10 Luxury Accommodations in Chubu – Bask in the Beauty of Japanese Aesthetics!
For this article, we’ve curated a list of the top accommodations in the Chubu region of Japan, each hand-picked for their gorgeous Japanese aesthetics, traditional cuisine, and relaxing atmospheres. From hotels with meals served in your room, to those with private open-air hot spring baths, if you’re seeking to relish the bounties of Chubu in style, then we’ve got the accommodations for you!
Jun 16 2022
Niigata is famed for the quality and quantity of its snow, naturally leading to an abundance of ski resorts in the prefecture. Hot springs are also aplenty, so after an action-packed day of winter sports, why not have a long soak in one?
Of course, since the seasons of Niigata are all very distinct, there’s plenty to do here throughout the year, not just in winter! For example, the warm summer months are a great time to enjoy swimming and hiking in Niigata.
The prefecture is also renowned for its fresh seafood, delicious sake, and other authentic Japanese dining opportunities.
Additionally, Niigata is well known amongst art lovers, who flock to it for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, one of the largest international art festivals in the world. During this festival, numerous artworks are displayed throughout Niigata's rural towns and nature sites. While only held once every three years, various exhibitions and artworks can be enjoyed outside of the festival period throughout the Echigo-Tsumari area.
Niigata is also home to Sado Island, where you can explore beautiful coastal waters in a unique circular tub-shaped wooden boat called a “tarai-bune.”
Satoyama Jujo offers environmentally-friendly designer rooms and natural hot springs that keep guests warm during Niigata's snowy winter season. Guests can also enjoy strolls amongst lush nature landscapes or the various artwork displayed around the hotel. Within this nourishing atmosphere, you will be able to forget about the hectic outside world for a few precious moments. Free Wi-Fi is also available on the premises.
At the hotel restaurant, you will be able to enjoy delightful Japanese cuisine made from local, organic vegetables. Vegetarian courses are also available with prior request.
Toyama Prefecture, covering the coastal side of the Sea of Japan, enjoys a relatively mild climate throughout the year owing to its warm sea currents. However, the Mt. Tateyama range, a series of 3,000-meter-high peaks, experiences some of the heaviest snowfalls in the world. This has created the iconic “Snow Corridor” on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route connecting Toyama with the neighboring Nagano Prefecture. The giant walls of snow on both sides of the route, which are formed through plowing, can reach up to 20 meters in height! You can walk through the Snow Corridor for an up-close view of the surreal scenery.
Following the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route will take you to Kurobe Dam, a majestic landmark known for the plumes of mist created via the discharge of 10 tons of water per second. Other area highlights include the trolley train that passes through Kurobe Gorge and the traditional thatched-roof houses of Gokayama, designated as a World Heritage Site together with the historic village of Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture.
Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Yamanoha
The Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train stops at three places in Toyama Prefecture: Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station, Toyama Station, and Shin-Takaoka Station. This makes the renowned “ryokan” inn Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Yamanoha highly accessible, as it’s located just a brief 3-minute walk from Kurobe-Unazukionsen Station.
The highlight of this inn is its open-air hot spring, which offers bathers a nice relaxing soak combined with the spectacular view of the Kurobe Gorge Trolley Train crossing an enormous red bridge.
When in Toyama, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the fresh seafood! At the inn's buffet restaurant, you can enjoy the delicious bounties of Toyama Bay to your heart’s content.
There are various types of rooms available: Western-style rooms with wooden floors and beds, Japanese-Western fusion rooms with both tatami mats and wooden floors, and authentic Japanese-style rooms typical of ryokan inns.
Boasting retro streetscapes, time-honored arts and crafts, hot springs, and fresh seafood, Ishikawa Prefecture is the pinnacle of traditional Japan.
The city of Kanazawa, which flourished as a castle town, is home to a multitude of historical landmarks and sites like Kanazawa Castle and teahouses, alongside cultural facilities like the cutting-edge 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and the D.T. Suzuki Museum, built as a monument to the ideas of legendary Buddhist philosopher D. T. Suzuki, who helped popularize Zen Buddhism abroad.
Another must-see Ishikawa site is the Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Terraces, located on the nature-rich Noto Peninsula. Noto is additionally known for the traditional craft of Wajima lacquerware, a popular souvenir among visitors to Ishikawa. Of course, the local fresh seafood here is also second-to-none!
Aside from sightseeing, the main joy of traveling is getting to enjoy the local food! Founded in 1890, the historical Yamanoo luxury inn is the perfect place to try famous Ishikawa delicacies like crab and blackthroat seaperch, all accompanied by delightful garden views. These dishes are all served in the multi-course “kaiseki ryori” style, allowing you to taste the traditional culture of Kanazawa, known for its connection to the Japanese tea ceremony and great samurai clans.
