Welcome to Restful Inn SAWAEMON
Standing on the Lake Shirakaba plateau in Nagano Prefecture, almost the center of Japan, SAWAEMON is a traditional Japanese-style inn that blends into the grasslands and, being surrounded by ski slopes in winter, is extremely convenient for skiers. Open-air baths from which to admire the spectacular scenery spread before your eyes, Japanese-style rooms with tranquil antechambers, and kaiseki course meals reflecting each of the four seasons—relax and enjoy a leisurely time on this cool plateau rising 1,600 m above sea level.
Relaxation and healing begins the moment the sliding door to the entrance opens. Here begins a “Japanese-modern” style atmosphere created with walls containing straw, wooden sliding screens, and pillars and beams that are made of timbers over 100 years old. The Check-in Counter is made from 200-year-old Japanese horse-chestnut; hospitality is served at tables made from 1,500-year old Yakushima cedar, and all 8 of the guest rooms have an antechamber with its own individual style. The inn’s greatest attractions are the reservable open-air baths with spectacular views, allowing guest to gaze at Tateshina’s majestic mountains as they relax in the soothing water. Another of the inn’s attractions is the unique hokutolite hot stone spa, which can be expected to provide beauty effects and invigorate the cells.
Guest room guide
All guest rooms comprise a main room and antechamber where guests can relax and enjoy themselves as they please.
There are only 8 guest rooms in total. All rooms are spacious, with an antechamber and main room with its own individual features—one room with a sunken floor heater, another with a king-sized bed, yet another with a hearth. There are even rooms with their own cave baths attached, enabling guests to enjoy private bathing in their own mystical space.
Hot springs guide
SAWAEMON boasts 2 open-air hot-spring baths that can be reserved for private bathing.
The spectacular views from the two open-air baths, encircled with enormous rocks, are uniquely breathtaking. During the day, enjoy the beautiful landscape of Kurumayama and the mountains along the Venus Line in the distance, with the Utsukushigahara Highlands beyond, while at nighttime savor the luxuriously hot spring bathwater while gazing at the twinkling stars. There are separate indoor baths for men and women that are always open.
With open spaces with breathtaking views and private room-like spaces, enjoy seasonal blessings that only the nature-rich Shinshu region can provide.
Beginning with renowned Kamo-Nabe (Duck Stew) and stone-grilled top-grade beef, SAWAEMON serves a variety of dishes made with fresh highland vegetables from the inn’s home garden and seasonal wild plants. Guests can also enjoy dishes featuring char raised in Tateshina’s clear waters, as well as Shinshu salmon sashimi.
SAWAEMON—Restful Inn at Tateshina/Lake Shirakaba
3424 Kitayama, Chino City, Nagano Prefecture. 391-0301
For visitors travelling by train
Approx. 3 hours from Haneda Airport / 5 hours from Narita International Airport
Approx. 5 hours from Chubu Centrair International Airport
For visitors travelling by car
Search for “SAWAEMON” using Google Maps or iOS Map apps, confirming that the address is 3424 Kitayama, Chino City, Nagano Prefecture, before proceeding.
*Alternatively, enter the above address into the app.
- Venus Line 6 minutes Stretching 76 km, the Venus Line is one of the Shinshu region’s representative scenic drives. It is so named because the shape of Mt. Tateshina, around which the route travels, is likened to a goddess. more
- Kitayatsugatake Ropeway 20 minutes Located at the northern edge of Yatsugatake, this aerial lift rises 466 m from Mt. Kitayokodake to Mt. Shimagareyama. During the thrilling 7-minute ride, savor the journey through the sky while gazing at the ever-changing mountain scenery before your eyes.
- Suwa Grand Shrine Upper Shrine 45 minutes With some 10,000 branch shrines nationwide, Suwa Grand Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest shrines and has four complexes within the area surrounding Lake Suwa, the two upper shrines of Maemiya and Honmiya, and the two lower shrines of Harumiya and Akimiya. Located in the Suwa region, the area features various historical shrines, such as the Suwa Grand Shrine, and post-town townscapes that have been preserved.
- Matsumoto Castle 80 minutes Matsumoto Castle had its beginnings in Fukashi Castle, which was constructed during the Eisho era (1504–1521) of the Warring States period. With its five-tier, six-story tower being the oldest of its kind remaining in Japan, Matsumoto Castle is designated as a National Treasure. The castle’s black exterior contrasts with the white of the Alps rising behind, creating a magnificent landscape. more
- Karuizawa 90 minutes Karuizawa is a resort town in a mountainous area near Nagano Prefecture. Located in the center of the town’s old district, Old Karuizawa features a shopping area exclusively for pedestrians. more
- Kamikochi 120 minutes Part of the Chubu-Sangaku National Park, Kamikochi is located in the western area of Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture. Due to the beauty of Kamikochi’s mountain scenery, the entire area is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and a Special National Monument. more
- Zenkoji Temple 120 minutes This representative Japanese temple has a history spanning some 1,400 years. The temple’s principal image is a statue of Amida Nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata) that is said to be the oldest Buddhist statue in Japan. Through the temple solicitation activities of Zenkoji-hijiri proselytizers and degaicho (public exhibitions of sacred temple icons not ordinarily on public display), Zenkoji temple became so famous that by the end of the Edo Period (late 1860s), it was said that a person “Must visit Zenkoji Temple at least once in their lifetime”. more
- Kurobe Dam 140 minutes Boasting the greatest height of any dam in Japan, Kurobe Dam is also one of the world’s largest arch dome overflow dams. The powerful discharging of water for sightseers is a definite must-see.
- Jigokudani Monkey Park 150 minutes These are the only monkeys in the world who enjoy soaking in hot spring baths. At this nature park you can observe the fascinating ecology of Japanese macaques up close. more
Overview of facilities
|Guest rooms||8 rooms (Japanese style)|
|Car park||13 parking spaces for standard-sized cars (free)|
|Inn facilities/amenities||Lounge, ice machine, hand towels, bath towels, toothbrushes/toothpaste, shampoo (including all-in-one shampoo/conditioner), conditioner, body soap, soap, yukata (summer kimono/sleepwear), pajamas, bathrobes, hairdryers, duvets, shavers, shower caps, cotton buds, bidet-toilet, hairbrushes|
|Services, leisure activities|
|Rental skis (fee applies), rental snowboards (fee applies), rental bicycles (fee applies), golf (fee applies), putter golf (fee applies), fishing (fee applies), paragliding (fee applies), horse-riding (fee applies), soba noodle-making (fee applies)|
|Check-in||15:00 – *If a guest's accommodation plan specifies a check-in time, that time shall take precedence.|