“In 1948, after the war, the [Baron Heitaro] Fujita family decided to sell their villa; we took over and started as the Kowaki-en Inn. In 1949, a hot spring gushed out of the ground. In May of 1959, we opened the current Hakone Hotel Kowaki-en. In 2001, we opened the hot spring theme park, Yunessun, which you enjoy in your swimsuit.
“Many of our buildings and gardens have been designated as Tangible Cultural Properties. The villa gardens were constructed in the 3rd year of the Taisho period (1914) and were incorporated into the surrounding grounds when we expanded into a hotel.”
– Hotel Kowaki-en website
“Hakone Hotel Kowaki-en will close its doors in January 2018, marking the end of 60 years of operations. The 224-room hotel was designed by modernist architect Yoshimura Junzo and built in 1959. The hotel’s garden dates back to 1914.
“The hotel closure is due to aging buildings and facilities. The owner and operator, Fujita Kanko, operates 6 other hotels in the immediate neighbourhood, and this site is expected to form part of a larger hotel redevelopment project. It could include the adjoining Kowaki-en Horai-en Garden, which is a 16,000 sqm traditional Japanese landscape garden.
“From 1948, the Kowakudani District, most of which is owned by Fujita Kanko, has been developed into a hot spring resort area. Before that, it was home to several grand holiday villas owned by some of Japan’s wealthiest families. Several of these historic homes are now heritage listed.”
– Hakone Modernist Hotel to Close Next Year, Japan Property Central, February 14, 2017