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Nordic Charm in Hakuba By G.I Chavez

Oyado Kayabuki Chaya, Hakuba, Nagano Private rooms with traditional Japanese architecture make Kayabuki a relaxing place to visit, but the location and access to great activities make this old farmhouse the perfect escape. For more than a century...

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Azekura Sanso By Toshio Watanabe

Whether you relax with the family, or roll up your sleeves and give Mother Nature a hand, the slow life is the good life at Azekura Sanso. The village of Hakuba in northwestern Nagano is best known as the host of the 1998 Winter Olympics; however the...

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Hanafubuki - Wrap Yourself in Green By Mitsuko Totani

The Izu Peninsula is renowned for bringing together a grand variety of hot springs, seafood, woodland delicacies, beaches and forests in one place. On the eastern side of the peninsula, a mere five-minute walk from Izu Kogen Station, lies the 3,000-ts...

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Ousenkaku, Minakami, Gunma By Mitsuko Totani

Minakami lies deep in the mountains of Gunma and is known for its outdoor sports and abundance of onsen (hot springs), a good example being Takaragawa Onsen which sits among the headwaters of the river of the same name. The name “takara&rdquo...

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Takamine Onsen By Mitsuko Totani

Takamine Onsen - Seeking High Ground On the border of Gunma and Nagano prefectures sits Mt. Asama, an active volcano still intermittently bellowing smoke. Looking up from the Nagano side of Mt. Asama is the Takamine Highlands, 2,000 meters above sea ...

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The Hawk and Hare Inn By Gardner Robinson

Michael Perrin spent his childhood trekking the holly-and-spruce-filled ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, he came to Japan in 1988 to study Japanese history and quickly discovered the mountains and hills were much s...

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Hometown Hospitality and Homegrown Art By Mitsuko Totani

Although it's just a few hours from downtown Tokyo, Sankousou lies deep within the highlands of Mt. Mitake in the Okutama area. While its exterior may be quite ordinary, guests open the front door to find an interior filled with so much folk art an...

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Shingenkan By Mitsuko Totani

Nakagawa Onsen lies on the banks of the Nakagawa River which feeds into Lake Tanzawa in western Kanagawa Prefecture. For the past 100 years, the storied ryokan (Japanese country inn), Shingenkan, has presided over the banks of the river. Shinge...

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Hoshi Boshi Lodge By Gardner Robinson

Although resorts like Hakuba and Shiga Kogen get the most attention, Nagano is also home to many quaint “pension villages” attracting an interesting mix of people. Some come for the simple life, others dream of running a B&B, buildi...

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Annupuri Lodge By 

Rising 1,308 meters above sea level, Niseko Annupuri is the center of attention for Japan’s top winter sports destination. The mountain, is home to three main ski areas with villages at the base of each. Hirafu is the main village, not to be ...

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Lodge Scole By Zao Onsen, Yamagata

It snowed heavily all night. The last beer and sake were tossed back around 10 p.m. and everyone called it an “early one” in anticipation of fresh lines in the morning. Up before dawn, you down a bowl of miso and a couple of onigiri (r...