Sunday, April 14, 2024

Hotel New Century Kawaguchiko, Japan review

It was my travel bucketist to stay at a lakeside hotel at Kawaguchiko and wake up to a view of Mount Fuji. So I made it come true. The hotel I booked was New Century Kawaguchiko, one of the more affordable hotel on that side of the lake. 

After a day of gallivanting all the way to Fujiyoshida to hit the usual tourist stops for my group, we checked into New Century hotel at 3pm. As soon as we parked at the hotel lot, we were immediately greeted by their helpful staff who assisted with our luggage. Check-in was smooth with the receptionist being able to communicate in English and even told us what we can do around the area.  

Getting to our respective room in the newer building was a bit of a maze but thankfully, we weren't lugging our luggage with us. As soon as we entered, two things was apparent to us. The view of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi was worth every dime and secondly, the room was so hot on account of the sun beaming down on the room throughout the day. Immediately I got to work trying to figure out the air cooler. 

For two people, the room was enough but for three people with medium luggage, it was a bit of a squeeze but we girls made it work. The room came equipped with yukatas, obis, towels for the onsen and slippers for us to wander about the hotel in. And oh yes, there is an onsen as well. Two in fact. 

One onsen was located on the top floor of the main building while the other was on the lower floor of the new building. In the evenings, women could use the top floor onsen with a view of Mount Fuji while the men was allocated the other onsen and in the morning, vice versa. Again, on a count of my tattoos and blossoming cold, I skipped the onsen but my friend reported that she preferred the onsen at our previous hotel more - something about the ambiance. 

My other ulterior motive for booking this hotel was its proximity to a popular money shot spot of Mount Fuji. I actually stumbled upon this location by accident on my first trip to the area several years ago but this time, I knew I had to get the shot of Mount Fuji framed by glowing autumn leave in the morning and that thanks to social media, there will be many other like minded people. But I persevered.  

My hotel stay included a teishoku dinner and breakfast. We were required to inform the hotel in advance on our preferred dishes for dinner (Koshu specialty hot pot/beef sukiyaki/pork shabu-shabu /yosenabe using local wild vegetables). Both meals were extensive, rich and delicious. 

The staff were very meticulous when serving us and preparing the rice and hotpot stuff. I felt almost pampered. 

Needless to say, we were waddling back to our rooms like preggos after each meal. 

As I had booked the Japanese style room, our beds were made when we were out for dinner and when we returned, our tatami mattress were all laid out with the table pushed to the side. Despite turning on the cooler throughout, the room was still a little stuffy. My quick fix was to open up the windows although it soon got too chilly well into the night. 

I slept relatively well throughout the night and rose early to park myself at the money shot spot for 1 hour. Despite being early, there were many other photographers and people there as well. But as soon as the sun rose and hit the red leaves just right, it was a flurry for cameras going off and the Japanese uncle who had score the prime spot, offered me space to step in. I thanked him and quickly grabbed my shot before stepping away for others to do the same. It was a beautiful courtesy and a great reminder of why I love Japan. 

I found my group wandering up and down the lake shores, taking photos of the magnificent mountain before us. After that, we adjourned back to the hotel for breakfast. New Century Kawaguchiko was one of the "splurge" hotels for us. Despite the wear and tear of the building, the warmth of the staff and its location was unbeatable and I will recommend it for anyone looking for the mountain-lake view experience without needing to break the bank. Of course, if you're looking for a more upscale and luxurious hotel, the creme de la creme Ubuya is just up the road. 

Locking in the hotel on required a few months of monitoring to gauge when they would open for booking and it seemed like 3 months in advance was the sweet spot. For 1 night with dinner and breakfast, I paid RM700 per person but like I said, the view and location was just priceless. 

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