The Hakuchoro is a charming and quirky property dating from the feudal Edo period in the 19th century. It exudes an old-world Japanese charm, with an idiosyncratic layout due to the fact that Edo-period property rates were calculated on building frontage rather than area. The old customs of Japan are evident in the tatami-mat dining room alongside a modern one, as well as communal hot spring baths. These are great for a long, relaxing soak after a day’s sightseeing, particularly given the fact that the bathrooms in the renovated rooms are a typically compact modern style. The rooms themselves are a very generous size though, starting at 30 sqm with premier rooms at 40 sqm (equivalent to a luxury Tokyo hotel). In keeping with the Japanese preference, the rooms are all twin beds, but effort has been made to accommodate western guests with the mixed selection available at breakfasts. Dinners are a more formal affair with ‘kaiseki’ traditional cuisine being prepared using local ingredients. One of the most endearing features is the tea lounge, which retains the original stained glass windows which were in vogue in Japan towards the end of the 19th century, but those seeking an unalloyed Japanese experience can have drinks in the Maharoba lounge with its panoramic windows looking onto the private traditional garden.
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.Robert Louis Stevenson