The Yoshimatsu is a charming ryokan built in the 'sukiya' teahouse style, with a tea room within which one can partake in a traditional ceremony. It is situated in the perfect location at the south end of Lake Ashi in Hakone, tucked away in the trees and a bamboo grove but with some views back across the lake to Mt Fuji. One can travel around this national park by a variety of cable cars and ships across the lake, then finish at the Yoshimatsu mid-afternoon to relax in their traditional garden which has a variety of blooms and looks lovely in any season. If the idea of communal bathing doesn't fill one with enthusiasm, some of the tatami-mat Japanese style rooms even have their own private hot spring baths. The Yoshimatsu also serves some of the finest 'kaiseki' multi-course cuisine in the area, with several courses of minimalist dishes served tapas-style alongside tofu and rice for both quality and quantity. By all accounts this is one of the best places to take a break for one or two nights between the busy cities of Tokyo and Kyoto.
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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