About Hotel WELLIES
Wellies opened in July 2013, a uniquely European retreat in the soothing mountain resort of Karuizawa – a mere hour from Tokyo by train. We offer a fun, friendly, relaxing and memorable experience where you could easily imagine you are abroad, partaking of traditional British activities, such as drinking tea and enjoying a pint at our bar. Chris, the British owner, arrived in Japan in 1984, and can chat with you in English or butchered Japanese. The entire hotel has been stylishly renovated in the last few years with each guest room uniquely designed in true boutique fashion.
Why not use Wellies as your base to explore the area or attend an event? Given the wealth of options, we generally recommend two to three nights in order to fully appreciate the many beautiful locations, gourmet restaurants, and mix of famous brand and independent artisan shops.
We offer a signature Full English Breakfast and a four-course London-style dinner. Much of the food, such as our bacon, smoked salmon, black pudding and pate, is hand-made at the hotel. Even our eggs come from a brood of cuddly hens nurtured in our hotel grounds. We also have a lively well-stocked bar, wood stove an extensive vinyl collection ........ and a great sense of humour!
We are a seven-minute drive from Karuizawa JR station / two minutes from Naka-Karuizawa station / three minutes from the Hoshino area
Please note that smoking is not permitted inside the building.
The paintings of rooms and food are by our good friend, frequent guest, and talented artist, Mr. Michio Wakamatsu.
Why the name Wellies? Well, that’s a long story – ask us at the bar!
OUR 9 UNIQUE ROOMS
All rooms have been extensively refurbished with exotic imported wallpaper and en-suite bathrooms, in twin, double, triple and quadruple family configurations. Guests travelling alone are offered special rates during off-peak periods. All rooms come with nightgowns, towels, hairdryer, and amenities. Please email us if you are a large group so we can help choose the best room combinations. Some rooms have sofa beds. All of our rooms have views of either greenery, our gardens or the mountains (including our spectacular local volcano – Mt Asama).
At Wellies, we create classic dishes with a modern twist using wholesome local ingredients. We aim to produce simple, tasty food that is both hearty and delicious, yet can be eaten in a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Good honest food where everyone is welcome.
Wellies signature Full English Breakfast
Breakfast, Dinner & Tea
After check-in, you are invited for English Tea and Cake in the lounge or on the wood deck.
Please try our signature homemade English breakfast and London-style four-course dinner in our friendly and spacious lounge & dining room.
We also have a specially selected A la Carte menu.
Garden, Deck & Nature
Breathe in the fresh – almost intoxicating – mountain air, relax in our English-style garden, sit on the lawn, on our deck, or in the gazebo. Enjoy the tranquillity, chill out and unwind to the delicate birdsong. Many avid “twitchers” (birdwatchers) love to stay with us! Once suitably recharged – stroll or cycle around the nearby lanes; "cluck" with our chickens; or play with Freddie (our adorable pet poodle).
We have dozens of vinyl LPs – please use them! Guests of a certain vintage will feel nostalgic; for younger ones, it will probably be their first experience.
For the musically gifted amongst you, we also have a Yamaha piano and guitars .... BUT please don`t ask me to sing!
Feel free to jam with other guests if the mood takes you
enjoy a fun but useful English conversation class with native English teachers in the foreign environment of Wellies. Minimum class size 2 people and Y3,000 each per hour. We strongly recommend you have dinner with us to continue the experience. All ages and levels welcome.
Classes are usually from 14:00 to 15:00 and this plan alllows early check in from 13:30.
CAR - we have plenty of free parking. Please use Google maps.
TRAIN - We can pick up guests from Naka-Karuizawa Station – South Exit – before 6 pm.
In the morning, we can take you back to the station or to the Hoshino area.
To avoid unnecessary delays, please contact us before arrival.
We have standard and electric bikes for hire – please book ahead.
Electric bicycle 1500 yen a day, 750 yen half day.
Standard bicycle 1000yen a day, 500 yen half day.
Many guests stay with us to celebrate a special occasion, such as a birthday, anniversary, wedding, or graduation. We arrange a bespoke cake (tell us your message!), boflowers, and sparkling wine (additional Y6,000).
If required, please contact us at least three days beforehand
Lounge / Bar
Join us at the bar with old friends and new. We serve British craft beers, our special G&T, Pimm’s, seasonal fruit Bellinis, wines and a muckle* of single malts.
*Muckle: Traditional Scottish terminology for “many”
We have plenty of board games and books. Just relax by the fire or curl up with a book in our library.
Ketogenic and vegetarian
If you are on ketogenic diet, we change bread and potatoes to low-carb ones. We also serve vegetarian dishes.
