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.
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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 the intimate ryokan. Refreshed and relaxed, you’ll 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. A meal is 15,000 yen (about $133), overnight 45,000 yen (about $400) including lunch and dinner. Book well in advance, given the inn’s small size and low-tech reservation system.