When you see a small collection of thatched roofs peaking above the jade green forest, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Wanosato, a quiet Ryokan 20 minutes outside of Takayama. Teapots burble above crackling fires, while tatami mats creak underfoot. It’s a Japan of a time gone, but not forgotten.
At Wanosato, there is an intimate grouping of eight rooms (each complete with its own spa) in an incredibly green setting, all set around a stunning river that powers an old waterwheel. A complimentary Japanese breakfast is offered, as is high-speed complimentary Internet access. This luxury Ryokan also boasts a communal spa tub, tour/ticket assistance, and multilingual staff to help you identify things in the area, or on your plate.
Speaking of food, the dishes served in the restaurant utilize many rare local ingredients, including the lusciously marbled Hida beef, Japan's very finest. You’ll be amazed at how close beef comes to butter.
At the end of the day, Wanosato is about reflection and relaxation. Whether you find that around a meal, or in the spa — the ends justify the means.