If required, please contact us at least three days beforehand
This is the heart of the hotel, our lounge, dining and bar areas. Have a game of darts? A drink? Breakfast, Dinner or pick something from our A La Carte menu
We pride ourselves on making the sausages, bacon and black pudding at Wellies. There is also an English fish course option and we can do vegetarian / halal. If you did not reserve, you can let us know at check in. Y1,500
Come and sit by our snug fire, play some music, have a drink, read a book, you chat with friends old and new. You can even catch up with emails if you absolutely have to! We have good WiFi throughout the hotel
Some of our wood store in the background. Sit by our snug wood fire in the colder months
Lovely elegant room with stylish French wallpaper, and antique English desk and flooded with sunlight
This is room 202, an example of our 9 rooms which are all unique. Under the ROOMS section there are more details
You are probably either young and never used a record player, or older and nostalgic. Spin a disk! "It`s only Rock & Roll, but I like it ........ " Our garden and gazebo are in the background
Positively the best way to see Karuizawa, which is quite spread out. We have electric and regular bikes. In the background is more wood for our cozy stove
We hope you join us for this London feast. English food is MUCH better than you think! We usually serve home Smoked salmon and pate; Salad (with the world`s best tomatoes); Beef stew with yummy Yorkshires and a hot dessert. If you stay 2 nights, we generally serve Fish & Chips the other night. Y3,800 per person - please book ahead
Have your welcome tea here, read a book, chat or sit here after dinner. You may smoke on the deck, but not inside the building
John Lennon visited Karuizawa frequently in the late 70`s. Sadly we were not open then as I was still at school, so he was forced to slum it at The Mampei. Play the album!
This mouth watering painting by Mr Wakamatsu is of our special London Gin & Tonic is just one of the choices from our well stocked bar. We also have British craft beers, wines, whiskeys and other cocktails. We also have a buxon barmaid!
There are 9 parking spaces.
Here are some of the sights close to us including our local shrine and temple (do you know the difference?)
THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA
Cycling , Hiking & Skiing
Weather permitting – cycling is THE best way to take in the joys of Karuizawa. Meander the lanes, visit Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza, Kumobaike, Shiozawa lake, and more. We have standard and electric bikes for hire – please book ahead.
Hike the area or walk some of the historic Nakasendo trail.
In the winter use us as a base for skiing & other winter sports
Wellies is very convenient for the Hoshino area with its upmarket wedding venues; stylish Harunire Terrace by the lively Yukawa (Yu river) – a babbling stream; Tombo no Yu – a wonderful hot spring; Seizon Museum of Modern Art – one of many museums in the area
The nature reserve famous for flying squirrels and birds.
Shops & Museums
World-class modern art museums: Seizon, Senju Hiroshi, KaNAM and Contemporary Art.
Karuizawa is home to the largest outlet shopping mall in Japan. There are also many delightful specialist shops in the area.
The area is home to many craft works shops such as English flower arranging, leather works and glass blowing
Karuizawa is a small town, but offers world-class Michelin standard restaurants. If you choose to eat out, we can advise you on the best places and book for you. There is a list of our local favourites in each room.
Karuizawa boasts over a dozen golf courses, more tennis courts than Wimbledon, a ski resort (with many more close by), and numerous world-class sports facilities. We are the only town to have hosted both Winter & Summer Olympic events!
Wellies - Nagano base
Use us as your base to explore the amazing Shiraito-no-taki (Ribbon waterfalls), Volcano park, vineyards of Tomi, the Snow Monkeys, Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple, Ueda, Komoro, Kusatsu Hot Spring town, and more
GUEST REVIEW - MEDLEY
... Definitely stay again ...We had so much fun there ....We booked Wellies based on all the wonderful reviews and it did not disappoint ...Super friendly staff and owner Chris ...BRILLIANT ... Attention to detail ... Wonderful rooms ...See you guys in the summer ....Great location ...
Planning on coming by train? The Shinkansen to JR Karuizawa station takes a shade over an hour from Tokyo.
We can pick you up from the SOUTH exit of Naka-Karuizawa station, which is a four-minute ride on the local Shinano line from JR Karuizawa station.
Driving? Allow about 2.5 hours from Tokyo. Please use Google Maps – we have plenty of parking. Please note that traffic can be bad during peak seasons.
Our Corona Policies
We are a small hotel which makes social distancing easier. Our lounge and dining areas are spacious and we have a minimum 1.5m between tables. When possible, windows will be open. You may also eat out on the terrace. We ask guests to wear masks in the inside public areas. We sanitize all surfaces.