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Kamikochi Imperial Hotel

Traveler (304)
Dining (47)
Room & Suite (19)
Certificate of Excellence


#4 of 198 hotels in Matsumoto
Certificate of Excellence
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Room service
Laundry Service
Wheelchair access
Room features
Refrigerator in room
Family Rooms
Smoking rooms available
Good to know
6Room tips
Traveler rating
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Popular mentions
Opened in 1933, the Imperial Hotel at Kamikochi is a branch of the historic, world renowned Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, with similar five star service and great amenities. The eye catching four storied building features quaint, half timber siding, red roofing and absolutely flawlessly maintained yet charmingly rustic interiors with a huge open fireplace, mezzanine, a wonderfully countrified bar, and a formal dining room. We had an elegantly served full course table d’hote dinner in the dining room and the food was extremely sophisticated —especially given the 70 room hotel’s rural setting deep inside a national park, miles and miles away from anything by torturous mountain roads, through endless tunnels. Rooms with verandas are very expensive and the wealthy Japanese patronage book well in advance, it seems, but they offer stunning views of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, as do the many outdoor seating areas on the grounds. The hot water flow says a lot about the level of technology even in this glorious mountain range. The only daunting aspect of an unforgettable stay here is the incontestably celestial cost. We saved up for just one night here and are happy we did! But you’ll be in the company of the local privileged class, who we were embarrassed to see dress beautifully for dinner, as well as incognito diplomats (Ambassador Caroline Kennedy among them, we heard) seeking tranquility in the mountains far away from Tokyo. It’s a rare place. If you’re going to be in Japan during the steamy summer, it’s well worth the time it takes to get to Kamikochi.
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We just spent 2 days at the Imperial. From the moment we arrived to the final wave goodbye, the experience was wonderful. We were greeted by name at the front door when we arrived and our names were never forgotten throughout our stay. The food was great, the options plentiful, the facilities top notch. The area is some of the most beautiful alpine geography in the world, along with the local wild monkeys! While all of the staff were wonderful, one in particular, Mariko Chikakane, front desk clerk, was simply beyond belief in terms of understanding our needs, thinking about what would be best for us, and going the extra mile for things that were not really in her job description. She welcomed us, gave us expert and perfect advice for a 4 hour hike that would maximize the beauty of the area. She gave us wonderful advice on bus transportation to Takayama-Shi, saving us almost a day of travel. Finally, we asked about a facial product made only in Japan that our daughter had written about. She did research overnight, on her own, to advise us the next morning, and put us on the perfect path. Incredible!
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We have been to Kamikochi twice and it is perhaps one of our all time favourites. The weather, crisp air, proximity to nature and beautiful surroundings make this an ideal place to rest and relax away from the hustle bustle of Tokyo. Service is warm and courteous. Do come ready to walk a little bit as there are few fun places in proximity. The walk along the river is delightful. Also don't forget the hotel operates between April and November only so do book in advance. Getting is here is not difficult, there are direct buses from Shinjuku. All that being said, the options for vegetarians is very limited which is an issue if you are travelling with children. One star less for the lack of options for vegetarians.
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I stayed with my daughter-in-law and granddaughter for one night at the Imperial Hotel. The hotel is very historic. The rooms/bathrooms are updated, but still retain a historic feel and smell. We appreciated the lovely setting along the river. We were warmly greeted and shown to our room after a short wait. After a long walk we went to have tea by the large fireplace. Could tea really cost $9.00 a cup? We spent $27.00 for three cups of tea and we didn't even get the pot with leaves, just a cup. We had dinner at the hotel which was flavorful, but overpriced. Somehow the dinner didn't feel as much of a rip off as the tea. The waiter was kind at dinner and the hotel stored our luggage the next morning for a few hours after checkout.
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This is a difficult review to write because I recognise the very exceptional and special nature of the hotel and its absolutely beautiful, unique location. However, the rooms are just not perfect - unless maybe you are staying in a room with a balcony. Ours was cramped, it is not possible to look out of the window because they are too high up, and the room mirror is so low, when you lie in bed you get an unwelcome view of someone standing at the sink - because (oddly) there is no door to the bathroom sink area. My main gripe however was the bedside lamps which drove us nuts, they are huge and just constantly in the way. It's not a room I would care to spend a lot of time in, it's not convenient or relaxing. Most additions at breakfast (served till 9.30am, quite early?) cost more and tea in the lounge, by which I mean a CUP of tea, is £7. However, we had a wonderful time at the hotel because it is wonderfully situated for the walks, and the staff without exception are outstanding. Though I have to single out Tokiko Nakamura for her sincere kindness, patience and constant vigilant attention.
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$314 - $790 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
JapanChubuKoshinetsuNagano PrefectureMatsumoto
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