One of the most symbolic hotels in Hakone is Miyanoshita’s Fujiya Hotel known for its long history and classical tradition. The building itself is stylish in an eclectic Japanese-Western style. I will also introduce the beautiful garden where seasonal flowers grow as well as the main dining room which has been designated as a cultural property.
The main building looks impressive like old-style public baths
Take the Sepia Street from Hakone Tozan Railway’s Miyanoshita Station and enjoy its retro atmosphere found in the antique shops, clinics and phot ateliers. The street will lead you to the splendid Fujiya Hotel with its Japanese-Western design.
The hotel consists of 4 buildings – the main building, the West building, Hana Goten building and the Forest building – which all keep the classical style of the old times. On the photo you can see the main building constructed in 1891. It’s the oldest building and impresses with its roof elements bent backwards at both ends which reminds you of the design of temples.
Another symbol of the hotel is Hana Goten building
This building was constructed in 1936 and impresses with its roof and guardrails which remind you of Japanese castles.
From the beginning Fujiya Hotel aimed to become a resort for international travelers which explains its unique combination of Japanese and Western style architecture. Some of the famous guests were Hellen Keller, Charlie Chaplin, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. You can even join a guided tour around some of the rooms where those celebrities stayed.
In the garden you can enjoy seasonal flowers
The spacious garden behind the main building stretches over 5000 square meters and has many seasonal flowers. I went there in May and saw many blossoming azaleas and wisterias. There is a small water mill around which fireflies-watching events are held in June and July. In the greenhouse nearby you can see and even buy some plants. Also, it’s a good omen to ring the big bell at the top of the Lucky Hill.
The dining room "The Fujiya" has a sense of solemnity and richness
The main dining room “The Fujiya” was built in 1930 and is now designated as an important cultural property.
The third owner of the hotel – Yamaguchi Shozo – used Nikko’s Toshogu Shrine as an inspiration for designing the interior. The coffered ceiling has 636 pictures of alpine plants, while the walls have 507 pictures of wild birds and 238 pictures of butterflies. In the corridor beyond the dining room you will find sculptures of cats, dogs and monkeys.
The top-class traditional beef curry
One great choice for lunch is the special beef curry. It’s a traditional specialty of this dining room. Silver dishes and small containers covered with the traditional Hakone wooden mosaic work make this curry way more attractive. It’s recommended to make a reservation in advance for this restaurant, as it tends to be fully booked.
You can come and visit Fujiya Hotel on a day trip without staying overnight. A day trip includes enjoying in the hot spring, lunch and a walk inside the luxurious hotel. For souvenir gifts I recommend the hotel’s bakery Picot. They sell well-known food like curry bread, raisin bread, apple pie, but also original and home-made bakery of Fujiya Hotel.
Fujiya Hotel is located close to Tokyo and is a great place to enjoy hot springs, nature and sightseeing. You can easily access it by public transportation. If you buy the Hakone Free Pass you will be able to ride Hakone Tozan Railway trains, the cable car, the ropeway, the buses and even the pirate ship on Lake Ashi. This will make an unforgettable trip for you and your family.