Asama Onsen, Nagano, Japan

Kai Matsumoto is a hot spring ryokan fed by the waters of Asama Hot Spring, which was popular with feudal lords who once occupied nearby Matsumoto Castle. Reflecting Matsumoto’s thriving music scene, concerts are held nightly in the ryokan lobby, where regional wines are also served.

The architecture is very unique and easy recognizable because of its unusual and very attractive towers. The lobby is quite imposing, combining reception desk, bar and shop, and in the evenings it is also used as a concert hall.

Despite its modern appearance, the hotel is essentially an authentic ryokan. The moment you step out of the lift to go to your room, you start to appreciate the ambiance, with wood everywhere and a succession of sliding doors that provide privacy.

All the rooms are furnished in accordance with the codes of Japanese interior design, with restraint and simplicity. Tatami mats cover the floors, and a low table and two seats are the only furniture, leaving room for a futon mattress at night.

Located 2.5 hours by train from Tokyo, Matsumoto is a city located in central Japan, in the Nagano Prefecture, well known for having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998. Matsumoto is famous not only for its music festival, but also for its many restaurants specialized in soba, noodles made with buckwheat, a widely-grown crop in this region.

Go to JR Matsumoto station then take a taxi to Kai Matsumoto.

The spacious, tatami-matted rooms have classic Japanese interiors decorated with regional craft artworks, such as paper sliding doors with patterns transferred from ink swirls on a surface of water. Some rooms offer outdoor baths and views of the Japanese Alps.
Japanese Suite with Outdoor Bath and Garden

Capacity: 1 – 4 people
Size: 60 sqm

Japanese Suite with Outdoor Bath

Capacity: 1 – 4 people
Size: 60 – 70 sqm

Japanese Suite with Sauna and Terrace

Capacity: 1 – 4 people
Size: 120 sqm

Japanese Suite for 4

Capacity: 1 – 4 people
Size: 45 – 70 sqm


Kai Matsumoto is located in Shinshu, a mountainous region known for its rich soil and water. High-quality ingredients produced in this ideal environment are prepared into aesthetically pleasing dishes that pair well with wines produced throughout the region.

Dinners consist of multi-course kaiseki meals that include visually pleasing dishes made with seasonal ingredients. Locally sourced salmon, chicken, and mushrooms, steamed on a magnolia leaf with a regionally produced miso paste, is served with a variety of smaller dishes in this set meal.

The restaurant is divided into small private dining rooms, each furnished like a traditional Japanese home, with table in the centre under which all the diners slide their feet.


Asama Hot Spring produces waters that are gentle on the skin. At Kai Matsumoto, these waters feed into eight types of bath, including outdoor and indoor baths, baths designed to allow bathers to comfortably lie back, and cypress-scented steam baths.

The hotel is clearly an ideal place for rest and relaxation, notably with its two onsens, those famous traditional baths widely appreciated for the health benefits of their thermal waters. The resort has indoor and outdoor baths, as well as a sauna where you could relax yourself in a very peaceful way.

Live music

Jazz and classical music concerts are held in the lobby every night.

Matsumoto has a long history as a city of music—even today, it hosts a summer festival organized by renowned maestro Seiji Ozawa. The town is alive with music and performers, and Kai Matsumoto pays homage to the city by organizing with most of these performers nightly concerts in the ryokan’s lobby, a cavernous space with excellent acoustics.

In fact, a one-hour concert is proposed for the residents each evening, with virtuoso duets – piano and flute, or violin and piano – playing in perfect symbiosis. Pieces from both the classical and the contemporary repertoire are performed with grace to add a unique touch to your evenings.

These concerts are also an opportunity to sample the wine bar, and enjoy a glass of wine, champagne or whisky as you listen to the melodies.

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle is located in the centre of Japan, in the Nagano prefecture. It is known as “Crow Castle”, as a reference to its black roofs and walls, and is listed among Japan’s national treasures. Built more than 400 years ago during the Eisho period, Matsumoto Castle has become a National Treasure and considered as the oldest castle with this type of structure still standing in Japan.

Matsumoto Castle stands out because it was built on a plain, unlike most castles which are usually built on hills or mountains. Its architectural characteristics appears as very specific because of the complexity of connecting passages between keep and towers, making the castle absolutely unique in Japan. The castle is about 15 minutes from Kai Matsumoto, and should be included on your schedule of places to visit.

During the tour you will see, displayed in glass cases, guns and various other weapons in use at the time, but the main attraction for visitors is at the top of the main tower.

After climbing the very steep staircase, the views across the Japan Alps are absolutely magnificent, as are those over the city and the castle gardens. The landscape is especially beautiful in April, when the cherry trees are in blossom.



$470 $423/night

Rates vary according to seasonality. Contact us to discuss your holiday needs.


Staying with us
  • Travel concierge: We listen to help you plan
  • For big villas and chalets, special rates for smaller groups (reduced occupancy)
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Planning your luxury holiday, we are with you every step along the way.
If the villa of your choice is already booked, our team is happy to suggest equivalent alternatives and take care of the details. You can expect your vacation to be personalized to suit your tastes.
Private, insured, direct airport transfers to and from the villa can be arranged. A villa manager will meet and greet you at the airport ensuring your transfer to the villa is smooth and effortless.
Private tours and boat hire can also be arranged in advance. We will handle the arrangements to collect and return you to your villa after the event. Why not enjoy a fabulous day out and explore the surrounding islands and national marine park on a luxury speed boat?
Book a car with us and have it waiting at your villa when you arrive, we have a wide range of vehicles from a 2 seat Suzuki Jeep to a 7 seat Toyota Fortuner. Price includes comprehensive insurance, unlimited miles, collection and delivery, and optional baby and booster seats.
Prior to your arrival we will send you a food and wine shopping list allowing us to stock the villa with your favorite foods and beverages.
Once on site, your resident villa staff will ensure the villa is kept clean and tidy. Your villa manager is available to cater to guests’ specific needs and can help organize island activities, massage and spa treatments, as well as helping communicate requests to the Thai chef and dealing with any matter arising at the villa. Bed linen is changed every third day and towels are changed as necessary. Pool towels are provided and replenished as deemed necessary.
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