KAI Kawaji is a riverside hot spring ryokan that pays homage to pastoral Japanese scenery, with an entryway that passes right under a traditional row house and a watermill located on the premises. Large windows offer scenic views of nearby hills and a river that runs past the ryokan’s outdoor baths, while the traditional kaiseki dinners highlight unique Tochigi cuisine and the cultural activities offer an inside look at the customs of the past.
At KAI Kawaji, each room is decorated with paper ornamentation made from locally sourced Yashu hemp, with a different seasonal motif that recalls Japan’s pastoral landscapes.
Meals are enjoyed in semi-private booths, where guests are served dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients, such as river fish and konjac—a type of yam that is grated and then jellied to create a local delicacy.
Located between the men’s and women’s bath halls the Yugari lounge provides complimentary cold tea and refreshing local beverages that allow guests to cool off after a dip in the baths.
Spacious indoor bath halls and two riverside outdoor baths fed by Kawaji Hot Spring—known for its waters’ skin healing effects—provide the perfect location to comfortably enjoy the vibrant surrounding scenery, which changes dramatically through the seasons.
Every KAI establishment offers a selection of free activities designed to introduce guests to Japan’s regional cultures. At KAI Kawaji, guests are invited to learn about the creative innovations that the Japanese developed in the past to make life comfortable even in the deepest mountains, such as rotary querns and hibachi braziers.
Soybean flour grinding – guests are invited to use a small rotary quern to grind a variety of soybeans—red and green, small and large—into a flavorful flour called kinako, which is used in Japanese confectionery.
Washi Paper workshop – this workshop involves making paper from unusual materials, such as fall leaves picked from the ryokan courtyard. The final product makes a perfect souvenir.
Water mill tour – this tour introduces guests to the mechanisms of traditional water mills, which were once used in Japan to scoop up water for irrigating rice fields, husking grains, and turning querns, through a rare inside view.
A riverside hot spring ryokan that pays homage to pastoral Japanese scenery
Hoshino Resorts KAI Kawaji
Hot spring ryokan Japan
22 Kawaji, Kawaji-onsen,
Nikko-shi, Tochigi 321-2611,