The inn is made up of four detached rooms, each one equipped with a bathtub crafted from hinoki cypress wood, the calming fragrance of which will help soothe your mind while the hot water relaxes your body. Yamanoo is the perfect accommodation for travelers looking for a little privacy.
Fukui Prefecture is celebrated for its pristine natural scenery such as the Mikata Five Lakes and the cliffs of Tojinbo.
It is also famous for the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, considered one of the world's top three facilities of its kind alongside the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada and the Zigong Dinosaur Museum in China. The jewel of the museum’s collection is a skeleton of an enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Even today, there are numerous excavation sites throughout this “dinosaur paradise,” and people are always searching for more prehistoric treasures buried beneath the prefecture's grounds.
Another local must-see is the world-famous Daihonzan Eihei-ji, a Zen Buddhist seminary going back over 700 years. Here visitors can engage in Buddhist practices like sutra copying and Zen meditation.
Awara Onsen Grandia Housen
Awara Onsen Grandia Housen is the prime destination for Fukui sightseeing. It can be reached from JR Awaraonsen Station via a free shuttle bus in just 15 minutes, and is located a 20-minute car ride away from Tojinbo and a 1 hour car ride from Daihonzan Eihei-ji.
Meals at the hotel include the famous Echizen crab, which even the Japanese Imperial family enjoys, along with shabu-shabu courses of A5-rank Wakasa beef, all paired with premium local alcoholic drinks.
Grandia Housen seamlessly blends the comforts of a large-scale hotel with the ambience of a traditional Japanese ryokan inn. The rooms and gardens are all designed in an authentic Japanese style, which is supplemented with modern amenities such as karaoke, spas, shops, and more.
When people think of Yamanashi Prefecture, they instantly picture Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest mountain! Registered as a World Heritage Site in 2013, Mt. Fuji is a deeply spiritual place that has appeared in countless works of art.
While Mt. Fuji can only be climbed between early July and early September, the surrounding area also boasts the enchanting primeval forest of Aokigahara, the Fuji Five Lakes where you can enjoy all manner of outdoor activities, and plenty more opportunities for encounters with Japan's untouched nature.
Yamanashi Prefecture is also Japan’s largest producer of grapes, peaches, and other fresh fruit. Wine made from local Koshu grapes is currently enjoying a growing reputation overseas, and is definitely worth a try!
FuFu Kawaguchiko is a hotel located about 5 kilometers from Lake Kawaguchi at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Perched upon a hill, each of the hotel’s 32 rooms is equipped with open-air hot spring baths fed directly from an underground source and accompanied by glorious views of Japan’s most famous mountain. The top floor also has luxury rooms fitted with bedrock baths!
The hotel terrace and garden are illuminated at night by wood fires, while dinners are crafted from local, seasonal ingredients. What further sets these dishes apart is that they are served in lava stone tableware to remind guests of the power of Mt. Fuji, which isn’t just a mountain but, in fact, a volcano.
FuFu Kawaguchiko offers ample spa services with a view and nature tours, allowing guests to choose how they want to enjoy Mt. Fuji.
Nagano attracts visitors with its nature-abundant resort areas like Kamikochi and Karuizawa. It’s a haven for hiking, with trails for both professional mountaineers and casual beginners. Keen shopaholics should head to the high-end vacation town of Karuizawa, home to numerous outlet stores.
There’s also plenty to do in Nagano for history buffs, like visiting the majestic Matsumoto Castle or Togakushi Shrine, a famous power spot.
In Nagano's north, you’ll find Joshin’etsukogen National Park, where the world-famous “snow monkeys” bathe in the natural hot springs of Jigokudani Monkey Park.
This hot spring resort is located at an elevation of 1,050 meters amidst the natural splendor of Yatsugatake-Chushin Kogen Quasi-National Park. According to legend, this is where deities would visit to heal themselves in the local waters, and Myojinkan does everything it can to blend in with this majestic, mystical world. The resort is known for its “standing hot spring” where guests can take a dip in onsen waters while remaining upright.
Rooms are available in both a traditional Japanese style and one that mixes tradition with modern aesthetics. Accents like driftwood and moss artworks come together to create a calm, tranquil atmosphere within Myojinkan's rooms.
Guests can choose between Japanese and French cuisine for dinner, both of which feature seasonal, organic vegetables and local freshwater fish.
You can enjoy historic townscapes and traditional Japanese architecture in Gifu, from the World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go to the quaint cobblestone paths of the Magome post town and Gifu Castle.
Gifu is also home to several mountains towering over 3,000 meters in height, making the prefecture a haven for experienced mountain climbers. Even beginners can enjoy this high-altitude scenery, with bus services taking passengers 2,700 meters up Mount Norikura where you may just spot the rock ptarmigan bird (a special natural treasure) and “komakusa,” the queen of alpine plants.
