Immerse yourself in Japan’s stunning pristine natural countryside with a stay at Ryokan Sanga, nestled in the woods along the river at the far end of one of our favourite hot spring spots, Kurokawa. This traditional Japanese ryokan is a fantastic way to get back to nature and to truly cleanse your mind, body and soul, with views of a rushing river, burbling streams and nature. There are two natural hot springs which have been used for generations to heal and restore. The sumptuous cuisine incorporates local flavours and ingredients when they are at their seasonal peak, and each small but beautifully presented dish is home-made from scratch. These are served over several courses that capture the full flavour and colour palette of traditional Japanese cuisine. The boutique rooms are all designed in the traditional Japanese style, some with authentic stone baths and all with straw mat tatami flooring and futon sleeping arrangements. This is the quintessential Japanese experience, and it is well worth going off the beaten track for an authenticity that is slightly lacking at times at more commercial ryokan closer to Tokyo.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.Bill Bryson