"British Hills is a unique, luxurious resort and conference center
located in Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture about 230 kilometers from Tokyo.

British Hills, which resembles a fine English country estate spread over 24 hectares, 
gives its guests the opportunity to experience anauthentic
English environment without leaving Japan. Its facilities include a dining
hall and pub, a health spa and swimming pool, tennis courts and croquet
field, with golf and skiing nearby. Guests stay in well-appointed period
cottages and can choose from a variety of cultural activities and courses
such as ceramic arts, calligraphy, cooking, and aroma therapy.  Special
events, such as classical concerts and "mystery" dinners, are held from time to time.

tel.0248-85-1313 fax.0248-85-1300 "  (Home Page of British Hills)

. .

I went to British Hills on Sat. Mar. 30, 2002.  I was a bit concerned about the
snowy winter roads in the mountains - "hills" is not a word suitable for its name,
as its altitude is over 900 meters - after just having the tires changed
from studless to normal.  As it turned out, there were no traces of snow except on 
the roadsides around the premise and in the surrounding slopes of the hotel.  
A nearby ski resort Hatori Lakeside has already been closed.

When we arrived there after driving for 2.5 hours from Utsunomiya-city
on R4 but not Tohoku Express Way, we saw the receptionists and the refectory and pub
staff who were mostly British and some New Zealanders.  They spoke in English to 
the guests, among them a group of school students.  Right in front of the entrance to 
the restaurant is a lecture room which seats 100.  And their sits a statue of Shakespeare 
welcoming the guests and offering a photo background for school children
with a chair to share with him.  In this setting, they offer a variety of programs to
allow the Japanese to experience the language and culture, including Sunday English
lessons, handicraft and snooker, an origin of billiyard.

Educational aspects - BH is owned by a language school in Tokyo - aside,
it is a miniature British village complete with a tea house and craft room.  
All the buildings look like British.  I wondered if any British architect was involved 
in their designs, outside and inside.  The rooms have the doors, perfect with 
a latch inside combined with its lock, bath tubs, basins, wardrobes and chests, all British.  
The stately room and the library on the floor above the reception are equipped with 
very fine and expensive sets of furniture, rugs, lights, trophies, etc. 

How could an owner of a language school in Tokyo design,
coordinate, furnish, and collect all these, not to mention employ the staff from England?

Just before leaving BH on Sunday morning, I happned to overhear the
manager, probably a British in his 40`s, a tall gentleman with his long hair queued,
discuss with his staff wearing balck ties and having the Union Jack downed from the pole in
condolence of Queen Mother, who passed away the day before.



British Hills' Home Page 

- April 1, 2002 -

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