Mountain House in the Japan alps

Cabin - Entire home/apt · Sonota, Yamagata Mura, Higashichikuma District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

High in the Japan Alps, this unique experience awaits your arrival.

The Space

Requires a car rental or cab, no public transport nearby.

Unique and idyllic location!

*Due to people expecting this to be a hotel, be aware, it is a rustic alpine cabin and has all the benefits and quirks of isolated rural life. *

High in the alps of Japan, this wooden cabin is nestled in the clouds.
30 mins drive to matsumoto. 2.5 hrs to tokyo.
40 mins drive will take you to Kamikochi, a famous resort in the Northern Japan Alps with spectacular mountain scenery. Take a walk in this beautiful area (especially beautiful during the autumn foliage season), and you might even meet the monkeys!
During winter, less than a 20 minute car ride will take you to Asahi Prime Ski Resort.

The house is equipped with a slate bathroom with bathtub and shower, and functional kitchen (microwave, fridge, toaster, rice cooker and sets of plates available). You can relax in a large lounge area, where you can amuse yourself with Japanese TV shows. With washing machine and rail for hang drying, it is suitable for longer stays as well. Car parking available for two cars.There's no internet, but DoCoMo 3G phone reception is available. There is usually 50-100cm snow in winter.
Enjoy a unique experience in the heart of japan!

Hidden amongst the forest, high in clouds.
The cozy cabin awaits your visit!

Guest Access

Full House. except for areas where storage is contained (outside of building and upstairs/under stairs)

Interaction with Guests

i am not in japan, but i will be contactable within 12 hours via email. (usually less!)

The Neighborhood

this is an isolated, far off the beaten track part of Japan.

Getting around

you will require either mobile phone and cab access or rental vehicle

Other Things to Note

Heating is KEROSENE. there is an electric heater, but kerosene is the main heating

Room type: Entire home/apt
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 3
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 2
Extra people: No Charge
Weekly Price: $409 /week
Monthly Price: $1050 /month
Cleaning Fee: $53
Cancellation: Strict

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • My ratings all apply to the house, not to the host. Jai was helpful, friendly, and communicative. However, the house was a disappointment, and I consider it far from rentable. To put it bluntly, the cabin was filthy: moldy, filled with mildew, and caked with dirt. I am not a clean freak, but I was grossed out and didn't want to touch anything. Rubbing your finger on the wall on kitchen cabinets literally turned your finger black. The majority of surfaces, from bookshelves to appliances to light switches to areas of the floor, were covered in dust and grime that must have accumulated over several months or years. Lots of water condensed on the windows and created puddles on the sills after turning on the heat every night. Junk was piled high around the outside of the cabin and broken appliances that needed discarding were inside. I have no idea where the money from the cleaning fee goes, as the entire place needs to be deep-cleaned with a toothbrush from top to bottom, and clearly it's been in that state for a long time. We enjoyed the location and surrounding area, but we were eager to leave this house and spent as much time outdoors as possible.

    October 2013
    Response from Jai:

    this is a blatant over exaggeration.
    one week before every rental the caretaker is on the property, he checks the last tenants have cleaned. if not he straightens up.

    the side area of the house is clearly marked as private storage. you are not to be rummaging through those things.

    there are no broken appliances. none have previously been reported.
    if anything is broken, you have not advised me about it. I would assume based on that it was you that had broken them.

    the "grime' you saw on everything IS soot, from using the kerosene heater.
    it accumulates very quickly on all the surfaces. other tenants make an effort to wipe this off after they use the property, and this is checked by the caretaker.
    while the "cleaning fee" is listed as such, it technically does not cover cleaning as you are supposed to manage that yourself.
    a feat you thought was beneath yourself, leaving tasks to the caretaker.
    the fee is for the caretaker to drive up to the property. a round trip of 45 km.
    it covers less than half of his usual time onsite straightening up and preparing for the next rental.
    i am aware of the condensation. It a result of being at 1600mtr elevation and the cold air.
    the closer it is to snow season the more pronounced this can be. clearly you were unprepared for this kind of cold environment, a simple towel can fix this in seconds.

    Again, you had a chance to chat with me at any point and resolve these issues, or even let me know you had them.
    since you were so eager to contact me for assistance, i would have assumed any issues you had with anything would have been raised then. or even after then when we tried to make sure everything with your "medical emergency" was resolved.. instead you said nothing to me about any of this, and slyly crafted your review.

  • We had a good time here in the mountains, and it's as advertised — a long way from civilisation and a definite escape. About 10-15 minutes from the main road into Matsumoto by car, so be ready to drive. Still, it's hard to find a whole house to yourself in Japan, and if you're travelling with kids then they can play with the Lego downstairs while you relax upstairs. Great bath too, and good to have a usable kitchen space.

    It wasn't perfect. I think we were the first guests in a little while; the house was musty and needs a little attention. It's a family-style holiday home in the mountains, so don't expect a flashy alpine resort and you can have a good time.

    While in the area, do visit Utsukushigahara Open Air Museum (about an hour away, amazing sculpture) and the nearby Norikura/Kamikochi region, plus Hakuba further north.

    October 2013
  • Nice cabin in the forest, good starting point for long as you have a car. Very quiet and enough space for two or also three people...

    September 2013
  • Jay was really helpful, all my questions were immediately answered. We spent wonderful time in the cabin and around. It was just what we wanted: an escape from Tokyo crowd and heat. The cabin has everything for living, plus you can buy fresh organic veggies and even pick blueberries in the local gardens: much cheaper than in Tokyo. But the car is a must.
    We would like to come again in a few months.
    Thank you, Jai.

    August 2013
    Response from Jai:

    you are always welcome to the cabin olga.
    arigatou gozaimasu!

  • we went to the mountain house in july, perhaps not the better season be very humid.
    The house is very tell located we sent to Norikura, also the open air muséum was very Nice.
    The house it self is nice,well arranged, but was little bit messy and we can felt that it was not regularly clean...we made quite big cleaning in fact...we were little bit surprised as There is some cleaning charges.

    i guess if everybody make little effort to clean it will improve, make it les s messy by removing useless extra things (old sofa, old product, heaters).


    July 2013
  • This is a really special & authentic Japan experience. The view from the bedroom window is very romantic: waking & gazing up to the tops of these incredibly tall tree trunks. We kept cozy under the kotatsu table and enjoyed watching DVDs after days out. It's very remote here but if you have a car, easy to get to Kamikochi and various onsen. We were here for our honeymoon and being in the mountain cabin was a wonderful way to spend a few days together, unbothered by the outside world.

    May 2013
  • Jai was very helpful, answered all of my questions many times over and arranged for Milton to meet us there. Advice in winter a 4wd with snow tires or at least chains would be advisable. In summer anything can work and I think it will be a blissful place to stay:).

    December 2012
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Hi... I'm renting my house in the Japanese Alps in Nagano. Feel free to ask questions if you have any, looking forward to hearing from you!
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