You’ll feel zen from the moment you drive in from nearby Kyoto, along a narrow road through Japanese cedars and past temples and shrines, to the moment you sink into a hot bath at this intimate ryokan. Refreshed and relaxed, you’ll then sit down to an exquisite kaiseki meal of freshly foraged food prepared by a Michelin-starred chef. Oversized windows bring the outdoors in to the immaculate and simple tatami rooms, which come with both lunch and dinner. Book well in advance, given the inn’s small size and low-tech reservation system.
Owner Hisato Nakahigashi combs the forests surrounding his ryokan each morning for the fresh herbs found in his tsumigusa (foraged) cuisine. Watch him prepare carp sashimi and salt-baked bamboo on a rectangular chestnut counter that surrounds a hearth. Then, wind down in one of four humble guest rooms, in which latticed sliding windows and wood-panel ceilings evoke the adjacent Buddhist temple.