Karuizawa lies at the base of Mt. Asama, an active volcano that is easily scaled and perfectly safe. In the heart of this idyllic setting lies Hoshinoya Karuizawa, a resort that successfully marries traditional Japanese culture with modern comfort.
In early autumn, you would find many of the charms you’d expect of a traditional Japanese ryokan (Japanese inn).
Hoshinoya Karuizawa is Japan’s first eco (green) resort as well: It generates as much as 70% of its own energy, much of it from the hot spring’s geothermal heat.
But regardless of the season, as you stroll back to your villa each night at twilight, cooling from the onsen, you can witness a romantic and somewhat anachronistic scene: Boatmen float along the resort’s central pond, laboriously lighting each of the 22 floating paper candle lanterns by hand. Their twinkling lights stay alight for several hours, reflecting their beauty on the water’s calm, mirror-like surface, until all but the staff's night shift has drifted off in a blissful sleep.