Kawamotoya

8955 Toyosato, Shimotakai-gun, Nozawaonsen, Japan
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Scout loves

  • The modern, recently refurbished décor in the lobby and restaurant.
  • The Japanese-style rooms.
  • There is a private onsen onsite, and many public onsen nearby.
  • The food in the hotel’s popular restaurant ‘Tamon’ is excellent.
  • This is the best place to stay if you’re coming for the fire festival. The views from the roof are like the box seat.

Scout tips

  • Make reservations for the hotel’s restaurant ahead of time.  
  • There are no Western-style mattresses – only futons.
  • There is limited storage in most of the rooms.
  • Rooms feature flat screen TVs but with no English channels.
  • Kawamotoya is slightly removed from the main part of the village – it’s about a 10 minute walk, as is the travelator to the ski area base.
  • Guests may use the laundry facilities at the sister hotel ‘Address Nozawa’. 

SCOUT REVIEW

If you are seeking a Japanese hotel experience, but aren’t quite prepared to go so far as to eat fish for breakfast, then Kawamotoya is an excellent choice.

Located on the edge of Nozawa Onsen village, this ryokan strikes the perfect balance in that it gives you a genuine Japanese experience, but with a few Western luxuries thrown in. Some of the staff speak English, and there are always English options available for breakfast. The restaurant also has exceptional Japanese food for dinner, and your tired ski legs will appreciate the Western-style tables.

However, the Japanese influence still remains strong – the rooms are all lined with tatami mats and the only bedding option is futon. During the day the housekeeping will pack away your futon and replace it with a low table, chair seat backs, and floor cushions.

When you first arrive you’ll be given a small onsen bag containing all you will need for your visits to the hotel’s own onsen (or one of the many nearby public baths). This will come in handy, especially since many of the rooms (classified as Standard Japanese rooms) only have an ensuite toilet, so guests must use the onsen to bathe.

These Standard Japanese rooms are great, however if you are able to splurge a little we recommend the Deluxe or Large category rooms, which will give you more space (great for all your ski gear) plus views of the village and mountains.

As an added bonus, the office of Nozawa Physio is located in the hotel and is usually staffed by Australians. In addition to physio treatments, they also offer massages and daily yoga and stretching classes – perfect before visiting the onsen!

Due to Kawamotoya’s location, you will feel a little separate from the village and ski resort, yet everything is still within walking distance. Plus the streets surrounding the hotel feel more ‘local’, which adds to the whole authentic experience.

Who should stay here

Scout feels Kawamotoya is just right for younger couples and groups of friends who don’t need to be in the center of everything, and are looking for a Japanese experience with a few Western comforts.

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