This New Japanese Resort Offers Access to Hot Springs and Pristine Alpine Skiing

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By Julia Brenner
KAI Alps is reopening this December as a luxury hot springs ryokan (or Japanese inn) in northern Nagano, the stunning ski region nestled in the northern Japanese Alps.

Designed to be both luxurious and traditional, KAI Alps—operated by parent company Hoshino Resorts—will be opening as a two-building, 48-room concept resort that will offer guests the chance to experience pristine Alpine skiing and the rejuvenating Shinshu hot springs. 

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The resort's design is influenced by classic Japanese architecture and is intended to be a destination for après-ski respite and supreme comfort. 

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Guests can enjoy stunning Alpine views all year long, along with the luxurious experience of taking a dip in the hot springs that are native to the Shinshu countryside. Guest rooms and hot spring pools are located under natural walkways known as Gangi, which are intended to enhance the natural locale. 

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Tradition is an integral part of the relaunch of KAI Alps. For example, guests are encouraged to gather around an irori—a traditional sunken hearth—to relax and enjoy heated regional sakes and seasonal grilled bites during the evenings.   

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One of the most unique features of the resort is the outdoor courtyard area, which includes a small running stream and cherry blossoms in the warm seasons. During the winter, it's home to traditional snow domes called kamakuras.

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The reopening of KAI Alps is exciting for travelers seeking a relaxing escape to the surrounding alpine region of Nagano and for skiers and snowboarders seeking the pristine slopes of Hakuba, which are just 30 minutes away by car. The hotel even provides a complimentary shuttle service if needed. 

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