Hakone: Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara
A blissful getaway where the day is spent silently soaking in a private onsen hot spring looking out at the view.
Hoshino Resorts is one of the most well known and sought after luxury hot spring and resort ryokan chains in Japan. I stayed at their KAI Kinugawa resort while visiting Nikko, so I knew that their boutique KAI line provides for a very relaxing weekend.
We stayed for a night at their KAI Sengokuhara location, which opened in 2018, this time when we stayed for a weekend in Hakone.
HOW TO GET THERE
We took the Odakyu Romance Car to Hakone from Shinjuku station, a popular way to get to Hakone besides driving. From there, the fastest route is catch a bus to the Daigatake stop in Sengokuhara [MAP], which is right in front of Family Mart. Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara Is located right up the hill next to it.
As soon as you enter the Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara‘s premises, a staff member approaches you to greet you and guide you up to the lobby. A long escalator takes you up to the lobby area, where you check-in and schedule your meals and any activities.
This Hoshino Resorts KAI location is focused on art, so they have an optional activity that lets participating guests color a long cloth with Japanese scenes, something you do after dinner and then take home with you as a souvenir. The room keys also stay on the art theme, with keychains that have nicely displayed, dried, Japanese flowers.
We stayed in the Japanese-style Suite with Outdoor Bath RB2, a spacious room of just about 63㎡～70㎡ big with 2 double beds, a living room, detached desk space, balcony and private onsen bath outside. It was just under $400.
The Hot Spring
The water that flows through Japanese onsen hot springs vary and depend on where the water is coming from. Each has a slightly different combination of minerals carrying different benefits to the skin and body.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara‘s onsen water is from the Owakudani volcanic valley and is slightly milky white in color. They report that their water has “acid,” calcium, sulfur and chloride.
The “acid” helps with chronic dermatitis, sulfur with chronic dermatitis and circulation, and the chloride salts coat the body like a veil, warming and moisturizing the skin. It did leave my skin feeling pretty smooth indeed.
Like most ryokan stays, Japanese kaiseki meals are included. They’re served in the dining hall, one that is beautifully designed with Japanese aesthetics and allowing each party to have a private room.
Dinner had several courses, each presented very nicely and was equally delicious.
Breakfast was just as impressive and a great meal to start off the next day.
The Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara lives up to its high reviews as an elegant onsen retreat. It’s perfectly set up so that you see as few people as possible and the rooms themselves were just about silent. I definitely recommend this resort for anyone looking for a luxurious Japanese getaway.