In your travels, you may often come across places that you want to tell everyone about. Places where the experience was so amazing, you just can't help but talk about it. But then there are those other places where the experience goes beyond words; a place where it is so special and personal, you actually don't want to share it out of fear it will get too popular and ruin your future enjoyment.
For me, the Guesthouse Sakuya falls into the latter category. It's tempting not to tell about how beautiful the area around the hotel is. It's tempting not to speak of the private onsen or delicious food or so many other things that make this place amazing. Luck for you, I have a generous spirit!
So what is it that makes this little hotel so special? In a nutshell - you get a genuine Japanese experience. In the true spirit of Japanese service and hospitality, the owners will pick you up free of charge from Kawaguchiko Station, which is particularly special since the hotel is good distance away. Once you arrive at the hotel, you'll be given slippers to wear around the building. This again is right in line with Japanese custom. Guests also have a choice between a Western style room or a Japanese style room. Both times I've stayed here I chose the Japanese style room which in my mind added to the experience.
If it's evening when you arrive, you can enjoy a home cooked Japanese dinner. Having lived in Japan for about 5 years of my life, I can tell you their food is excellent (and healthy). They also serve a killer Japanese style breakfast, which can be enjoyed while taking in the view of Mt Fuji. The Guesthouse Sakuya's dining area adds to the atmosphere, making you feel less like a guest and more like you're at home.
As great as these things are, perhaps the most unique and wonderful part of the Guesthouse Sakuya experience is the private onsen. For those who might not know, an onsen is a natural hot spring bath - that is to say, the waters of the bath are heated naturally by the earth. Because Japan has so much volcanic activity around it, these baths abound across the nation. However, the majority of these are public onsens. Though they are divided into male and female sections, a visit is often awkward for foreigners since you and everyone around you is naked (no swim suits allowed!). The private onsen at this hotel allows you to get the best of both worlds. Not only do you get to enjoy the relaxing, healing waters of an onsen, but you get to do so without the mental discomfort of public nudity. The only birthday suits on display are your own and whoever you might allow to enter with you. As if that weren't enough, the gigantic window offers a view of Mt Fuji while you soak in the warm waters. In short, if you're looking to relax, this is as good as it gets.
There's a lot more I could say about this hotel, but I think it's enough to say this is a stay you won't want to miss. If you're visiting the Mt Fuji area, there may be more accessible and modern hotels to stay at, but you won't find anywhere as welcoming and calming as the Guesthouse Sakuya.