We decided to go for this hotel at end last August, when it was unbearably hot in Tokyo. We were desparate to escape to some high altitude location. We chose this hotel as we were aware of its high reputation: location, setting and services.
This hotel is located about 2000m alt. We rented a car from Kamisuwa railway station to a near-by parking point and walked up to the hotel (45 min. nice and easy walk through ranch). The access to the hotel by private car is restricted. I understand they have also transfer services from a nearest parking point as well as from Matsumoto railway station, but the number of services is limited.
It was hot but pleasantly hot at this hight.
We arrived early before check-in time and took a bath in the meantime. They have two public baths, indoor(closed) and covered open-air. They have also private baths guests can use in turn. They have breathtaking views onto mountains and ranch. They are not hot spring bath, yet we appreciated them so much.
Our room was small and we knew it when booking, so no problem. The hotel was in fact already full, and it seems to sell this remaining small room witout in-room bath by telephone only to properly explain its size and comfort. Their other rooms are much larger with style and comfort, as presented on their web site. Our room was clean and practical. Futon matresses were comfortable ones. It was cool at night. We had vey a good sleep without air-con.
Before dinner, we took a walk around the hotel to appreciate the various views. So refreshing, so nice.
They served a free wine-like drink before dinner time, which we enjoyed on the terrace in front of the lobby.
The dinner was unexpectedly good and delicous. japanese dinner with lots of local food (meat, fish, vegetable), cooked magically with ttraditional and innovative ideas. We liked the lively atmosphere of the restaurant. The waiter to our table took care of us with lots of attention.
The slide show after dinner was also very interesting, showing the area in different seasons. I should return in snow season.
After dinner, they also organised a small bus tour to watch stars and observe animals. So many wild animals which were not seen during daytime were out on the field, mainly dears. Amazing scene. We were lucky to have clear sky this evening. We got off the bus to appreciate the beautiful sky with stars twinkling so near.
Another event at this hotel is sunrise.
Many of guests got up around 4-5 pm to appreciate the sunrise: some from their room, many others out on the hotel's terrace.
Breakfast was again very good. You can choose between western and Japanese.
It is very exceptional to have this quality at this altitude in such an isolated location in Japan, I should say: food, bath, room, services, and I sincerely appreciate it with respects to their passion and efforts.
I have no idea how much of foreign language they speak, but it seems they have experienced some foreign guests and have a feeling non-Japanese speakers could be accommodated well.
Some rooms have better view than others: some towers for TV beside the hotel.