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Historic Vacation Homes,
Kiyomizu House & Mitsuba House

For families or friends who want to socialize at a beautiful vacation home in a resort area just north of Tokyo, Kiyomizu House & Mitsuba House are ideal choices.

Located along the New Golden Route, guests can use their Japan Railways Hokuriku Arch Pass or travel directly from Narita and Haneda Airports

reasonably and easily via highway bus.

 

Scroll down to learn about our traditional Japanese villas and the extensive amenities and services we provide. 

Click to  visit the  Kiyomizu House and Mitsuba House web pages (Japanese) for more details, photos and videos.

CONCEPT

Kiyomizu House & Mitsuba House

are one-of-a-kind historical sites built by affluent families and transformed into elegant and comfortable vacation homes which offer spacious living and garden areas for families and groups to socialize, relax and enjoy their vacation in Japan.

Located in Gunma one hour north of Tokyo, a family-friendly region full of onsen spas, art, culture, recreation and thriving industry.

Read on to learn more about these historical vacation homes.

BOOK A STAY

Please understand that we only accept direct bookings from residents in Japan. For our overseas guests, we ask that you book through your preferred online travel agency. You can find Kiyomizu House in Takasaki, Gunma and Mitsuba House in Annaa Gunma on Expedia, Agoda, Hotels, Booking.com and other sites. However, as we are a vacation rental, we recommend booking through Airbnb as that is their specialty, and allows us to communicate clearly.

MEALS

Our vacation homes are well-equipped for self-catering & have lots of fun supplies for group meals: BBQs, electric hot pots, takoyaki makers and more. Like a B&B, we cook Japanese-style breakfast per request. We can suggest local markets, eateries, restaurants and make reservations. Free shuttle service for shopping available

House Manual

Our vacation homes provide expat and inbound guests a wonderful opportunity to experience staying in a traditional Japanese home.

We have created a manual to help you prepare for your stay. If you have any questions or concerns before or during your time at Kiyomizu House or Mitsuba House, the owners and hosts, Motoyasu & Renée Sawazaki, are always available for support

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CONCEPT

"Socializing and connecting" is our goal for the experience we provide our guests. We always keep this in mind as we continually improve our lodging services and facilities.

Even though the modern Japanese elegance of Mitsuba House is quite a contrast to the Japanese folk essence of Kiyomizu House, for both we choose decor that is inviting, comfortable and practical.

It is our goal to have our guests have all the detailed amenities they may need while having iconic Japanese traditional arts and household goods in every part of the house. Whether our guests live in Japan or have traveled from overseas, we want them to feel immersed in Japanese culture during their stay and leave feeling a little closer to traditional Japan.

MRS Gunma Vacation Estates
Kiyomizu House & Mitsuba House

For Your Dream Vacation in the
Countryside of Japan

Kiyomizu House

Silk heritage castle town estate near Ikaho Onsen

 

❀ Lovingly renovated wooden silk mill in a fascinating historic castle town

❀ Adjacent to Japanese gardens, samurai house & thatched roof water mill

❀ Short stroll to onsen, museum, lake & castle grounds

❀ BBQ, self-catering & meal service options

❀ Family-friendly amenities, WiFi, laundry, parking

❀ Free shuttle and local guide services in English and French

❀ Lots of sightseeing & nature

❀ Mt Haruna-Fuji & Ikaho 30min・Tokyo 2h

Mitsuba House

Elegant Estate near the resort areas of

Isobe Onsen & Karuizawa

 

Spacious estate with a castle-like exterior and modern, traditional and comfortable Japanese interior

❀ Breathtaking garden and mountain views

❀ Short stroll to the historic Isobe Onsen village (1.5km)

❀ BBQ, self-catering, and meal service options

❀ Family-friendly amenities, WiFi, laundry

❀ Train station shuttle and local guide services in English, Chinese and French

❀ Lots of sightseeing & nature. Go hiking, golf, skiing

❀ Karuizawa 40min・Tokyo 2h

Meals Top

Eating at your vacation home

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Meal options at
Kiyomizu House and
Mitsuba House


Self-catering

Guests can enjoy the use of the kitchen, dining room, living rooms and terrace for preparation and eating.

There is plenty of cookware, tableware, flatware and condiments for ease of eating at your vacation home.


The owners have spent years collecting beautiful Japanese and American tableware from the Showa era (1926~1989). With the comfortable atmosphere they have crafted, they hope their guests feel more like family than customers.
 

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Enjoy good food and good times at your vacation home

Kitchenware

Kitchenware

Appliances

Large refrigerator & freezer, gas range, microwave oven, toaster oven, rice cooker (10 cups), coffee maker, electric kettle, electric nabe (2 units), takoyaki grill (2 units), gas BBQ grills (2 units, extra fee for rental, set up and clean up)

Condiments

Salt, pepper, salad oil, soy sauce, sugar, butter, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard,  and more

Other kitchen supplies

Dining trays, luncheon mats, trivets, potholders and more

Tableware

lLarge collection of tableware, for both Japanese and Western meal styles: Large and small plates, bowls, partitioned plated for BBQing and more

Cutlery

Dinner forks, dinner knives, butter knives, chopsticks, chopstick rests, curry spoons, Chinese spoons, dessert forks, coffee spoons, children's forks, children's spoons

Cookware

Frying pan, pot, lid, mixing bowl, strainer, kitchen knife, cutting board, peeler, scissors, ladle, spatula, whisk, bottle opener, can opener, wine opener, measuring cups & spoons, zip lock bags, saran wrap, aluminum foil, toothpicks and more

Drink supplies & Glassware

Kettle, large thermoses, iced tea containers, water purifiers, mugs, coffee cups and saucers, teapots, teacups and saucers, plastic children's cups, outdoor plastic mugs, glasses, beer glasses, wine glasses, ice buckets and tongs, and more

Eating at home or in the neighborhood

 

Gunma is known for delicious fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, chicken, pork and noodles ~ It is a wheat-producing region, so if you love udon and soba, Gunma is the place to go for your handmade noodles fix. Gunma is also known for its fantastic pasta and pizza restaurants.  So, there is a little something for everyone's tastes. Since most people work, eateries, restaurants and convenient stores abound and serve wholesome food at reasonable prices. Gunma residents often eat at the local onsen spas. Imagine ending a long workday with a rejuvenating mineral bath and steam sauna, and being served a homestyle dinner while lounging in sleepware ~ That's life in Gunma.

For casual eating at your vacation home, guests can easily have take-out, bentos, BBQ, hot clay pot, and other meals at the villa. 

For guests who want a private vacation home, but do not want to prepare all their meals or eat out, Motoyasu and Renée offer catered breakfast, lunch and dinner.  See below for details.

 Welcome drinks and snacks

✓ Hungry travelers are greeted with homemade treats and hot or cold drinks, depending on the season.  Renée loves to bake both Japanese and western style tea time goodies.

✓ Guests should let us know in advance if they have any egg, wheat or other allergies.

 

 

Eating at home
Shopping
Haniwa no Sato produce market

Grocery Shopping

 

Gunma's moderate climate and lush plains protected by a ring of mountains make it ideal for fruit and vegetable farming.

Gunma is best known for plums, peaches, nashi pears, persimmons,

konnyaku (konjac), leeks, cabbage and wheat.

Pork, chicken and egg farms with ethical practices abound in the foothills.

Each season provides tasty and healthy options for all.

 

For guests who want Costco treats, there is a store by the highway exit with easy access for our guests who are driving from the city.

If guests have a specific Costco request,

Motoyasu or Renée can pick it up for you before your arrival.

 

 

 

Near Kiyomizu House

There are three supermarkets, one drug store/grocery store, a 7-Eleven and a Lawson convenience store within a 10~15 minute walk. In addition, there are two 100 yen shops (Daiso and Seria), a household goods store (Sanki) and two bento shops (Torihei Chicken and Hokka Hokka Tei), and even a coffee shop (Sprocket and Coffee https://goo.gl/maps/iEpMUtWzHnMzskCaA) all within walking distance.

 

① Fressay is the closest supermarket and most popular among our guests as it has very good quality meats and vegetables. Daiso is located in the same building.  (9am-10pm) https://goo.gl/maps/mGjfq3GBNUgmcGXD7

② Torisen is Renée's supermarket of choice as it's prices are reasonable and she appreciates their eco practice of putting local meat in bags instead of on plastic or styrofoam trays. They also have a nice bakery, Purariné, in the store.  (9am-10pm) https://goo.gl/maps/WNJepNP55LPF11t29 

