Situated merely 2 hours from Tokyo, a trip to Mt. Fuji can be completed within a day by leaving from Tokyo early in the morning and return in the evening. Yet somehow, my conscience told me otherwise, that I had to stay overnight in the area. If staying in a mountain view room and having onsen (hot spring) facing the mountain are my wildest dreams, I had to make it happen there no matter what.
I had to loosen up my budget too, leaving my comfort zone in that sense, by not staying in a budget hostel like what I normally do. There’s always an extra cost for the sake of panoramic view, I got it.
Having stumbled upon several different websites, I finally booked Mizno Hotel on Booking.com because it was the most affordable rate I could get for a mountain view room. Although the location is not exactly right in the lakeshore of Lake Kawaguchi, but on the hilltop behind other hotels before it, the lake view and Mt. Fuji are not blocked by those properties nearby. That’s what matters the most.
It was about $150 per night, non-smoking twin bed room with private bathroom. And I hope it’s worth it just like all the testimonials I read. The good news is Ollie agreed to give a shot.
Another good news is that the there’s a shuttle service that picks you up from Fuji Kawaguchiko station if you inform the hotel upon arrival. In our case, the chauffeur picked us up from Yuransen Ropeway Iriguchi Station, situated 3 stops from Kawaguchiko Station. It helped us to save some money and energy, especially passing the inclined route to the hotel on foot could be exhausting.
A homey mansion was the feeling I got when I entered Mizuno Hotel lobby. I immediately drew my own conclusion that the main waiting room across the reception was a living room.
Walking further, passing through a souvenir shop on the corner side of the lobby, we found a more secluded and bigger room with lots of old books, some magazines and an old typewriter on a coffee table. I assume that in real life, it was meant for a reading or a study room. Privacy was the limelight of the room, with the presence of curtain by the entrance that are not found in other parts of the room. Unlike the living room, the lighting was a bit brighter for reading comfort.
A touch of classics in both rooms with sets of bulky leather sofas and a bunch of paintings decorating almost each side of the wall and pillar remind me of a family’s house who emphasize on displaying traces of their past life elegantly.
F&B section was the next destination of our tour. The bar and lounge lighting were as dim as that of the living room, with a little spark of red and canary yellow illumination as seen inside the racks. The atmosphere was indeed very calming and cozy, the right kind of place where I could find my comfort zone either to be alone zipping my margarita or to meet my new love affair, or both. Although I finally didn’t do both and no hunk to hook up.
The dining room was a bit more “modest” than the rest of the rooms, especially the choice of lighter and more casual furniture design emphasizing on functional aspects to ease the staffs to keep it clean. Despite its simplicity, it was a comfortable place to dine in.
AVERAGE ROOM WITH SPECTACULAR MOUNTAIN VIEW
There’s no doubt that Mizno Hotel totally gets the idea that a lobby crafts the first impression that lasts forever. But that good impression did not proceed well to our bedroom, that was much less classy and flashy than the lobby. Moreover, when the homey feeling was taken too deeply, it would create dullness like someone’s old room that needs a rejuvenation.
Not to mention that the shower hose was leaking when I washed my feet. The mechanic came to our room right away and did a little quick trick with it, as if it had happened many times before yet never been replaced.
The room had lack of plugs, therefore we could not charge our smartphones, a pocket wi-fi and a camera simultaneously unless we brought a travel adapter. Worstly, we didn’t realize that we charged the gadgets in one of the plugs that didn’t work at all and we only realized it the next day.
Overall, the room interior was simply forgettable that I forgot taking a picture of it. The one below, I got it from Agoda website.
Despite the drawbacks, they delivered the main selling point properly: a gorgeous view of Mt. Fuji by the window!
It took almost half an hour to get rid of the cloud in the evening, but we still didn’t get a clear view of the mountain. But at least, the mountain peak was visible enough.
Only in the morning at 6 am did we get a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji in clear sky. We were overjoyed! It was a rewarding experience, especially the appearance of Mt. Fuji the day before was covered by cloud the whole afternoon.
Besides, I noticed a unique hotel belonging in the corridor outside our room: a long wooden church chair. I wonder how it gets there.
MOUNTAIN VIEW HOT SPRING?
Unfortunately, the mountain view Jacuzzi (not hot spring) on the top floor costs $10 per person. Instead, we used the free onsen, the Japanese term of hot spring, on the second floor and it was a good experience too for first timers. Like many other hot spring places, standard amenities, such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, combs and face lotion were provided.
As budget -conscious travellers, we saved money on food to compensate the hotel rate. We had a dinner in Konami Restaurant, situated 5 minutes from the hotel. We shared egg benedict for breakfast at the hotel that cost us $18 per portion, so we only paid $9 each. I think the taste was quite okay, though not very special. Please note that you need to order the breakfast the day before at the reception.
IN A NUTSHELL
We had a pleasant stay in the hotel although there are some aspects that need improvements. The staffs were friendly and speak English pretty well. I realize that Mizno Hotel is a three-star hotel, not a five-star one, after all. I can’t expect much of glamour inside the room, but the most important thing is that it has a perfect location for a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji.