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5 Popular Starry Night Hotels in Japan for Stargazing

5 Popular Starry Night Hotels in Japan for Stargazing

Date published: 1 March 2022

There is something special about a hotel stay. Top this off with a sky full of stars to harness that true escapism, and you’ve got a real holiday to remember. Whether with family, friends, solo, or that special someone, everyone loves to look up and witness a sky full of stars. Have the best holiday or date ever by leaving normal life and stargazing together.

And, thanks to Rakuten’s Top Starry Night Hotel ranking released in December 2021, you won’t even need to guess at which hotels you’ll get the best view from! We’ve detailed the top five below, in order of popularity.

Main Image Courtesy of Yatsugatake Grace Hotel

1. Yatsugatake Grace Hotel (Nagano)

1. Yatsugatake Grace Hotel (Nagano)
A front-row seat to the star display at Yatsugatake Grace Hotel (Image courtesy of Yatsugatake Grace Hotel)

Located in Nagano Prefecture, Yatsugatake Grace Hotel is one of the highest hotels on the list, at 1,300m above sea level. From beginner stargazer to pro, you can gaze up at the starry night skies, guided by expert stargazer staff. Sit back and relax as they point out top constellations, from Orion’s Belt through to Leo and Aquarius. In fact, the location of Yatsugatake Grace Hotel is so good for stargazing that the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) Nobeyama radio observatory is a mere 6-minute drive away.

Images courtesy of Yatsugatake Grace Hotel

The Yatsugatake hosts star-gazing events all year round, such as the Valentine’s Day starry night party - perfect for lovers and close friends alike! The hotel has a planetarium onsite, which means that even if it is raining or the weather isn’t prime for stargazing outdoors, you are still able to enjoy a starry night in comfort.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Social distancing measures in place - Staff wear masks - Ventilation measures in place - Installation of air disinfectors - Enhanced disinfection of frequently touched areas

2. Ōedo Onsen Monogatari Kimitsu no Mori (Chiba)

2. Ōedo Onsen Monogatari Kimitsu no Mori (Chiba)
Outdoor bathing amongst the stars at Ōedo Onsen Monogatari Kimitsu no Mori (Image Source: PR Times)

In second place is Ōedo Onsen Monogatari Kimitsu no Mori, quietly nestled on a hilltop near the center of the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, close to Tokyo. Ōedo Onsen Monogatari Kimitsu no Mori has an abundance of artificial hot springs, and its location - high up in the beautiful Japanese countryside - means reduced light pollution and more chances for stargazing.

Relax in the warm open-air baths at night, admiring the stars in tranquil surroundings. Why not time your visit with the moon tides, to spot a full moon from one of their mineral-rich springs?

Images Courtesy of Ōedo Onsen Monogatari Kimitsu no Mori Hotel

According to Rakuten Travel, this particular hotel is particularly popular with families living in Tokyo. With something to please the whole family, from a game corner to karaoke booths and shogi chess tables, young children through to grandparents will be more than satisfied!

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Masks required/temperature check enforced - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Social distancing measures in place - Staff wear masks, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature

  • Ōedo Onsen Monogatari Kimitsu no Mori Hotel Resort
    大江戸温泉物語 君津の森
    • Address 384-119 Hogi, Kimitsu, Chiba 292-1144
    • Phone Number 0570-011-264
    • Official website: https://kimitsu.ooedoonsen.jp/

3. Otogitei-Kofu Hotel (Nagano)

3. Otogitei-Kofu Hotel (Nagano)
Star-gazing at Otogitei-Kofu Hotel (Image courtesy of Otogitei-Kofu Hotel)

Coming in a close third is Otogitei-Kofu Hotel in Achi Village, Nagano, which runs popular star-gazing tours throughout the year. Otogitei-Kofu is officially counted as one of the best places to stargaze in Japan by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. The hotel is a firm favorite among star-crossed lovers - according to the Rakuten survey, the majority of guests visited in couples. Guests can head over to gaze at the stars, whether on the official tour or through one of the hotel’s own telescopes.

Images courtesy of Otogitei-Kofu Hotel

The hotel’s official pre-booked star tour, available only in Japanese for the time being, covers all the bases for star fans, featuring a ride to the site in your own private booth on the hotel’s ropeway, which runs for 2,500m, followed by a relaxing guided star-gaze. On a clear night, punters will be surrounded by fantastically starry skies as a local stargazer talks through the constellations to be seen. Loan some binoculars for a closer look, or simply appreciate the starry night as it is. Gaze at the galaxies that can be seen clearly from an unrivaled vantage point.

Guests who fancy a mellow stargazing experience will be able to stargaze from the outdoor bath, kept softly lit in order to fully experience the starry skies overhead.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Masks required/temperature check enforced - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature

  • Otogitei-Kofu Hotel
    おとぎ亭光風
    • Address 490 Chisato, Achi-mura, Shimoina-gun, Nagano 395-0304
    • Phone Number 0265-43-3211

4. Hakonenomori Okada Hotel (Kanagawa)

4. Hakonenomori Okada Hotel (Kanagawa)
Nighttime bathing at Hakonenomori Okada Hotel (Image courtesy of Hakonenomori Okada)

In fourth place is Hakonenomori Okada hotel, a short 100-minute trip away from Japan’s capital, in neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture. Located at one of the highest points of the famous Hakone Onsen village, the sky stretches for miles around. Experience the vast skies from the guest rooms or even from the hotel swimming pool.

The hot springs at Okada are plentiful, with many located outside, meaning that stargazing from a bath is practically a given. In fact, the standard rooms at Okada even come with their own foot baths located on the veranda, so guests can look out at the stars whilst warming their feet from the comfort of their own room. Talk about indulging yourself!

Images courtesy of Hakonenomori Okada

Hakonenomori Okada is located only 3km from Kanagawa Prefectural Science Museum of Natural History, meaning that science buffs can get their science fix easily. With stargazing at night and a trip to the local science museum during the day, the itinerary is already planned.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Masks required - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature

5. Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel (Fukushima)

5. Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel (Fukushima)
Take a Starry Night Snow Shoe Tour at the Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel (Image courtesy of Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel)

Coming in at number five is the Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel in Fukushima. The area is known first and foremost for its snowy slopes in winter and clear skies.

Urabandai Grandeco makes the most of this by running starry night tours year round, including a Starry Night Snow Shoe Tour throughout winter. Come summer and the pool is open until midnight, meaning that you can stargaze whilst taking a dip.

Images courtesy of Urabandai Grandeco Tokyu Hotel

At the Urabandai Grandeco, the food is exquisite, as guests are treated to a menu featuring French, Japanese and Western-style cuisine, both for the buffet breakfast (included in most starry night plans) and the dinner. Sit in the restaurant and admire the night skies from your table, before heading outside to get into nature and experience all the stars.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Masks required - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Staff wear masks, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature

There is nothing like looking up to find a whole galaxy visible overhead and with these top-rated hotels—it’s practically a given. Let us know if you’ve been anywhere that has surprised you with its amount of stars! For a holiday to remember, make sure to get starry skies in there, too.

Source: PR Times
(Refer to the source for more information on the survey details)


Written by: Kim Kahan

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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