What kind of small luxury hotel is Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan?
On a snowy January weekday, I left work around 4:00 p.m., headed for Shinjuku Station, took Odakyu Romance Car, got off at Hakone-Yumoto Station, transferred to Hakone Tozan Railway, got off at Chokokunomori Station, and I called the inn to pick me up. As we approached Hakone, the whole area turned into a silver world, which was very different from the usual Hakone scenery, and I was very surprised. Yesterday’s weather forecast said that it was going to snow, so I was worried that the train might stop, but I was relieved to arrive at the Hakone Open-Air Museum station without any trouble. I just hope that the train will not stop again tomorrow. Since I was traveling alone this time, I wanted to fully enjoy my time alone, so I booked this hotel.
The Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan, where I will be staying tonight, is, as the name suggests, a unique place where you can enjoy alcohol to your heart’s content from morning until late at night.This time it snowed so I thought about canceling, but I’m glad I came. It was a wonderful place beyond my imagination.
As I got out of the pick-up car, the building looked more like an adult retreat in the woods than a hotel. By the time we arrived here, the sun had set and the area was pitch black. Check-in starts at 6:00 p.m., so it was just in time. Entering through the modern wooden automatic door, I was surprised to see a magnificent bar wooden counter with many stylish bottles of alcohol behind it and a large window overlooking the mountains of Hakone and the illuminated forest. It was after a heavy snowfall that day, so the view from here was like a huge horizontal painting, magical and dynamic. The silver world lit up and floating in the darkness of the night created a different world.
Then in front of the wooden bar counter was a wonderful fireplace surrounded by sofas and stylish contemporary art paintings on the walls. It was a pleasure to sip drinks to my heart’s content while enjoying the snowy scenery and the flickering fireplace.
A staff member led me to the bar counter and prepared a glass of champagne. There is no front desk, lobby, etc. Upon arrival, I checked in at the bar counter. After checking in with a glass of champagne, staff escorted me to my room. I stayed in a superior room on the first floor.
Upon entering the room, I found it to be spacious enough for a single person and comfortable, with easy-to-use furnishings. The complimentary minibar had champagne, beer, Coca-Cola, and soft drinks. Also available for free were potato chips, Tom Yang Kung cup noodles, nuts, and Czech Rates. The room had only a shower booth and no bathtub. A yukata and black one-piece dresse for women were provided, but I stayed in my yukata and haori jacket. While the room was relaxing enough, I spent most of our stay either at the bar on the first floor or in the lounge on the second floor.
Overall, the place was very romantic and stylish with black everywhere. Indirect lighting was designed into every detail of the bar, corridors, rooms, hot springs, and the trees seen from the windows, making for a creative space. In addition, paintings depicting the bar and alcohol motifs were displayed everywhere, making it a pleasure to move around the hotel.
First, before enjoying a drink at the bar, I headed to the communal hot spring baths to warm up our bodies, which were completely chilled after moving through the snow. There are stylish communal outdoor and indoor hot spring baths. The snowy landscape from the outdoor bath was lit up and made for a wonderful view, but it was too cold outside, so I just watched it while warming up in the indoor bath. The spring water was very moist to the touch.
Then I went to the bar I had been waiting for. First, I had a glass of champagne and an appetizer to quench my thirst. Then, while sipping champagne, I looked at the menu and found that in addition to champagne, there were a variety of other drinks available, including wine, whiskey, gin, cocktails, and Japanese sake, etc. Moreover, with the exception of a few drinks, over 300 drinks are available free of charge, making this place a paradise for drinkers. To my surprise, there was an array of alcoholic that I had never seen before.
The comfortable chairs, two by two, were placed at the 13-meter long one-piece wooden bar counter, each with a different design. The space between the seats next to each other was also quite wide, making it a luxurious space.
Then I especially liked the carefully made cocktails. The cocktails were named after the main characters in famous movies. For example, Got father, James Bond martini, Charlie Chaplin, and so on. If you ask for a cocktail other than the ones listed on the menu, the bartender will make it for you. Also, the hotel does not serve dinner. However, they do serve snacks at the bar. For example, tomato caprese, five cheese platter, ham and salami platter, bagna cauda, beef curry, french fries, sausages, roast beef, etc. Basically, you need to pay for everything except drinks. I had the beef curry and cheese here. Alternatively, there is an affiliated teppanyaki restaurant called Itoh Dining nearby, and the staff will drive you there. When I stayed here, check-in time was 6:00 p.m., so many guests seemed to come after having dinner.
Then after listening to pleasant music, admiring the lit-up snowy landscape, sipping a variety of beautiful cocktails, and getting moderately drunk, I decided to move to the lounge on the second floor. There was another very nice lounge, in contrast to the bar on the first floor, which was very sophisticated, with ornamental plants here and there. This lounge also had champagne, wine, beer, sangria, gin, liqueurs, snacks, and cup noodles available for self-service and free of charge at all times. A variety of gins, displayed on the stylish white walls, are also at your disposal. Tables and sofas were arranged along the large windows. Each sofa had a different design, so it was hard to decide which seat to take. There were a few people working on their computers here and there. I decided to sit here for a while, drinking a glass of wine and reading a book I had wanted to read for a long time. Then I realized that it was past 10 p.m., so I went back to the bar and had just one glass of brandy for a nightcap before returning to my room. When I returned to my room, most of the guests were still in the bar and lounge. This is a place where you really want to stay up late, but I got up before 6:00 this morning and I was already at my limit.
