On the outside, Kuramure looks every bit the part of an old Japanese inn: a large, dark wooden house, gated off in quiet isolation.
But on the inside, celebrated architect Makoto Nakayama has transformed the available space with his modern, minimalist eye, all the while keeping the most charming traditional touches of Japanese design, such as tatami mats, flower arrangements, and low tables.
Falling in line with Japanese tradition, Kuramure is a delicate and fastidiously maintained hotel. Every evening, you are personally escorted to your private dining room at either 6 or 7 pm and served a unique, seasonal multi-course meal whose elements shift with Otaru's daily catch.
Each suite at Kuramure is fitted with a private hot spring bath, available for use 'round the clock and fed by local thermal springs. Open-air hot spring bathing is also possible - sink up to your neck in the piping hot water while clouds of steam swirl about your face.