③ Coop, a large supermarket popular in Japan for its healthy foods and original products. This store is located in the Harunamo Shopping Center that includes Seria 100 yen shop, Sanki household goods and clothing shop and Torisen chicken bento shop. This new center opened in 2022 along a major road that will eventually (by 2029?) link the UNESCO World Heritage Tomioka Silk Mill and Maebashi, the capital of Gunma.  (9am-10pm) https://goo.gl/maps/1m6qAHt6J8EjjV8D8 

④ Kusuri no Aoki, although a drug store, surprisingly has a decent selection of vegetables, meat and other grocery items at the lowest prices, even for things like yakisoba, milk and yogurt. Located across the street from the neighborhood onsen.  (9am-10pm) https://goo.gl/maps/AqEKSQhkDEtqFVrD8 

⑤  Hokka Hokka Tei, bento take out  (9am-9pm) https://goo.gl/maps/CwemurQWp8bsjjN28 

⑥ Torihei, chicken bentos. Gunma is known for farm-fresh chicken, and this shop is the largest and most popular in the region. Take out only, but their restaurant is located in the nearby Aeon Shopping Mall.  10am-8pm https://goo.gl/maps/1m6qAHt6J8EjjV8D8

⑦ 7-Eleven, Japan's iconic convenience store, located next to the neighborhood onsen. (24h) https://goo.gl/maps/qgwh8mz2H67VJCpZ6 

Interesting shopping within a short drive

 Aeon Shopping Mall, 2-level indoor mall with a department store, lots of shops, restaurants, a food court and arcade. (17min drive, 10am~9pmhttps://goo.gl/maps/ThGZxaaREWkiZJ8S8 

②  Kakujyo Fish Market, for sushi lovers, this is the best for take-out. (30min drive, 10am~7:30pm, but the earlier the betterhttps://g.page/kakujomaebashi?share  For guests interested in eating sushi out, we recomment Uobei, where your order is delivered fresh on a shinkansen conveyor belt (20min drive, 11am~9:15pm) https://goo.gl/maps/DiZL6zxjHXgyD3Ch9 

 

Near Mitsuba House

There are two supermarkets, two produce markets, one drug store/grocery store, three 7-Elevens (one in each direction) and a Lawson convenience store all within a 10 minute drive.

 

① Yaoko is the fanciest supermarket, and a little more pricey for Gunma, but our guests love it because it's still a lot cheaper than Tokyo! Very nice selection of everything, and has a bakery too. Route 18. About 10 min

https://goo.gl/maps/AcffU8NZoZyPiPux9 

② Beisia Mart is smallish, has all the basics, and is the closest supermarket. On Route 18. About 5 min

https://goo.gl/maps/37UdyXch9rBVFMYD6 

 

③ Kusuri no Aoki, although a drug store, surprisingly has a decent selection of vegetables, meat and other grocery items at the lowest prices, even for things like yakisoba, milk and yogurt. On the road heading out from Megumi-no-Yu onsen. Next to a 7-Eleven. About 5 min

https://goo.gl/maps/NiPHhEUpJknFtorNA 

Happy shopping and meal time!

Next....to explore the region of Gunma, known by Japanese as the retreat area outside of Tokyo laden with onsen resorts and surrounded by a ring of mountain ranges, the Jomo Sanzan ~ three mountains of Myogi, Haruna and Akagi. 

Not only is Gunma at the geographical center of Japan, but it also at the economic heart of Japan, with headquarters and manufacturing plants of major corporations. Being masterfully interwoven in the pristine nature of this region, a visitor would never guess what a robust economy Gunma has and what a key role it has played in the Japanese and international economy for hundreds and thousands of years.

Gunma is also known as region where almost all women work. Being key to the success of the silk and textile industries, women are respected and can be seen in all industries today.

The history of Kiyomizu House and Mitsuba House reflect the hard working and humble affluence of the region. Both were created by prominent families who played key roles in major Gunma industries. It is our pleasure as the current owners to continue the legacies of these two lineages and offer these estates for guests of all walks of life and interests to enjoy. 

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Welcome to Gunma, the land of peace, prosperity and abundance.

Come for a visit.

Leave with a treasure!

Renown for exquisite hot springs and mountains, hands on cultural experiences and fruit orchards, compliment your stay at the iconically Japanese Kiyomizu House and Mitsuba House with fun and relaxing activities off-the-beaten-path.

Browse through Gunma's official tourism website "Visit Gunma"

and contact Renée Sawazaki, owner of Kiyomizu House and Mitsuba House and former academic in tourism for advice on curating your dream Japanese cultural vacation.