The next day, I woke up a little early and watched the dawn break from the window of my room while drinking a cup of coffee. Watching the dawn break and being healed by the great outdoors was one of the pleasures of the trip. After 7:00 a.m., the sky gradually became brighter and clearer, and a clear blue sky came into view.
Then I changed into a yukata and decided to go to the communal hot spring baths on B1 again. I did not see anyone using the communal baths in the morning. The bar is open until 26:00, so it seems that there are many guests who drink until late and wake up late in the morning to have brunch. I went to the lounge on the second floor where breakfast was available after 9:00.
Breakfast was buffet style, all delicious Japanese-French. Wine, champagne, non-alcoholic champagne, and non-alcoholic cider were also available free of charge in the morning. It is a very complete service. Truffle croquette, scallops au gratin, steamed abalone, vegetable quiche, prosciutto melon, blinis with sea urchin, bonito salad, homemade sausage, salmon meuniere, corn soup, chestnut tiramisu, ricotta cheese mousse, etc. were on the buffet. Not a huge variety, but all the dishes were delicious and perfect with champagne or wine. In addition to the buffet, you can order a galette for your main course. From the counter seats, we could see the snow-covered mountains of Hakone. I was so happy to be able to enjoy the wonderful buffet in the morning while gazing at the silver world spread out under the blue sky. I found myself relaxing here for more than an hour. After breakfast, I went to the bar on 1F, which had a nice open setting, quite different from the evening.
Since check-out time is 2:00 p.m., I was planning to relax in the communal hot spring bath and lounge until then, but thick clouds appeared around 10:00 a.m., and I thought the trains might stop due to heavy snow, so I checked out at 10:30 a.m. while drinking an original cocktail at the bar counter, and asked the staff to take me to chokoku no mori station. The weather is the only thing I can’t control.
The only drawback I can think of is that only one of the 21 rooms has a private hot spring. However, that may be enough, since you can use the private family hot spring bath with a wonderful minibar for a fee. It was really a great place for me, all things considered. Then, they do not allow people under 20 years old to stay here, so it is not suitable for families.
Is the location easy to access?
Yes, it would be easy. A free shuttle service is available from Chokokunomori Station. You need to book it in advance. Alternatively, it is a 25-minute cab ride from Hakone-Yumoto Station. Cab fare is about 5,000 yen. The day I visited was after a snowfall, so there were no cabs at the cab stand, so I ended up taking Hakone Tozan Railway.
Due to the effects of Typhoon 19, the Hakone Tozan Line between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora Station is under a long-term suspension. During this period of suspension, bus transfers and Rail Replacement bus services will be operating between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations. It will be restored in late July 2020. Refer to the info. The Hakone Tozan Line has restarted since the 23rd of July, 2020.
Alternatively, you can take an Izu Hakone Bus or Hakone Tozan Bus from Hakone Yumoto Station or Odawara Station. Then get off at Horaien Bus Stop and just a 5min walk from the bus stop to the property. If this is your first visit to Hakone, you may be worried about where you should get off so you may want to show the below Japanese sentence to a bus driver when you get on a bus. Then you wouldn’t miss the bus stop even if you fall asleep.
Please let me know when you reach “Horaien Bus Stop”.
If you are still unsure about the above access information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the space below.
Where is the best accommodation for anniversaries in Hakone?
If you are looking for a nice place for a special occasion, the property would be one of the best in Hakone. The staff arranges cakes to celebrate an anniversary at additional charges if you request in advance.
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How about rooms?
There are no elevators in the building, so you will need to take the stairs. If you want to frequent the bar, a room on the first floor is convenient; if you want to frequent the lounge on the second floor, a room on the second floor is convenient. By the way, the main bathrooms are on the first basement floor. Only one room with a private hot spring bath is available as a suite.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, yukatas, one-piece dress for women, a coffee machine with capsules, snacks, cup noodles, tea bags, a complimentary mini-bar including beer, champaign, wine, etc. There are skincare amenities in the bathroom. Also, a CD player, Bluetooth, and a DVD player were placed in our room. Room service is not available. The free Wifi reception was excellent. There is a convenience store nearby.
How about In-house Facilities?
There are two communal outdoor and indoor hot spirng baths: spa Kazan has an indoor bath, an outdoor bath, a sauna, and a cold water bath. Spa Hinoki has only an indoor hot spring bath, but as the name suggests, it was fragrant with the scent of Japanese cypress.
Also, there are two family private hot spring baths with saunas. You need to book them in advance and they cost 10,000JPY for 90min. It’s open from 6:00-27:00. A complimentary minibar including champagne, wine, beer, Japanese sake is available.
*Guests with tattoos may not be allowed to use the communal hot spring baths. Please use the private family baths instead.
Then the property is not a universal design. There is no lift. Wheelchairs are not available for borrowing. I wouldn’t recommend it if you bring people with weak legs.
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How about meals?
As noted above, the Japanese-French buffet breakfast was excellent. Breakfast hours are 9:00-12:00.
The staff were all sophisticated. If you expect 5-star hotel service, this is the place to stay. If you want to relax with a drink in a lush natural setting, it is well worth staying here. Enjoy being completely lazy.
Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan from the below space. Check Availability and Pricing for the hotel on Booking.com
Info about Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan
|Style||Small Luxury Hotel|
|Check-in and out times
|Estimated Price||80,000 JPY for 2 adults per room|
|Internet Connection||Free WiFi in the hotel|
|Facility Information||Wheelchairs are not available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
|Location||Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan’s MAP|
|Access||Free pick-up service
from Chokokunomori Station
|Address and TEL||
|Official Homepage||Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan’s HP|
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.