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Mount Fuji First Time: Our Take On The Most Unique Hotel In Japan

June 29, 2019 Destination North Asia, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Imagine cool, fresh air on your face as you’re snuggled by a roaring fire, facing one of the most iconic mountains in the world. You increase the volume of your favorite song on the portable Bang & Olufsen speakers and take in the view that has been a source of artistic inspiration since the 11th century.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Japan’s Mount Fuji is breathtakingly beautiful, especially from the balcony of a HOSHINOYA Fuji cabin. Nestled amidst the national park, on an overlook of Lake Kawaguchi, HOSHINOYA Fuji offers stylish travelers a “glamping”—glamorous camping—experience unlike any other. Last week, I had the pleasure of spending one night at this resort during my very first trip to Japan, and needless to say, it was truly an unforgettable experience.

HOSHINOYA Fuji is a twenty-minute drive from Kawaguchiko Station and a convenient five-minute walk from Oishi Park. We were greeted with happy smiles upon entering the first reception area, a minimalistic open space with airy high ceilings and a wall adorned with colorful backpacks. To fit the theme of the resort, guests are given backpacks full of camping gear such as a pair of Nikon binoculars, a flashlight headband, and even some homemade biscottis. After choosing our favorite backpack design, our luggage was put into the back of a fashionable Jeep… and we were ready to go.

The resort itself is located 100 meters up the slope of a mountain, within a red pine forest. We checked in at the front desk—viewpoint in itself with gorgeous wooden interiors and floor to ceiling windows—and was led to our cabin.

The first thing I noticed upon stepping into our cabin was the majestic but ethereal beauty of Fujisan, a million-dollar view that covered one entire wall. The room itself was minimally but tastefully decorated for the view to stand out, drawing us to the outdoors. All 40 cabins of this luxury resort come with exquisite views of Mount Fuji from different angles and give the feeling of being suspended mid-air, above a forest. A quick look around told me that our cabin is equipped with an adjustable air-conditioning/heater system, a shower and bathtub, bed, and an indoor view-gazing area as well as a spacious terrace with a sofa large enough to sleep on. Lucky for us, it was a clear day and we quickly snapped a picture of this photogenic volcano before heading over to the Cloud Terrace, the resort’s stunning common area in the woods.

We arrived just in time to enjoy the seasonal sweets and drinks provided on the Cloud Terrace by the campfire. There were two DIY (Do-It-Yourself) stations serving baumkuchen, a cake with ring-shaped layers, and sparkling wine cocktails. I heated a baumkuchen on a mini skillet and went over to the beverage ksection, where I was invited to create my own wine-based drink from a selection of premium syrups like lemon and raspberry, fresh herbs such as rosemary and mint, and Japanese soda. When my dessert was ready, I grabbed my drink—a beautifully layered spiked lemonade—and practically ran to the toppings section. I piled fresh cream, strawberries, chopped pistachios and chocolate onto my baumkuchen, thinking that this little activity was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen anywhere. My partner and I enjoyed our drinks and dessert beneath a canopy of trees, surrounded by the sounds of rustling leaves, bird calls, and cackling fire.

Next, we decided to take a peek at the cafe at the very top of the Cloud Terrace. There was a cozy reading nook near the coffee machine, and soft music played in the background. I grabbed some marshmallows and sticks at the s’mores section and took a seat by the campfire, another activity area with a pristine backdrop of seemingly never ending rows of pine and cedar trees. I heard the sound of visitors laughing from the wood chopping station around 300 meters away and felt a soft breeze blowing through my hair. I remember admiring how HOSHINOYA Fuji is uniquely rich in amenities, offering the highest level of comfort without compromising our connection with nature. That evening, we had a private dinner on the balcony of our cabin by the fireplace and watched Fujisan darken into a shade of royal blue, aesthetically contrasting the warm colors of the fire. Every now and then, I heard the sounds of a relaxing Barafon, an African wind instrument, coming from the concert in the forest. I was in paradise.

Our alarms sounded at 6 AM the next day which was way too early for a regular vacation, but we were eager to join the Jukai (Sea of Trees) Nature Tour, one of the experiences offered by HOSHINOYA Fuji. A private guide showed us around the Aokigahara-Jukai and brought us into a fascinating lava cave where we instantly felt the temperature drop. We all shared a moment of silence and serenity, cleansing our five senses before heading back to the resort to have a tastier breakfast with fresh palates.

At our cabin, a Glamping Master set up a morning breakfast box on the balcony. It was like something you would pack to a special picnic: a wooden box of fine breakfast goodies spread out on a small picnic blanket. With Fujisan as our esteemed guest, we had kefir yogurt with beautifully colored jams and nutty granola, pan-fried Spanish omelet, homemade sausages, creamy carrot soup, a salad with almonds and fresh strawberries, and a Dutch oven-baked bread. The food was as delicious as it was Instagrammable, and taking into account the surreal grandeur of having Mount Fuji right in front of us, this was one of the most memorable meals of my life.

We savored the view for a few more hours, this time from inside the cabin as it was a pretty chilly morning. After saying our goodbyes, we checked out and took a morning stroll to Oishi Park, a town center with shops, viewpoints, and a bus stop to Kawagchiko Station. It was a scenic ride to the station, and after taking two express trains, we were back in Tokyo.

Like a pair of tourists, we dragged our suitcases to the famous Ichiran Ramen in Shinjyuku and filled up with hot, handmade noodles in pork bone soup before heading to our next hotel in Roppongi. Over the next few days, we explored several Tokyo “landmarks”, from the Tsukiji Fish Market to Shinjuku Gyeon National Garden to Takeshita Street in Harajuku. We had dinner at Sushi Tou, an upscale omakase joint, and queued up in line to ride on Toy Story Mania! at Tokyo DisneySea. At Narita Airport, while shopping for Tokyo Bananas like every other tourist, we reminisced about our time at HOSHINOYA Fuji, and agreed on two things: we couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Japan, and we are definitely coming back. See you again, Fujisan, it was a pleasure meeting you.

HOSHINOYA Fuji is part of the innovative HOSHINOYA Collection, which is currently available for you to experience in 6 destinations: Fuji, Karuizawa, Tokyo, Kyoto, Taketomi Island, and Bali. Each HOSHINOYA Destination offers a different holiday concept. We invite you to find out more about HOSHINOYA Fuji on their website (www.hoshinoya.com/Fuji) or make a reservation via telephone (+815037861144).

Writer’s Notes: I did not receive any monetary compensation from HOSHINOYA Fuji or Hoshino Resorts. This article was written based on real experiences and genuine feelings .

Written by Praevaryn Sucharitachandra

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. David Astley says:

    I would love to share this excellent article on our xyzAsia Facebook page. Can you please post it on the Global Media Travel FB page so it can be shared. Thank you.

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