Another, more recent highlight of Gifu is “Monet's Pond,” located on the grounds of a shrine in the city of Seki. The pond’s crystal-clear waters are full of water lilies and koi carp, creating a dazzling, enchanting scene. The pond earned its unofficial nickname and went viral on social media because of its resemblance to the “Water Lilies” collection of paintings by the French impressionist master Claude Monet.
Honjin Hiranoya Kachoan
Honjin Hiranoya Kachoan is conveniently located just a 3-minute free shuttle bus ride from JR Takayama Station. It’s highly recommended for those seeking to relax in hot spring waters and enjoy Hida beef, a local delicacy adored for its soft, delicate texture, fine mesh-like marbling, and juicy flavor.
Guests can choose from a wide variety of rooms, including those with beds, tatami flooring, and ensuite semi open-air baths. Plans with free "yukata" summer kimono rentals are also available, and we recommend wearing one during a stroll through the local, historic townscape.
In the morning, walk to the nearby Jinyamae Morning Market, which has been in continued operation since around 1820. There you will find a vast selection of local vegetables and fruit while getting to know the local farmers.
The highlights of Shizuoka Prefecture include Mt. Fuji, Hamamatsu Castle and Lake Hamana in the city of Hamamatsu, and the seaside hot spring regions of Izu and Atami.
Shizuoka is also the #1 grower of green tea in Japan, which you can enjoy as a drink or as an ingredient in various sweets and desserts. Another local delicacy is Lake Hanama eel, which even comes in the form of the “Unagi Pie” snack made with Hanama eel extract.
Tofuya Resort & Spa Izu
Within the spacious 120,000 square meter grounds of Tofuya Resort & Spa Izu, you will find gardens, guestrooms, restaurants, "onsen" hot springs, a bakery, and a cafe. Enclosed by mountains in the small hot spring town of Yoshina Onsen, you’ll be able to absorb plenty of breathtaking scenery from the resort’s riverside open-air baths. There are also six private, indoor baths, giving you plenty of options to choose from, so why not go on a bathing tour of the facility? Additionally, all of the ensuite baths use hot spring water, too!
Tofuya also offers extensive spa services where you can unwind amongst pleasant incense smoke and sip tea brewed with spring water, which will relax your body and mind.
Aichi Prefecture is centered around the city of Nagoya, Japan’s most prominent metropolis after Tokyo and Osaka. Besides offering fabulous shopping opportunities, the city is home to many unique buildings which often go viral on social media, such as the Oasis 21 shopping center.
Plus, the area is deeply connected to the Tokugawa clan, who ruled over Japan during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). These sites include Nagoya Castle, famous for its grand interior, and the Tokugawa-en Japanese garden.
Akariya Geihanro is an exclusive accommodation limited to just ten rooms, each equipped with its own semi open-air bath and offering views of the Kiso River and Inuyama Castle, a famous national treasure.
You can also reserve a private open-air bath on the hotel’s 2nd floor. The hot spring waters make the skin sleek and velvety, and are famous for their beautifying effects. At night, the sight of the illuminated Inuyama Castle from the baths looks like something out of a dream.
While at Akariya Geihanro, you can enjoy delicious dishes made with Hida beef and other luxurious ingredients, but also simpler local favorites like tofu and konnyaku (konjac).
Mie Prefecture is home to some of Japan’s most famous, historic tourist destinations, including the 2,000-year-old Ise Jingu shrine and the World Heritage "Kumano Kodo" pilgrimage route.
It is also Japan’s foodie paradise, receiving global attention after the 42nd G7 Ise-Shima summit in 2016, which saw the world delight at the exquisite foods on offer. For seafood, nothing beats the local spiny lobster, which can be enjoyed fried, boiled with salt, or as sashimi. There’s also the luxurious Matsusaka beef, which boasts fat so fine, it can actually melt in the palm of your hand.
Tsukiyominoza is made up of six detached lodgings, conveniently located just a 10-minute drive from the Ise Jingu Geku (Outer Shrine). Each lodging has its own distinctive character, and all of them are centered around the waxing and waning of the moon, creating a tranquil, relaxing ambience. Additionally, every lodging features an ensuite open-air bath for added extravagance.
Both breakfast and dinner are served inside the rooms for absolute privacy, and consist of dishes made with such Mie delicacies as Matsusaka beef, spiny lobster, and abalone.
Explore the Chubu Region in Style and Luxury
From the traditional to the modern, you will find all sorts of exceptional accommodations throughout Chubu. We hope that when you plan your trip to the region, you’ll use this guide to choose a luxury hotel or inn that meets all your needs!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.