Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hitsuki Club, the best resort hotel to see Mt Fuji everyday

This year's November was exceptionally warmer and rained more than usual. I thought I would not be able to see Mt. Fuji again until I was invited to Hitsuki Club. This is a beautiful resort hotel with rooms housed in cottages with each having a stunning view of Mt. Fuji. The resort is located in Shizuoka prefecture, inside the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park's Asagiri Highland, which is 700m above sea level so Mt. Fuji appears very close to you. The owner of this hotel is a doctor so the focus is on the wellness of the mind and body together with mother nature. Breakfast and dinner is included and you can expect fresh local ingredients cooked with spring water everyday!

This beautiful timelapse video was shot at Hitsuki Club's outdoor Noh* stage.
*Noh is a kind of traditional Japanese theatrical performance.

This resort hotel was opened by Doctor Tatsutaka Yamamoto, who has knowledge in Chinese medicine and also operates his own clinic nearby called Asagiri Kogen Clinic.

Rooms/ Cottages


There are actually 2 locations owned by the same owner: Hitsuki Club and Seiyoen.

The rooms at Hitsuki Club are housed in independent cottages with own private bath and toilet in each unit with most of them having a view of Mt. Fuji. The rooms at Seiyoen are housed in a large 200-year old renovated guesthouse with shared bath and toilets without a view of Mt. Fuji, but you can take a 10min walk up the mountain to see it. Rates are different between the two places.


Hitsuki Club 


The above was the cottage where I stayed and Mt Fuji is on the right!

This cottage was divided into 3 separate units, each having its own shower and toilet.

The first floor is the living room.

Clean and new shower room.

 Warm bidet toilet for the cold weather!

Basin is located outside so it is convenient for sharing with another person.

Second floor is bedroom.

My killer view :DDDD

You can also see Mt. Fuji at night by the window along with other stars~♥︎

They also have this special trailer+cottage combo that can house 3-4 people but no view of Mt Fuji. You can however take a 1 min walk to the Noh Stage (first photo) to catch the view.

Inside the trailer is a spacious living room!

They also have another cottage to do functions such as seminars or yoga! They even have the mats there so you don't have to bring yours.

How about doing yoga in front of Mt. Fuji?

You can also book an appointment for massage and enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji as you relax!

There is a treehouse nearby and the view up there is stunning!


Half of Mt. Fuji is blocked by trees though...

All rooms at Hitsuki Club are fully equipped with air-con/heater, hot water, electric kettle, mini fridge, and hair dryer. The hotel also provides disposable slippers, towels, hangers, mugs, cups, toothpaste, toothbrush, hand soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

Seiyoen

Seiyoen is a 10min drive northwards from Hitsuki Club into a wildlife forest within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. You can't see Mt. Fuji from the rooms but you can do a quick morning walk up the mountain to see the gorgeous sunrise of Mt. Fuji.

This is the dining area where meals are served. Water here is all from natural spring water so you can just turn on the tap and drink from it! If you stay at Hitsuki Club, they will fetch you to this place.

This is my room for first night. The black thing on the floor is the heater, not TV...

This is the shared toilet and wash basin.

At Seiyoen, you can enjoy traditional Japanese bath in a tub made of Hinoki wood, which is a kind of superior wood that has anti-bacterial properties so it will not grow mould. However, this is a communal bath so you have to share with other people. For etiquette, refer to my comic here. Also note that this bath house is in another small cottage within 10sec walk away from main building.

There is a function room on the second floor of the guesthouse with heated carpets to do yoga or seminars. Projector is provided so you can connect to your computer to do presentations.

If you want privacy with your own bath and toilet, there is this single cottage located behind the main building where you can stay in. There is even a small outdoor bath tub! But be warned there are a lot of insects in summer and very cold in winter :P

Food

Both breakfast and dinner is included in the hotel fee. Everything served here is healthy and delicious such as this fresh local Masu salmon. This is a kind of river salmon that can only be found at the western part of Japan and is softer than atlantic salmon. Yummy!

This is one of the chef's special, yummy matcha jelly topped with red beans and special tofu cream! It was so good I asked for another serving the next day :P~

They serve either Japanese or Western breakfast and I prefer the western one because of the toast and special organic coffee, yes I need caffeine in the morning!

Activities

Guided Morning Walk (free)

If you stay at Seiyoen, you can catch sunrise with Mt. Fuji after walking up the mountain for about 10min. This area is within the national park that is closed to public so there is only you, other guests and your guide!

You can find the moon in the sky directly opposite to the sun. The trees also glow in orange as it receives light. Trees here are grown in the wild untouched by man.

It's damn cold at night and early morning so everything on the ground is frosted.

These beautiful ice grass was formed when water evaporates from the ground but frozen along the way.

Wild (poisonous) mushroom in the woods!

These bark were eaten by wild deers!

