Fujiya Hotel

Last week, we stayed at Fujiya Hotel in Hakone for the second time in the last 3 months.  I found out about the hotel last fall when I was researching places to stay.  I heard great things about the fall colors in Hakone, and it was a quick and easy getaway from Tokyo (about 2 1/2 - 3 hours).  However, if the hotel or ryokan (Japanese inn) wasn't already fully booked, then it cost about $300+ a night to stay there (most accommodations charge by person instead of by room).  It was not a price I wanted to pay when we just arrived back from our trip to South Korea where it cost less than $400 for the whole week's accommodations (using our Starwood Preferred Guest points to stay at the Westin Chosun in Busan and staying at the Dragon Hill Lodge, a military hotel at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul)!  My friend then mentioned Fujiya Hotel having a great foreigner rate, so I looked into it.  Established in 1878, it is the oldest hotel in Japan (according the to the ads around the city), and it's celebrating its privilege of hosting many distinguished foreigners for the past 133 years.  Until July 14, 2012, there's a "Special Hospitality Plan" of $133 PER ROOM (not person) for all holders of foreign passports (the regular rates in the rooms at the Forest Lodge are between ¥26,130-32,430 per night).  Of course, there was only one night available for the time period I requested, but I still went ahead and booked it.  

Upon entering the hotel on foot,
there's a pond with koi.
We were really pleased with our decision.  From the moment you arrive, we received first-class service. It felt like a blast from the past with the architectures of the buildings (there are 6 buildings—the Main Building, Comfy Lodge, Restful Cottage, Flower Palace, Forest Lodge, and Kikka-so Inn—with their unique themes and feel of Japanese- and Victorian-styles) and bellhops' uniform.  The bellhops are so friendly and nice while they escort you to your room and brief you about the hotel amenities, such as the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, chapel, hotel onsens (private and public), spa, salon, shops, hotel museum, gardens, and greenhouse.

With the Special Hospitality Plan, the rooms are in the Forest Lodge, built in anticipation of the Tokyo Olympics, either has views of the forest or Miyanoshita and the hotel.  It is surprisingly and pleasantly spacious, which is great since we have our kids with us.  (You can also upgrade your room to another lodge.)  If you forgot something, you can probably find it in the bathroom—there's shampoo, conditioner, body soap, a hairbrush, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razor, shower cap, cotton and swabs, and a hair tie.  The water in the rooms are also piped from the local hot springs, so you can create an onsen in your bathtub!  However, beware that the bath tub barely fits one person.   I think the only other cons about our stay are that the beds and pillows aren't very comfortable and a towel was inserted into the pillowcase for one of the cribs.

Last fall, we stayed in the moderate twin room, and we had a great view of the cedar forest.  Every once in awhile, we could see the train running along the mountain.

Last week, they placed us in the superior twin room, which is a corner room.  We had a great view of Miyanoshita and the hotel.

The rooms are between 33-41 m2.  We were able to fit two cribs in our room for the 4 kids between my friend and me.  Even with the cribs in the room, there was a lot of running around space.

We tend to arrive during the middle of the afternoon with dinner only a few hours away, so we would rather rest up in the hotel instead of venturing around town.  Luckily, the gardens of the hotel are great sightseeing adventures with the kids!

Let's just say that it prepares you for hiking with the kids around town.  It is not  the stroller-friendliest city, but it's doable if you bring an umbrella stroller.  You may spend a lot of time carrying it or parking it somewhere, so pack lightly.

It was Thanksgiving weekend, and there was still a lot of green in the area.


The "Happiness Hill" where newlyweds ring the bell to announce the new chapter in their lives.

The English Garden is my favorite spot because it gives us a break to sit down and not worry about the kids falling down on any steps while they run around. 

CJ taking a break on one of the benches in the English Garden.

One of the beautiful flowers in the garden last fall.  I don't know its name, but it makes me happy and excited for spring.

At the top of the hill

I love it when the leaves turn red.

The kids using the seats as drums.


The kids were fascinated with the koi in the pond.

While we were there last fall, they had illuminations in the garden.  Who doesn't get happy seeing lit reindeer in the forest?

If you're looking for a traditional Japanese dinner, try kaiseki (multi-course) cuisine at Kikka-so Inn, which was a former imperial villa located across the street.  The food is great, but very pricey.  To be honest, any restaurant associated with the Fujiya Hotel is pricey—we spent more money on dining than a one-night stay. My husband and I love Western-style breakfast—never knew people ate things other than pancakes, eggs, waffles, cereal, etc. until we moved to Japan—and they serve a Western-style breakfast at The Fujiya in the main building of the hotel.  Want to try something different and cheaper?  There are a few restaurants just a few steps away from the hotel.  We dined at La Bazza, an Italian restaurant, where my son scarfed down a huge plate of spaghetti.  My son also scarfed down the "pulgolgi" and rice at Madam Sun, a Korean restaurant.  There is also a Chinese restaurant just a few bus stops away.  Take a bus on either the Togendai (T) or Yumoto Outlets (L) lines to Miyagino-shisho-mae.  When you get off the bus, the restaurant is across the street, and it's called Wan-Fu-Chin.  Unfortunately, they do not speak English (but they do speak Chinese), so don't forget your Japanese-English dictionary or phone with web capabilities.  With the help of Google Translate, we were able to successfully order dinner.  If you ask the staff at the front desk, they will give you a map of Miyanoshita with local restaurants and activities.

Fujiya Hotel
Phone: +81-(0)460-82-2211

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