JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
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Hoshinoya Karuizawa

Like the original property in Kyoto, Hoshinoya Karuizawa seeks to combine the best of traditional Japanese ryokan hospitality with luxury modern comforts and dining. This killer combination has been successfully created here, as the retreat has many traditional elements - from a well-manicured zen garden to authentic hot spring 'onsen' with mineral-rich soothing water, as well as more Westernised elements - such as comfortable futon beds that sit on raised platforms in the villa-like pavilions.

Located just an hour by bullet train from Tokyo, it is a great mini-break for well-heeled Tokyo-ites and one of the finest places for foreign visitors to stay while making their way through the Japan Alps. Enjoy this unspoiled rural area that offers complete immersion in a serene environment and an idyllic spot for bird watching. We recommend soaking in a cedar wood bath in your spacious lakeside villa while gazing out at the mountain forest scene to embrace this location to its full effect. Or, if you’re in need of even more pampering, the spa offers Japanese shiatsu massage treatments in an equally scenic and calm atmosphere.

The accommodation is an architectural feat best described as a collection of modern Japanese ryokans. The beautiful Mizunami pavilions sit upon the river banks, while the bigger Niwarajoi villas sit among the Japanese garden making them an ideal choice for families. Yamaroji pavilions are set within the wild bird sanctuary so would suit nature lovers best.

Enjoy a luxurious 12-course ‘kaiseki’ traditional feast made with local, fresh ingredients at Kasuke restaurant, or French cuisine with Japanese accents at Bleston Court. Note that dinners are not included, and Wi-fi is available in the lobby area but not the villas.

As is typical of Hoshinoya properties, the service here is of an excellent quality. Friendly and amenable staff are at hand to help and speak fluent English, so you will always feel very well looked after during your stay. You can also try your hand at traditional Japanese cultural activities here, for the resort offers experiences and workshops to guests of all ages – choose between a selection of workshops, such as soba noodle making classes. For more active visitors, many hiking, horse riding and cycling routes can be found in the countryside that surrounds this gem of a hotel.

>> See more of our Ryokon Hotels here

Features in the following itineraries

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I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson

Client Testimonials

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

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