When visiting the Mount Fuji region, gaijins (non-Japanese people) typically stay at Hakone or Kawaguchiko or one of the other Fuji Five Lakes. This was my third trip to the region, so I decided to join the locals Gotemba Kogen Toki No Sumika, a resort popular among the Japanese.
On a clear day, a pretty much unobstructed view of Mount Fuji could be seen from the resort grounds. There were seven (!!) accommodation options at Gotemba Kogen Toki No Sumika:
- Hotel Toki No Sumika
- Gotemba Kogen Hotel
- Hotel Brush Up
- Blueberry Lodge
- Blueberry Lodge New
- Slow House Villa
- Bhutan House (for large group bookings only)
We decided to stay at Slow House Villa because it looked the most unique. And it looked great for families, because some of their villas could accommodate up to 6 people. When we were there, we saw many families with young children, so this was a popular choice among the local families!
Reservation / Room Rates
You can get the accommodation rates for the various options at Gotemba Kogen Toki No Sumika at a glance on their English website >HERE<.
To make a reservation, you need to fill up the form on >THIS PAGE<. An English-speaking staff will follow up with you via email to confirm the rates and you just need to confirm your reservation with them over email and you’re set to go!
Slow House Villa Review
Parking / Checking-in
Gotemba Kogen Toki No Sumika is a pretty big resort. If you are staying at Slow House Villa and driving, you should park at the carpark in front of Blueberry Lodge.
To check-in, you need to go to the Front Desk at Blueberry Lodge. After collecting your keys, make your way across the small bridge to where the villas are.
Once you cross the bridge, there is a map showing the layout of the villas so orientate yourselves and don’t go to the wrong villa.
The Little Prince House
Some of the villas had a Little Prince theme. Since we didn’t book a Little Prince villa, I have no idea what the interior was like and could only take photos of the exterior.
Peter Rabbit House
Another section of the villa was dedicated to the Peter Rabbit theme.
Kuma (Bear) Room
Our room was the kuma room with a bear theme. This was a new addition to Slow House Villa, introduced in November 2015 just before we our stay in December.
Since it was a new addition, I assumed that giant teddy bear was new and clean. I’m not sure I would let my kids get so cozy with the bear one year down the road.
There were bear-themed mattress cover, curtains, cups etc.
We were also given cute hand towels that were folded into the shape of a bear!
Our villa could sleep 5 people comfortably. There were 3 single beds on the ground floor.
And there were futon for another 2 people in the attic.
Gotemba Kogen Toki No Sumika was a pretty dated resort, which was evident from the furnishing. The air-con, TV, fridge etc were so old-school!
It is not hard to notice the signs of aging around the villa. But I always say this in my blog: In Japan, there are largely two types of resorts: The super old-school ones and the super new and modern ones. The new ones can easily cost 2-3 times the price of the old-school ones. I usually stay in the more dated resorts to save money. Hence no complaints about the old-school furnishing.
Rest House & Onsen
There was a rest house in the middle of the villas, which I didn’t go because we rested in our own room. And there was also an onsen for guests of the Slow House Villa. Oops, forgot to take a photo, but you can see the steam from the onsen coming out at the back in this photo:
Buffet breakfast was included in our stay. While the food was pretty so-so, it was the view from the breakfast venue that made it memorable.
Oh yeah… That’s the way to start your day in the Mount Fuji region.
You see those little blue lights at the top of each villa? They are not always available. You can find them during the illumination period, which is typically November to March. As a reference, the dates for the illumination last winter was 31 Oct 2015 to 21 March 2016. Toki No Sumika’s illumination is one of the largest illumination event in Japan, boasting 5 million light bulbs across the resort.
One of the highlights of the illumination at Toki No Sumika was the fountain show.
There was an admission fee of 1000yen (adult) / 200yen (child) to go up to where the fountain was for front row seats to watch the fountain show. However, we could actually watch the fountain show from the Show House Villa.
In the end, we still paid to go up to see see look look. I mean, we had travelled all the way there, might as well go up for front row seats. And well, we got a nice aerial view of the Slow House Villas from up there.
Big Bang Playground
In the daytime, kids can have fun at the Big Bang playground. It cost 800yen (Adult) / 500yen (Child) to access the playground.
Our stay at Slow House Villa at Gotemba Kogen Toki No Sumika was a very unique experience. It felt like an enchanted forest with little mushroom huts!
While the resort may seem a tad old and run-down, the price was pretty reasonable especially if you are looking for an accommodation that could fit a family of, say, 6 people. For 6 people sharing a villa, prices start at 5000yen per pax, inclusive of breakfast.
I recommend staying here during the illumination season. So if you are planning a trip to the Mount Fuji region at the end of the year, KIV this resort to get off the touristy track and mingle with the locals!
Information on Gotemba Kogen Toki No Sumika:
Address: 719, Koyama Gotemba-shi, Shizuoka-ken 412-0033, Japan
Map Code (What is this?): 50 561 138
Tel (for GPS): 0550875500
Getting There by public transport: There is a shuttle bus between the resort and Gotemba station / Mishima Station. Visit >This Page< for details regarding the shuttle bus.
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