Japan's Hot Springs: Kai Aso, Oita Prefecture
Kai Aso Resort 界阿蘇
The Hoshino company has its roots in a Japanese inn opened in Karuizawa in 1904, the present-day flagship of the group, Hoshinoya and now has accommodations in Arashiyama in Kyoto, on Taketomi Island in Okinawa, in the Japanese Alps in Nagano Prefecture, in Tamatsukuri in the Izumo region of Shimane, Atami, Hakone, Ito in Shizuoka, Kaga Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanzanji on Lake Hamana in Hamamatsu and also the Risonare Yatsugatake in Yamanashi.
Hoshino accommodations maintain something of a sense of intimacy by having less than 50 rooms, and offer delicious, multi-course kaiseki cuisine in the evening and traditional Japanese breakfasts in superb natural surroundings.
Facilities at Kai Aso
Each of the spacious villas at Kai Aso has its own outdoor private hot spring tub as well as an indoor bath and shower.
The finely-decorated rooms in either Western or Japanese tatami-floor style have a large lounge and bedroom with two double beds (also with a futon room in the Japanese-style suites) and include WiFi access, humidifier, TV and CD/DVD player.
The Kai Aso Ryokan boasts a Yaki-imo Lounge where visitors can enjoy local yams washed down with Kyushu's famed shochu or Jersey milk, while admiring the night sky. The Library Lounge is a relaxing space to sit and read.
Kai Aso also provides excursions for guests staying longer than one night including trips to nearby Kurokawa Onsen, horse riding on Mt. Aso, a region known for its horses and horse meat, and an evening walk to see the summer fireflies at Ikeyama spring.
Cuisine at Kai Aso
One of the delights at staying at a Hoshino Resort is the excellence of the cuisine, superbly cooked and presented by top class chefs. The menus are seasonal and source local produce.
Kai Aso offers such local delicacies as basashi - raw horse meat, smoked duck, yuba, sashimi raw fish according to the season, tempura, soup, shabu-shabu and a mouth-watering selection of desserts.
The traditional Japanese breakfasts include milk from Mt. Ubu, fresh local fruits in season, freshly steamed rice and miso soup.
Access - Getting to Kai Aso
628-6 Senomoto, Yutsubo, Kokonoe-cho
Kusu-gun, Oita, 879-4912
Tel: 050 3786 0099
There is a shuttle bus service to Kai Aso from and to Kumamoto Airport which takes 70 minutes. If you are arriving by train, the nearest connections are Beppu and Oita stations, both with car rental options.
Kai Aso is off National Highway 40. There is also a shuttle bus service once a day from Kurokawa Onsen (2 hours, 30 minutes) to Kai Aso.
Japanese Bath Products
Purchase a range of wooden Japanese bath products made from the finest Japanese wood including original bath buckets, chairs and soap basins to give your bathroom that Japanese hot spring onsen feel.