JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
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Kinosaki is Ampersand's favourite little hot spring town, tucked away on the remote north sea coast a two hour ride from Kyoto. The Nishimuraya is its most renowned traditional inn ('ryokan'), and one of the finest example of Japanese traditional exterior and interior design.

There are very few wooden ryokan now remaining in Japan, so this alone makes this 150-year old property a rare experience. It is designed in the 'sukiya' traditional tea house style, which immerses the guests in the world of a pre-modern Japan. As with 'ye olde worlde' character properties in Britain this could become a cliche in the wrong hands, but the Nishimuraya maintains an authenticity that is emulated but seldom bettered by newer ryokans.

The simple but smart tatami-mat rooms mostly look out over an immaculately kept Japanese garden, and then within the property is the Hiratakan annex built in 1960 but in perfect harmony with the original building. For complete immersion in Japanese culture, Ampersand recommends the 2nd floor annexe rooms with private open-air view baths. Sumptuous multi-course 'kaiseki' Japanese feasts are served in the comfort of the room - the perfect way to spend an evening after a day strolling between the various hot spring baths in this small town.

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The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
G. K. Chesterton

Client Testimonials

I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India

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