July 2, 2018 | Hoshino Resorts
KAI Sengokuhara is thought to be the world’s first art-oriented hot spring ryokan. This unique accommodation concept combines an art gallery and atelier (art studio) with healing hot springs. The ryokan is adorned with artwork by resident artists and offers activities to inspire guests to explore their own creativity and find their “inner artist”.
KAI Sengokuhara’s unique vision encourages guests to move beyond admiring art in a gallery and to practise it as a form of expression. When the ryokan opens, it will host twelve artists in residence from around the world. During their stays, the artists will immerse themselves in the location to create artworks for display in the ryokan’s rooms. Artists, guests and staff will be provided with a variety of materials and methods to express themselves through painting, illustrating and drawing. Art materials will be provided inside the public rooms and there is a dedicated atelier space for guided art experiences.
Located in the serene mountains on the plateau of Sengokuhara, KAI Sengokuhara is a Japanese-style hot spring ryokan with a difference. The area of Sengokuhara is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is a popular hot-spring resort dotted with authentic art galleries and museums displaying Japanese and international artwork. Options include the Pola Museum of Art, the Okada Museum of Art, the Hakone Open-Air Museum and the Hakone Museum of Photography.
All 16 Signature Bedrooms at KAI Sengokuhara feature private terraces with outdoor natural hot spring baths, scenic views and authentic Ryukyu tatami grass mats. Bedrooms also feature art created by the resident artists and lighting designed by a local glassmaker.
As well as private baths on every bedroom terrace, there are two shared bath halls (each with two indoor baths and one outdoor bath offering forest and water garden views) for use by the ryokan’s guests. Each bath hall is connected by a Yuagari Lounge – a calming space to cool off after bathing with refreshing drinks inspired by the local surroundings. Both the private and shared baths are fed by spring water from the Owakudani volcanic valley. The mineral-rich water is heated by magma (semi-molten rock) several kilometres below the ground and is known for its therapeutic properties. Guests are encouraged to enhance the benefits of the hot springs with a Japanese massage after bathing (additional cost – from £48).
The ryokan also features a Travel Library of books highlighting the area’s history and culture, serving complimentary refreshments.
The Japanese cuisine at KAI Sengokuhara features local vegetables and seafood, reflecting the ryokan’s location in the mountains and its proximity to the ocean. Dishes are presented beautifully, as befitting an art-oriented ryokan. The centrepiece at breakfast is a thick slice of soft-grilled Jinenjo yam, a local root vegetable known for its high nutritional content and tender texture. For dinner, multi-course kaiseki meals include a starter of smoked salmon and seasonal fruit, followed by a main dish of local delicacies such as wagyu beef and abalone (marine snail), grilled on stones at 200℃.
KAI Sengokuhara is the 15th property in Hoshino Resorts KAI portfolio of hot spring ryokan. It is the first property to showcase the company’s new art-inspired hot spring ryokan concept.
KAI Sengokuhara can be reached in approximately two hours by car, bus or train from Tokyo.
Lead-in price: stay at KAI Sengokuhara from £509 per room, per night on a half-board basis (two sharing; two meals). KAI Amenities provided for guests for the duration of their stay include a casual kimono (yukata) and a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth (furoshiki) to make a bag to carry belongings.
To book: call +81-50-3786-1144 or visit www.kai-ryokan.jp/en/sengokuhara/
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