Open in 1873, the Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel along with the Nikko Kanaya Hotel are known to be Japan’s oldest resort hotels. Loved by locals and foreigners alike, it stands amongst many embassies and lake houses on Lake Chuzenji, in a National park where you can be intimate with nature. There is an onsen bath as well where you can relax, and an authentically classic resort hotel style service as well as harmony with the surrounding nature it has a lot to offer. Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel is a place where you want to celebrate important anniversaries.
Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel a hideaway in nature
From Nikko it is about 50min by car up the Irohazaka road. You arrive at Chuzenji Nakaya Hotel situated in the lakeside in the Nikko National Park. The hotel is surrounded by trees and seems to melt into nature with its Canadian style exterior. It was designed by the Canadian architect J. Sturgis who used wood from Canada to build a log house-like western style hotel. The exterior colors blend with the forest background and has a warmth about it.
Ample natural light fills the first floor lobby at the Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel
In the hotel entrance you find a fireplace made of Oya-ishi stone, the same used in the Imperial Hotel. In front of the fireplace is a sofa and a gorgeous Ikebana arrangement, exuding high class. The impressive atmosphere is perfect for such a classic hotel, which already takes you out of the daily norm! The fun of a hotel life starts already.
The fire is lit during the winter months between November and April, warming you not just with the heat but the sound, color and smell of the fire. On the left of the fireplace is the front desk, and past that is the lobby lounge pictured above. You can see Lake Chuzenji from the windows of this semi-circular room with the sofas covered in the European style cloth. You can spend ages just gazing out at the abundant greenery while feeling the healing powers of the natural light. This area is a public space and people who stop by for lunch can use this space as well.
Shakunage the private lounge for guests only
Right above the lobby lounge, on the second floor is the guest only private lounge, Shakunage. Here you can have an executive experience with some coffee custom made for this hotel, as well as the famous German teas from Ronnefeldt on the house. Here you can have a relaxed quiet adults only time to read the magazines and books while enjoying the view of nature.
Just like the first floor lounge the abundant nature outside the windows is absolutely spectacular, and you can just lose yourself viewing it.
The rooms are also endowed with the warmth of the wood
Of course the rooms are just as comforting as the rest of the hotel. Pictured above is the standard twin room. The warmth of the wood is apparent here as well. The room is spacious creating an ease in the heart. Once you get to your room you have to open the curtains and look out your window. Every room has a balcony and you can breathe in that fresh mountain air. Once on the wood deck like balcony the scent of the woods envelope you and make you forget all the stresses of the day. Just being in such greenery makes you have a positive outlook for tomorrow.
Time doesn’t speed by here at the Chuzenji Nakaya Hotel. After having opened up your heart by the nature around take a bath in the outdoor onsen bath Soraburo. Renovated in 2011, the water is sulfuric and is pure hot spring water going to both the indoor and outdoor baths. The mineral concentration is strong so you don’t have to stay long to get warmed to the core. The outdoor bath has the benefit of being under a star filled night sky. It is a jewel of nature only to be had here.
Have some of the hotel's original wine
After a day of lounging around in the hotel room, taking a bath outdoors what else is left but to eat? At the first floor dining room Mizunara, you can savor the Kanaya Hotels best a la carte or course menus. Whichever you choose make sure you get some Kanaya Hotel House Wine. Pictured above is a 50% cabernet, and 50% merlot blend of red wines. It is on the dry side and not tannin rich, with a hint of the barrel aroma it is deep and full bodied. The wines deliciousness goes well with the traditional French cuisine offered here.
When you want to stay in nature, the Chuzenji Nakaya Hotel
Amongst so many other hotels with long traditions, the authentic resort appeal is only had at Chuzenji Nakaya Hotel. For those that want to stay a long time, during the summer they have 1 week to 1 month stay plans so please check the official website for availability. Winter operations are between January and April, and they only are operational Friday thru Sundays.
Access is simple from Tobu Nikko Station there is a free shuttle bus. For bus times check the website. When the fall leaves come in the Irohazaka road gets congested so please go with ample time to spare. During the winter drivers should use tire chains or other non-slip options on Irohazaka road as it is slippery.
Some important info just between us: They provide half price deals on rooms for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, for that day and the 3 days before and after it (total 7 days)! They also have a small complimentary cake for you in the room so look forward to that. When making reservations just tell them and bring something to prove that.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the breeze blowing in the trees making their own music at Lake Chuzenji. Every season has a new face here and being here to greet it is a great way to grow spiritually in this soothing space.