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Fujita offers open-air baths for all at new Hakone resort

Hotel operator aims to draw mix of tourists

Guests at Fujita Kanko's new Hakone inn can take a dip in the great outdoors without leaving their room.

TOKYO -- All guests can enjoy private open-air baths at a new luxury inn in Hakone, a feature the operator hopes will draw more domestic and foreign travelers to the hot springs resort town.

Fujita Kanko unveiled the Hakone Kowakien Ten-yu to the public Tuesday, with business set to begin Thursday. Each of the inn's 150 rooms has an open-air bath of hot spring water. The more family-oriented previous facility at the site has been remodeled to boost appeal to travelers outside tour groups.

Aside from its spa facilities, the Ten-yu inn also will offer experiences such as walks in the mountains and soba noodle-making. A one-night stay with dinner and breakfast starts at 28,000 yen ($257) per guest, nearly 10,000 yen steeper than at the company's flagship in the area, Hakone Hotel Kowakien. Fujita aims for roughly 30% of the guests to be foreign tourists.

The Ten-yu's opening is "the first step of our development efforts," President Akira Segawa said regarding Fujita's overhaul of its properties in the Kanagawa Prefecture hot springs destination. 

Fujita plans to finish an even more upscale resort called Horaien in 2018. The company will invest several billion yen in the property, envisioning nearly 20 guest rooms, each a separate building. Fujita also may build another new resort on the site of the neighboring Hakone Hotel Kowakien after that property closes in January.

(Nikkei)

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