Asaba is one of Japan’s finest ryokans, and with an ancient history it has been in the hands of the same family for over five centuries. This ryokan is most famous for the beauty of its landscaped gardens, and the still active 150 year old Noh theatre, surrounded by flowing water and greenery. Notes of music are played out on the riverside, and performers are adorned in traditional costumes and intriguing masks, with a choir and orchestra. Inside, palliative wide corridors of white walls and blond woods lead through the ryokan, submerging guests in Japanese legend. Each guest will have their own personal attendant, serving the kaiseki dinner in the comfort of your own room, harmonising colour, flavour and texture on each platter. Enjoy the pleasures of an open-air spring bath, surrounded by bamboo thickets and swathes of hot steam swirling around the pool. It is said that the great teacher of Japanese Buddhism, Kono Daishi, bathed every day in these pools, and emerged totally purified.
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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.Susan Heller