Mitsuba House

⭐️ Located on the edge of the quaint, historical riverside onsen village along the Nakasendo Trail: Isobe Onsen, where the iconic

"onsen mark ♨️" originated.

Eat hot-off-the-grill healthy waffers made from the essence of the hot springs at a local factory.

And, no need to get undressed to enjoy the onsen foot bath just next to it. 

Detox in your yukata in one of Japan's most exquisite hot spring sand bath spa

Savour homestyle noodles made from locally-sourced wheat.

⭐️ Sip coffee while soaking in the magnificent views of the rugged Mt Myogi and Mt Asama from your private terrace, then drive 10 minutes to explore a magificent mountain shrine, hike along a historic railway path through breathtaking nature, passing by a lake with iconic Japanese vermillion bridges, beholding Japan's tallest arched brick bridge on your way through the windy Usui Pass towards the charming resort village of Karuizawa known for its world-class shopping, museums and stunning nature. Hike though the volcanic park on Mt Asama and view stunning waterfalls before heading back to your private villa, Mitsuba House.

This is just the tip of the possibilities of how to enjoy time in this region that offers seasonal fruit-picking and flower viewing, visits to silk mills, master craftsmen (and women!) atteliers, family-friendly amusements and more!

Kiyomizu House

⭐️ Famed as the largest and most exquisite of Gunma's iconic timber sericulture, or silkworm, farmhouses, Japanese historians, architects and guests alike stand in awe of its massiveness and masterful craftsmanship of the temple carpenters, or miyadaiku, many of whom have said they have never seen anything like it.

 

A stay in this glorious building at the entrance of one of Japan's top-100 ranked castles just begs for visitors to pass on other major sightseeing spots and spend a few days soaking in the glory and culture of this quaint castle town that rarely sees tourists...Walk to a Kyoto-style garden, thatched roof mill, museum, castle grounds, lake, river, cherry tree gardens and more. 

With a view of the city lights of Takasaki, the city at the hub of Gunma, an hour outside of Tokyo, at the main curve in the entrance road to the castle that samurai used stategically to make their approaching enemies take longer to travel, you can imagine going back in time 500 years, and be brought back to the present with the flashing lights of the zooming Shinkansen bullet train. Guests have described their stay at Kiyomizu House as "transcending space and time".

⭐️ Located at the foothill of Mt Haruna, famous for it's picturesque lake reflecting Mt Haruna-Fuji which can be climbed through a sasa-bamboo path or gondola, 1400 year-old mountain shrine and the beloved Ikaho Onsen town with its iconic shop and hot-spring lined staircase. Fans of the 1990's anime and manga, Initial D, appreciate having a large, private parking lot at Kiyomizu House for their sports cars and enjoying retracing the mountain pass roads of Haruna (fictional name "Akina" in the story) and meeting up with other fans at local spots in nearby Shibukawa that were featured in the manga. After a day of mountain exploration, guests can enjoy local cuisine, shopping and arcade-fun at the huge mall just a 12-minute drive 

⭐️ For those who want to dive into Japanese arts and crafts, Kiyomizu House's neighborhood and vacinity offers amazing choices, each being at the top of their field and famous at a national level:

 - Kokeshi doll making - Daruma doll painting - Paper cutting "kirie" art & workshop, silk museum & crafts - Teracotta "haniwa" artifacts, kiln workshop and king's tomb visit.

 

 ⭐️ For enthusiasts of Japanese festivals who can't make it for that once-a-year event, 

A little something for everyone

For visitors seeking a repreve from the crowds of the big cities of hot spots riddled by overtourism, a stay at Kiyomizu House and/or Mitsuba House offers a little bi

Gunma Prefectural Government's
Inbound Tourism Project
"Gunma Excellence"

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【Gunma Excellence Program】

Kiyomizu House and Mitsuba House are both designated partner facilities in this program. As such, we are recognized as lodging establishments that can support foreign guests so they can enjoy a stress-free vacation in Gunma.

MRS Gunma on "Visit Gunma",

Gunma Prefecture's official tourism website

Kiyomizu House

Mitsuba House

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Kiyomizu & Mitsuba House were featured in the "Gunma Prefecture Tourism Value Creation's" July 2022 newsletter to overseas travel agencies. We're really honored to be recognized for providing quality service for our inbound vacationers, and to play a part in supporting Gunma Tourism.

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