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November 28, 2023
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Property Details: Hoshino Resorts KAI Ito

Located in Ito Onsen, which boasts an abundance of hot spring water and quality, KAI Ito is a hot spring ryokan where guests can enjoy the hot spring water to their heart's content at the public hot spring bath with water directly flowing from the source, a hot spring pool, and a foot bath. During the stay, meals using the rich seafood of Izu, such as spiny lobster and abalone will be served and a workshop to make camellia oil, which has been popular in Izu for a long time can be experienced. All 30 guest rooms are KAI Signature Rooms, incorporating the local traditional crafts and culture. There are screens and lamps that make one feel the change in season. One of the room types, the Suite, can fit up to eight people, which is perfect for a three-generation family trip.

About Hanagoyomi, flower calendar
"Hanagoyomi" or the flower calendar refers to representative flowers that bloom each month and were introduced by China during the Edo period. They were incorporated into haiku anthologies and were adapted to fit the Japanese climate as a way to enjoy the relationship between the seasons and nature, represented by flowers, grass, and trees that grow in a particular season. It is said that each region has a flower calendar because each plant has its own time of bloom.
<Flower Calendar of Izu>
Spring・・Kawazu cherry blossoms, canola flower, camellia, azalea
Summer・・Hydrangeas, tangerine flowers, irises
Autumn・・Japanese pampas grass, gold and silver chrysanthemum, cosmos
Winter・・Camellia, plum, daffodil

The Izu region is characterized by its mild climate, and many plants can be enjoyed throughout the year. At KAI Ito, these plants and the change in season can be felt throughout the decorations of the ryokan.

About Tsurushi-kazari, hanging decorations
"Tsurushi-kazari" is a type of decoration where dolls of different shapes are attached to a string to be hung. In hopes for the long life and good health of children, odd numbers of dolls are attached to a string because odd numbers are known to be auspicious, where they cannot be divided further. In the Inatori region of Izu, which is close to KAI Ito, "Hina no Tsurushi-kazari" is considered to be an ancient custom, and is known as one of Japan's three main hanging decorations, along with "Sagemon" from Yanagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, and "Kasafuku" from Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture. The suite at KAI Ito is a Japanese-style room with huge cushions in the motif of hanging decorations. During Girls' Day (March 3rd) and Boys' Day (May 5th), dolls of peach that are said to ward off any bad spirits and rabbits that are said to be God’s messengers are decorated at the reception area. 

KAI Signature Rooms
All 30 guest rooms are "KAI Signature Rooms," a local room designed around the four seasons of Izu with the theme of plants and has a private hot spring bath. At the entrance of the guest room, guests will be greeted by a lamp, a work that expresses the 24 seasons and the living room ornament also expresses the seasonal flowers. Another highlight of the interior is the Hanagoyomi screen, which uses threads dyed using the natural colors of plants, flowers, and tree branches by local dyers to create a look of the four seasons.

Japanese-style Suite Room
KAI Ito has two Japanese-style Suite rooms that can accommodate up to eight people. A spacious suite with two bedrooms and a living room for everyone to have a relaxing time spent together as a family. Decorating the room is the Tsurushi-kazari that can watch over children and huge cushions with the motif of the dolls used in the ornament. 

KAI Local flavors – Kaiseki course to enjoy nature’s blessing from the mountains
The dinner offered at KAI is a multi-course kaiseki meal, where the essence of the local area and season is reflected in each dish. At KAI Ito, a special kaiseki course using red bream, spiny lobster and abalone, the most popular delicacies in the area, can be enjoyed. In spring and summer, the specialty dish is the steamed red snapper drizzled with oil, and unique to this property is its use of camellia oil. In autumn and winter, a hot pot dish called "Sankai Nabe" with the theme of the Izu Area located in the middle of Sagami Bay and Amagi Mountain Range. Served in an original hot pot, the ingredients from Izu such as red bream, seasonal vegetables and beef can be enjoyed in both the beef and seafood broth.

KAI Cultural Discovery – Camellia Oil Workshop
One way of hospitality by the KAI properties is through KAI Cultural Discovery. The mild climate of the Ito area is perfect for the growth of camellia, especially during spring. The oil from the seed of the camellia has been widely used in food, medicine, as well as for hair and skin care since the Edo period. Camellia oil is actively produced in Izu Oshima, an island in the Izu archipelago. At KAI Ito, guests can experience traditional camellia oil extraction and take it home in a camellia-inspired glass bottle created by a local glass artist. (Glass bottles are of a separate fee)

Public Hot Springs 
Ito Onsen has one of the largest volumes of hot spring water in Japan, with a spring gushing 34,000 liters per minute. KAI Ito owns four sources with 600 liters per minute gushing into the different areas of the property such as the public hot springs, the guest room bathtubs, the outdoor pool, and the foot bath. The indoor public bath is designed so that the spring water gushes out from the faucet and the outdoor bath has a waterfall from the cracks of a large rock, making one visually see the abundant hot spring water of this ryokan.

Overview of KAI Ito
Address: 2-21 Okahiro-cho, Ito, Shizuoka
Number of Rooms: 30
Facilities: Lobby, Dining area, Travel Library, Shop, Public hot springs, Public hot spring pool, Yuagari Lounge 
Check-in: 3:00 pm / Check-out: 12:00 pm
Starting Room Rate: Starts from 31,000 JPY per night (per person in a 2-person room, includes tax and service charge, breakfast and dinner)
Directions: Approximately 10 minutes walk from JR Ito station

About KAI Brand
"Japanese Auberge" in classic hot spring regions
KAI is a leading brand of hot spring ryokan where every establishment offers a contemporary take on traditional Japanese inn whilst keeping Western comforts. KAI invites one to discover the multifaceted aspects of Japan through natural hot springs, exploration of local arts and entertainment, and classic Kaiseki-style course meals using local and seasonal flavors. Experience Washoku, Japanese cuisine, presented on carefully selected ceramics for full exposure to culinary sensations.

About Hoshino Resorts
Hoshino Resorts was first established as a Japanese inn/ryokan in 1914 in Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture before it began the operation of other resorts in Japan. Today, it has evolved into a highly influential hotel management company and is run by 4th-generation family member Yoshiharu Hoshino. Providing a unique experience focused on the local charms of each destination and a high level of omotenashi, Japanese-style hospitality, the company has expanded rapidly out of Karuizawa since 2001 and now operates more than 60 accommodations both in and outside Japan with one of the following categories: luxury hotel brand “HOSHINOYA,” hot spring ryokan brand “KAI,” countryside resort hotel brand “RISONARE,” city tourism hotel brand “OMO,” free-spirited hotel brand “BEB,” or other unique lodgings.

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