Japan: Hoshi, the world’s 2nd oldest hotel

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Relaxing in my yukata, close to the garden

For a small getaway before heading back to Tokyo, Koen and I spent the night at Hoshi, the world’s second oldest hotel, founded in 718 and operated by the same family for 46 generations.

Hoshi is located in Kamatsu, in north central Japan and is famous for its onsens, or Japanese hot spring.

Upon arrival, after checking in, you’re taken to a room for a tea ceremony, which is a traditional Japanese welcome. We enjoyed our matcha while looking out on the garden.

Once in your room, you’ll find a “yukata” for each guest, a traditional Japanese cotton kimono to wear around the hotel. This is part of the historical Japanese hospitality tradition and encourages a relaxing, stress-free stay. I loved wearing my yukata so much that I bought one to wear at home back in Belgium!

Such a relaxing stay. As often as we could we went to the onsens (before dinner, after dinner, before bed, before breakfast, after breakfast…). I was a little nervous at first, but after the first few minutes you get used to be naked in public and are able to enjoy the water. I especially enjoyed the bath outside – the warm water constrasted so nicely against the cool, autumn air!

The food was also very delicious! For dinner we enjoyed a kaiseki (multi-course and seasonal) meal and a traditional Japanese breakfast the next day.

And in the evening – karaoke!! I even won a free drink for my rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”!

Above is a video about Hoshi and its long history!

 

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Hoshi Ryokan

 

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Inside the onsen – you can see the outdoor bath through the window (photo from the Hoshi website because for obvious reasons you’re not allowed to take photos inside the onsen)

 

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Inside the onsen (photo from the Hoshi website because for obvious reasons you’re not allowed to take photos inside the onsen)

 

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Inside the onsen (photo from the Hoshi website because for obvious reasons you’re not allowed to take photos inside the onsen)

 

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1st: Assortment of Japanese pickles

 

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2nd: Tofu and crab

 

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3rd: Assortment of sashimi

 

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4th: soba noodles with egg and mushrooms

 

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Sukiyaki before

 

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Sukiyaki being cooked

 

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5th: Sukiyaki – so delicious!!

 

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6th: Miso soup and more Japanese pickles

 

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Rice and mushrooms before

 

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Rice and mushrooms being cooked

 

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7th: Rice and mushrooms

 

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8th: Fresh fruit for dessert

 

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Karaoke!

 

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Koen in his yukata

 

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View from our room

 

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Japanese breakfast – a bit too savory for my taste first thing in the morning

 

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Coffee in the lounge before heading back to Tokyo (5 hours by train)

 

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