Reached in style by riverboat in the scenic hillside area of Arashiyama just west of Kyoto, this is one of Japan’s leading hideaway retreats. The Hoshinoya team have successfully accomplished a tricky juxtaposition of traditional interior design and elegant modernised features such as bed-style futons and fully ensuite bathrooms. From a suite with ‘tatami’ straw mat floor and woodblock-print wallpaper, open sliding screen doors onto a private veranda with river and forest views. Multi-course ‘kaiseki’ cuisine is prepared under the expert eye of Ichiro Kubota, who gained renown as head chef of Uma in London and was awarded a Michelin star. In summer, watching cormorant fishing from the river terrace over dinner is an experience that only the Hoshinoya can provide, at once luxurious and uniquely Japanese.
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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