Walk further down and you can find the head of the river stream where you can collect mineral water from. The hotel provides rain boots so you won't get wet :)

Herbal Water Making (3000yen per pax, min. 4 persons to run) 

This is a very cool activity where you will go into the wild woods behind Seiyoen to collect ingredients to make your very own herbal water to bring home! They can be used as home aroma sprays.

This is me collecting leaves from a fir tree. Sorry for the dimness because I was back-facing the light. But that white dome at the background is... yes Mt. Fuji!

On our way back I spotted this wild Tsubaki (Camellia) tree! Can't help but snip some of them to add their lovely aroma into our herbal water.

All leaves and petals had to be cut into smaller pieces so the machine can process it.

Besides fir leaves and camellia, we also collected cypress leaves and bamboo shoots. All ingredients were grown in the wild without the intervention of human. Even the water used was directly from their natural spring water. Love this activity!

Nearby Attractions

Shiraito Falls

The most beautiful waterfall I had ever seen!

As you can see, water flows down in small streams like threads and hence the name Shiraito Falls, meaning white threads. This is caused by underground water formed from ice that has melted from Mt. Fuji decades ago, traveling through porous larva rocks and finally down as thin streams before forming a river.

Shiraito Falls is located within a 10min drive from Hitsuki Club. Alternatively, you can drop down at the highway bus stop while making your way to the hotel. To continue traveling to Hitsuki Club, catch a cab at the taxi terminal opposite the bus stop. It will take 10 min by cab to the hotel.

Lake Tanuki

This gorgeous lake is where you can see Diamond Fuji, which occurs only twice a year where the sun will be on top of the mountain and both reflected on the lake to form a sparkling diamond. But hey, the scenery is still beautiful without the diamond!

You can rent bicycles and fishing rods here. I actually preferred this man-made lake more than Kawaguchi-ko because it has much less tourists. Of course, there are not as many activities to do and you can walk one round around the lake within 60 min.

There are camping spots where you can bring your own tent and use public facilities such as toilets and wash basins. Great place to catch Mt. Fuji in the day and starlight sky at night.

Lake Tanuki is reachable within a 10min walk from Hitsuki Club.

Jimba Falls

Another walkable attraction is Jimba Falls and on your way there you will see, yes Mt. Fuji again! It's almost like a stalker now :P

It is not as impressive as Shiraito Falls.

But there are pipes (right side of picture) where you can get your bottle full of spring water from! These waters are formed from ice that has melted from Mt. Fuji and traveled down through porous larva rocks for decades before reaching here.

Jimba Falls is within a 10 min walk from Seiyoen.

Makai Farm

Makai Farm is very close to Hitsuki Club, within a 10min drive away. It is not reachable by walking as it may take 30min or so on narrow roads. I visited this nice farm with my family 3 years ago on a day tour with Hato Bus and its recorded here.

Asagiri Highland

I didn't go there as it is a 20-30min drive northwards. You can find roaming cattle and do paragliding with Mt. Fuji right in front of you.

Getting There/ Access

If you don't have a car, the best way to get there is via a highway bus from Tokyo Station. You can either buy from LOPPI machines at LAWSON convenient stores (unfortunately in Japanese only), or buy directly from the bus terminal at Tokyo Station.

The nearest bus stop to Hitsuki Club is Kyukamura Fuji 休暇村富士, located right next to Lake Tanuki, and is a 20min walk away. Only one bus runs per day: 10am from Tokyo Station. The return journey is the same, only one bus that leaves on 10.20am from Kyukamura Fuji. The bus ride will take approximately 3.5 to 4 hrs stopping at some places along the way.

If you have a lot of luggage, they recommend that you get down at Shiraito Falls bus stop, which is one stop before Kyukamura Fuji. There is a taxi terminal opposite the bus stop where you can get a cab to go up for around 1800yen. It will take around 10min to reach the hotel.

If you cannot travel within that time, another method is to take a highway bus that has more frequent runs to Fujinomiya station, then transfer to a local bus.

Conclusion

I was very lucky to enjoy a clear view of Mt. Fuji for my 3 days 2 nights stay and is the perfect hotel for people to enjoy nature and take bridal shoots with Mt. Fuji without the crowd! There are yoga studios and mats so it is a great place for yoga retreats too. Food served here are very delicious and wholesome, even the water used to make them is from natural spring water. I also received great service and hospitality from the wonderful staff there to keep me warm during the cold early winter!

Some of the activities such as Massage Cream Making and Blowdart courses require a minimum of two persons to run, so your activities will be limited if you travel alone (maybe just nature walks around the mountain and lake). If you don't have a car but have 3-4 people, you can ask if the hotel can provide transportation to places for an additional fee. Everything is highly customisable so please email them to enquire first and book the activities in advance :)

Rates and Contact

A night's stay at Hitsuki Club will cost 16,000yen per pax for 2 persons in a cottage (i.e. 32,000yen for 2 persons). If you stay alone, it will be 21,000 yen. Breakfast and dinner are included. All prices are without tax and accurate up to Mar 2016. Please visit website for latest information.

Website: Hitsuki Club / Seiyoen.
Contact: info@hitsuki-club.com

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