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Hidetoshi Nakata travels around Fukushima <#08> Arriving in Fukushima – “Tourism”

Hidetoshi Nakata travels around Fukushima <#08>
Arriving in Fukushima - “Tourism”

A forty-year-old cabin transformed into an elegant hotel equipped with a hot spring. There is a hotel that sits quietly in the Urabandai mountains, surrounded by the forest and lakes. The hotel is named “aalto” which means “wave” in Finnish and is where the nature of Fukushima and the ambience of Northern Europe come together. It has won over many fans with its gracious hospitality.

Hotel where the nature of Fukushima and Finnish ambience merge

In his book “Ni Ho N Mo No” which includes the many Japanese products and techniques he encountered in his travels, Nakata refers to HOTELLI aalto in this way – “There isn’t anything in particular that stands out, but the setting is very comforting at this hotel.”

Nakata spends about two thirds of the year traveling abroad, so many days are spent in hotels, making them a part of his daily routine. He has pursued the ultimate environment and atmosphere, staying at several hundred properties, and this hotel is one of his favorites.
“I prefer locations that are not crowded, so I tend to choose hotels that offer private dining and bathing facilities, but dining here is completely stress free.”
HOTELLI aalto opened its doors 9 years ago, amongst the many lakes and marshes such as Goshiki Numa that are scattered within the deep forest.

“This used to be a cabin that was used as a corporate recreational facility for 40 years.”
The owner and President of Fukushima based Hakko Construction, Takeshi Munakata explained the hotel’s background.
“We were managing the facility, but it was set to close in March 2007. It was a shame to let this beautiful setting go to waste, so we decided to put our enthusiasm into action.”

The building was renovated over 2 years, being careful to maintain a balance with the scenic setting, the environment, and the original foundation as much as possible. All the building materials were sourced locally. Three architects were involved in creating the plans, and Yoshihiro Masuko, Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University of the Arts, led the project team.
The warmth of wood is all around the property, a comforting blend of furniture from northern Europe and traditional kogei from Aizu such as Aizu Cotton.

“The floor plan is quite different, but we took advantage of the original structure.”
Munakata talked about their desire to provide a setting where guests can fully relax and enjoy their stay. All food and even alcoholic beverages are included in the overnight rates, providing ease of mind as well.

“It’s quite unusual for a hotel to have a hot spring, isn’t it?”
Nakata commented.
“The lounge just outside of the bathing area with the beverage service is a wonderful touch, and it’s just right, not too much.”
The exquisite balance created by the people and nature of Fukushima entices all that visit.


1073-153 Hidara Obudaira, Kitashiobara-mura, Yama-gun, Fukushima