JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
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Takimi Onsen Inn
Kiso Valley

Located in the depths of the Kiso Valley amidst the Japan Alps, Takimi Onsen Inn offers an exclusive and homely stay. As the inn only caters to one party (up to eight people) a night, it makes for the ideal getaway for those seeking a rural escape in Japan’s unspoiled countryside. In our view, this cosy guesthouse is the place to spend a night or two while walking the ancient ‘Nakasendo Way’ walking trail.

You can expect a warm welcome upon arrival here, as the delightful couple that run this traditional inn, Mr and Mrs Koike (who sweetly introduce themselves by their first names, Miyoharu-san and Kazoku-san), both provide great hospitality and the charming property gives off the air of an ancestral home.

A real highlight of this special hotel is the gourmet food: not only is it beautifully cooked by the skilled host over a traditional ‘irori’ (sunken hearth) right in front of you, but it is arguably traditional Japanese ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course haute cuisine) at its finest. Changing with the seasons and availability of local ingredients, the dishes constantly vary; you will be spoilt with a selection of succulent meat – we enjoyed Wagu beef, wild boar ‘shabu-shabu’ (hotpot) and fresh trout while dining here – and vegetarian options, alongside perfectly grilled vegetables plucked straight from the fertile land outside. If this isn’t enough to whet your appetite, rest assured that even the simplest of ingredients – along the lines of rice and sesame – are curated into mouth-watering delicacies that you are bound to crave when home! As is typical in Japan, everything is cooked with outstanding care and attention-to-detail, and it really is a treat to watch this in such close quarters here, as well as cook a few of the specialities yourself.

Another of this property’s perks is its private natural ‘onsen’. These hot spring baths make for the ideal introduction to this uniquely Japanese cultural tradition and the bubbling mineral-rich water is sure to relax and rejuvenate your muscles after a long day walking. Soak in the indoor bath or step out into the pristine mountain air to bathe outside overlooking the impressive waterfall: our idea of bliss.

This picturesque idyll is without a doubt our favourite guesthouse in this area; not only does it promise exclusivity and tranquillity, but its authenticity as a family-run ‘ryokan’ (Japanese inn) ensures a memorable stay.

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Susan Heller

Client Testimonials

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
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
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
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
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
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, 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
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
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

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