen is Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji, an exclusive retreat located just five minutes from Kawaji-Yumoto Station.

KAI Kawaji

Whether you live in Japan or are taking your first vacation to this special country, KAI Kawaji offers a wide assortment of activities that allow its guests to experience the best of Japan in a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. From traditional arts to delicious treats, we introduce top seven activities to enjoy at KAI Kawaji.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji Official Website

1. Make and Decorate Traditional Japanese Paper

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Traditional Japanese paper, known as washi, is made from the fibers of local plants and trees. The centuries-old technique creates a variety of beautiful textures and is registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.

At KAI Kawaji, you can experience paper-making, using traditional techniques and local materials to make your own Japanese paper.

The facility has staff who can speak both English and Japanese. They will share the history of this special art as they guide you through the four-step process.

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Later, you can use a variety of special stamps and markers to add a personal touch to your creation. Of course, you'll be taking your beautiful paper home as a handmade souvenir of this special trip.

2. Relax in a Hot Spring Bath

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Onsen (hot spring baths) are another ancient Japanese tradition guests can experience at KAI Kawaji. The resort sits on the bank of the Ojika River, and its baths are fed by the famous geothermal springs that have made Kawaji a prized retreat for over 300 years (since 1723).

KAI Kawaji has indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, separated by gender. Each bathing area includes a stone-rimmed pool with a waterfall and a traditional hinoki (cypress) tub with a garden view.

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

In addition to these beautiful onsen, KAI Kawaji also has a stone foot bath located in a peaceful walnut grove overlooking the river—a perfect place to relax with friends or enjoy the tranquil solitude of this mountainous retreat.

Learn more about the hot springs at KAI Kawaji by visiting their official website.

3. Create and Eat Kinako, a Special Japanese Treat

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Picture courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

Kinako (roasted soybean flour) is a traditional topping for ice cream, mochi (soft rice dumplings) and other treats. The fine, soft flour tastes similar to peanuts, with a delicate natural sweetness that makes it a perfect complement to Japanese sweets.

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

At KAI Kawaji, you can choose from five different kinds of soybeans and use a small stone mill to create fresh kinako. Afterward, you can sprinkle it on mochi provided by the staff for a delicious, traditional treat.

For more information on the activities available at KAI Kawaji, please visit their official website.

4. Explore the Walnut Forest or Hike Ryuokyo, the Winding Dragon Gorge

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

KAI Kawaji sits in a grove of trees called the Walnut Forest. Step outside, and you can take a pleasant walk along the forested path to the footbath (ashiyu). There, you can relax beneath the trees and watch the river flowing over the rocks below.

For those with a taste for more outdoor adventures, a nearby hiking trail leads through the rocky Ryuokyo Gorge (“Dragon Gorge”), named for the way the Kinugawa River winds through the rocks like a curling Japanese dragon.

The trail ends at Ryuokyo Station, where you can hop a train for the short ride back to Kawaji-Yumoto Station and then take a free shuttle bus (or a short walk) to KAI Kawaji.

5. Savor Fresh Local Cuisine

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Picture courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

KAI Kawaji offers semi-private dining areas and meals served in a traditional, multi-course style called kaiseki-ryori.

Kaiseki is Japanese haute cuisine, which features the freshest local ingredients and different styles of cooking in every course. Guests can choose between the elegant standard menu and the “special course,” which features additional local specialties.

The menu changes seasonally, in accordance with Japanese tradition, and highlights unique local ingredients like wild boar and other game meat.

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Picture courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

Meals at KAI Kawaji are a feast for the eyes as well as the senses, served in beautiful ceramic ware designed to complement the wide variety of colors and textures in every meal. The resort is also happy to accommodate allergies and food intolerances; simply contact KAI Kawaji in advance and let them know your needs.

Please visit the official website of KAI Kawaji to learn details about the menu and dining options.

6. Experience a Restful Night in a Signature Room

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Picture courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

Every room at KAI Kawaji offers beautiful views of the forested mountains and comfortable beds with luxurious mattresses designed exclusively to provide the guests with perfect, restful sleep.

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Picture courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

For guests seeking an even more unique experience, the Signature Rooms on the seventh floor incorporate unique examples of local washi artistry, from traditional lamps made from Yashu hemp to art and ornamentation designed to evoke the seasons and the natural landscapes of Japan.

A few exclusive suites even include a private hot spring bath on the balcony, allowing you to relax in private luxury while gazing at the tranquil mountainside. Visit the KAI Kawaji website for more details, or to book your special stay.

7. Plan Your Next Trip in the Travel Library

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Like all KAI Resorts, KAI Kawaji has a beautiful travel library, well-stocked with interesting books about Japan, Tochigi Prefecture, nature and wildlife.

Comfortable chairs and spacious couches, each with a mountain view, create a restful atmosphere. Locally-crafted lanterns made from gourds hang overhead, filling the library and the adjacent lobby with a warm, inviting glow.

Take a seat in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows and enjoy the view of the mountains and the river as you plan your next trip or simply relax with an interesting read.

A Perfect Escape with a Wide Variety of Unique Activities

7 Unique Japanese Activities To Enjoy At Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

Picture courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

From the moment you walk through KAI Kawaji’s traditional entry gate and pass the working watermill that stands beside the forested entrance, it is clear that this resort is like no other.

From its beautiful architecture to the wide variety of unique activities on offer, KAI Kawaji is an exciting blend of Japanese tradition and modern luxury. Whether you’re an active traveler or simply looking for a place to escape for a quiet getaway, KAI Kawaji is the perfect choice to meet your needs.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji official website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/en/kawaji/

Check room availability on the Hoshino Resorts Booking Page

Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji

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Main image courtesy of Hoshino Resorts
Written by Susan Spann
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.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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