Where to stay in the Mt Fuji area of Japan
October 7, 2015 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Myself, my wife, and our 3-year-old daughter will be traveling in Japan in late October/early November, and we're interested in spending 2 nights in natural surroundings. The Mt Fuji area, specifically Hakone, is the leading candidate, but many of the ryokans are either booked or don't allow small children. Any advice on specific places to stay or alternative/similar destinations?

We were mostly interested in staying in a 'luxury' type ryokan, except that it turns out many (most?) of them don't allow small children. So, if you know of a specific place in the Hakone area that was a) nice and b) is ok for kids, we would love to know about it.

However, we aren't married to the idea of staying in Hakone specifically; it just seemed like a nice place to absorb the scenery, and we were interested in seeing (not climbing) Mt Fuji. Some other destination with nice scenery, onsens, etc would also be ok, especially if you can suggest a nice place to sleep.
posted by Maximian to Travel & Transportation around Japan (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There should be any number of luxury ryokan that accept children. I've stayed at many, many upscale ryokan with my kids and it's never ever been a problem.

That said, Hakone is going to be busy at this time of year. There are tons and tons and tons of non-Japanese tourists in Japan these days, and Hakone and Mount Fuji are very popular destinations.

In terms of alternate destinations, how much time are you willing to spend on the bullet train?
posted by Nevin at 5:45 PM on October 7, 2015

Mt. Fuji is off-season and you can't climb it now anyways...

Have you tried calling Mikawaya Ryokan? Their Japanese site says they welcome babies and small children, and they still seem to have rooms available in your time frame. I've never stayed there before but I've passed by it and it seems nice.

It's also located close to the Yunessan, which is like an indoor pool/spa facility that has all kinds of different crazy baths (green tea, wine...) that would definitely be lots of fun for a three-year-old.

Have fun, Hakone is wonderful this time of year!
posted by misozaki at 5:51 PM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: In terms of alternate destinations, how much time are you willing to spend on the bullet train?

I'm not sure. Depends on the destination. What did you have in mind?
posted by Maximian at 7:58 PM on October 7, 2015

In 3 hours you could reach a hot spring in Nagano or Niigata or Toyama & Ishikawa. In 3 hours you could also reach a hot spring in Miyagi or Yamagata. You could probably even get to a hot spring in Gifu.

I'm kind of thinking that places near Tokyo like Hakone or Shuzenji in Izu are going to be pretty packed with both local and non-Japanese tourists. If you go a little off the beaten track you will only be competing with Japanese (domestic) tourists.

As I said before, most spas should be pleased to accommodate children, although the challenge I think is what to feed them. The higher-end places have set (gourmet) meals and *may* not have a menu for children.
posted by Nevin at 8:37 AM on October 8, 2015

Tossing in a few more links for the sake of posterity:

Hakone Ryokan List by the local spa association.

Japanican hotel finder by JTB.

Japan Traveler Online by Kintetsu International.

Nippon Travel Agency hotel search.
posted by misozaki at 1:58 AM on October 9, 2015

You can't forget about Japanese Guest Houses. They'll reserve it for you. They should indicate it on the website, or you could ask them to ask the ryokan. For instance, this one allows children under 12 and is at least 30,000 yen a night.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:41 AM on October 9, 2015

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