The perfect way to spend a hot Japanese summer! 5 Recommended Summer Resorts
Since Japanese summers are hot and humid, in order to get away from the heat, many people go to cool places to spend the summer. Here are some recommended lodging areas in popular resorts that you can stay in Japan.
Karuizawa, about an hour and 20 minutes away from Tokyo on the Nagano shinkansen, has a cool average of 20℃ (68°F) in the summer, so it's one of Japan's leading resort areas. Mampei Hotel is one of Karuizawa's representative hotels. The current hotel was preceded by a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) named Kameya that originally opened in 1764, so it's a hotel with a long history and tradition. The guestrooms in the main building, a building built in 1936 called the Alps Building, are outfitted with antique furniture that help create an elegant atmosphere. You can gaze on the lush trees of the plateau from the window and forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life and it's perfect for taking a relaxing break.
For people who want to sightsee because they've come all this way, have no fear! Karuizawa has plenty of sightseeing places including famous landmarks, historical sites, hot springs, and beautiful scenery as well as shopping and gourmet spots, so you can fully enjoy your stay in Karuizawa.
The Kiyosato plateau at the southeastern foot of the Yatsugatake mountain range on the Yamanashi/Nagano border, is a plateau resort 1,200 meters above sea level. It's a resort area in the summer and a ski area in the winter so it's full of people all year round. The clear blue sky and the soaring Yatsugatake mountains and the intertwining lush greenery makes for a must-see gorgeous sight. For people who want to be fully satisfied with Kiyosato's nature, Kiyosato Kogen Hotel is recommended. All of the guestrooms have a mountain view, and across the roughly 12ha courtyard, the view includes the Chichibu mountain area, the Southern Alps mountains, all the way to Mt. Fuji. They hold star-gazing events every night in the astronomical observatory in the building, so you can gaze at the sky as much as you'd like.
In the surrounding area, there are sightseeing areas like the Seisenryo, a building built by the American Dr. Paul Rusch (often called the "Pioneering Father of Kiyosato") and the Moegi no Mura, as well as trekking courses, so this is an area recommended for people who want to spend a relaxing time in nature or those who want to be active.
*The photo is of the Seisenryo.
Kiyosato Kogen Ohashi
Hakone is one of the representative hot spring resorts of Japan, and since ancient times it's been an important communication and transportation point between east and west, so it's flourished with inns and stations. In recent years, Hakone has developed as a health resort and sightseeing area, but there aren't just hot springs there, but also plenty of things to see like the scenery of Lake Ashi, Komagatake, Daikanzan, Mt. Fuji, and more as well as historical sites, cultural assets, art museums, and more. Mizu no To is in the verdant Kowakudani area of Hakone, and it's a popular inn where you can enjoy a beautiful garden with a creek and hot springs that have two water sources. There are four indoor baths and four open-air outdoor baths, as well as 3 private rental baths, so you can enjoy different types of hot springs just within the hotel.
Around the hotel there's the Hakone Open-Air Museum, the Okuda Art Museum that preserves and exhibits ancient to modern art from Japan, China, and Korea, as well as the Houraien, a garden famous for its azaleas and autumn foliage. If you visit it's recommended that you walk around to take everything in!
*The photo is of Lake Ashi.
Hokkaido, the northernmost region of Japan, has a cool climate that makes for easy summers, so it's a resort area that's just as popular as Karuizawa. The Lake Kanayama Log Hotel Larch on the shore of Lake Kanayama is a hotel recommended for people who want to enjoy outdoor activities in Hokkaido. The huge facilities, surrounded by larch trees, include a genuine log hotel made with larch wood and cottages where you can cook your own meals, so you can come with a group or a family and pick the lodging style that best suits your needs. Around the hotel are plenty of sports facilities, campgrounds, and you can also enjoy rafting and canoeing in the nearby Sorachi River. Enjoying sports to the fullest in the vast nature of Hokkaido will definitely become a good memory of your trip.
*Photo is of Lake Kanayama.
Lake Towada sits on the border of Aomori and Akita prefectures, and it's cool in the summer so it's famous for being a leading resort in the Tohoku area. It's a typical double caldera lake in that it's a mortar-shaped depression filled with water, so the area around it is inhabited in great numbers of wild animals and flora like beech and katsura trees, so it's a lake surrounded by verdant greenery. In the area there are plenty of natural sightseeing spots such as the Oirase Keiryuu mountain stream and the Choshi Falls, but it's also famous as a hot spring area. Tsuta Onsen Ryokan is a hot spring inn within a beech forest called Towada Jukai, and it has a long history as it succeeds a small health hot spring facility that was originally built in 1174. As a ryokan, the main building of Tsuta Onsen Ryokan has more than 100 years of history, and while it still has the taste of the time period in which it was built, it was reformed to make it as comfortable for guests as possible.
Also, around the inn is a lake and marsh area called the Tsuta no Nananuma that is recommended for a walk. Why not refresh your body and soul in this refined onsen inn surrounded by nature?
If you can't stand the Japanese heat, definitely visit a resort area. If you spend some time surrounded by nature away from the hot city summer, your tiredness from daily life will surely fly away and you'll be refreshed.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.