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Travel & Leisure

U.S.-backed company modernizes Japan's hot-spring inns

Mystays Hotel Management prepares Nikko, other hot spots for tourists' return

The lobby and lounge of the Nikko Yunishigawa Heike Honji hotel, which opened on April 1. (Photo courtesy of Mystays Hotel Management)

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan -- Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been battering Japan's tourism industry, traditional inns in Nikko and Nasu -- tourist destinations north of Tokyo -- are getting fresh money to remake themselves as modern hot-spring spa resorts.

Since late last year, Tokyo-based hotel operator Mystays Hotel Management has been aggressively rejuvenating rundown inns at spas in Tochigi Prefecture, where Nikko and Nasu are located. The company, owned by U.S. investment firm Fortress Investment Group, expects hordes of tourists will come back once the pandemic subsides.

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