The forests of Karuizawa are great storytellers.
They whisper into the ears of those who travel their roads. Sometimes,
it is the rustling of leaves carried by the wind to where soft light pours through the trees.
Other times, it is the chirping of birds or the droning of insects,
sights unseen. Sometimes,it is the gentle murmur of a river.
Through these stories, the forests convey the rich comforts that it affords visitors,
from environments that soothe both body and soul to the refreshing purity
of its culinary ingredients and hot spring waters.
A tiny songbird lands on the terrace of a waterside guest pavilion. Waterfowl bathe in the shallows of a pond. Upon entering HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, you immediately notice the rich ecosystem inhabiting the premises.The founder of the Wild Bird Society of Japan used to visit Hoshino Hot Spring for long periods at a time, just to observe the birds that made their home here at the foot of Mt. Asama. He has since passed away, but the forests remain just as verdant and full of life as they were during his time.
Upon arriving at Karuizawa Station, you will notice how crisp and clear the air is. This sensation deepens as you set foot in HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, a resort village hidden from the world by forests and a river. The setting is at once unfamiliar and comforting. Rivulets cascading down a terraced hill. Stone walls standing with quiet majesty. Terraces that recall traditional Japanese homes and windows designed to frame the surrounding nature. These elements suggest a design aesthetic that has evolved out of Japan's past, but without overly relying on Western influences.
You wake up one morning to the playful murmuring of the river. You decide to go for a walk. A serene silence greets you as you leave your guest pavilion, your path lit by gentle light pouring in through leaves. You head for a chair located atop a hill of yews, passing by several benches along the way. A tiny grass-covered path branches off from the road; you take this path, enjoying the softness of the soil beneath your feet. HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is not a campus; it is a massive backyard, free for you to wander about as you wish.
Night falls, and you head to the hot spring baths at the bottom of a hill. On your way back, you hear the dry clatter of geta clogs approaching you from the other end of a bridge--another guest going for a soak. The sound echoes pleasantly in your head; it is due to either the qualities of the geta's cedar, or the sharpened senses you have acquired from your dip in the Meditation Bath. The dark quiet of Karuizawa's nights has a way of enriching all sound.
An expansive window dynamically and panoramically frames rows of treetops from a guest pavilion in an elevated location. You open it, and a refreshing breeze flows inside. At HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, nature is always right beside you. Even when lounging on a sofa, you will feel as if you are relaxing outdoors, listening to the soft breath of the surrounding forests.
At HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, every guest finds their own source of physical and spiritual relaxation. Some may discover it in the waters of the Tombo-no-yu baths. Others may find it at the Library, relaxing while browsing a book they may normally not have the time to read. You are not a guest here, but a resident of an exclusive village where the sounds of the forests and the light pouring in through the leaves guide you towards your own private idyll.