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Hoshinoya Karuizawa – Nagano Prefecture, Japan

The continuous lines, ceiling-high windows, and neutral colors of the Hoshinoya Karuizawa resort blend so effortlessly with the surrounding landscape, the resort gives the impression of having always been there. Only a short drive from Tokyo, the century-old trees here flourish in the presence of rivers trickling down from Mount Asama – it was essential both elements be respected and inspirational in creating this resort. The river plays a key role in powering Hoshinoya Karuizawa in hydroelectricity through a system simply called Energy In My Yard (EIMY), providing 70% of the resorts energies, including the ever comfortable floor heating. The energies of the resort were famed since the first hot spring bath dug here in 1914. Writers such as Hakushu Kitahara would soak in the baths to get their creative juices flowing. Nowadays, the Tombo-no-yu (communal bathhouse) has been built providing access to beneficial naturally sourced low-alkaline waters in the indoor stone bath, sauna, and open-air bath. Bathing in the soundscape of Hoshinoya Karuizawa, you will understand why the local trees have chosen to flourish in this natural luxury.

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