Kaga station, between Kyoto and Kanazawa, is the jump-off point for a number of little historic hot spring towns and great traditional inns. There's Yamashiro with its charming baths, which were actually rebuilt a few years ago but remain faithful to the original Meiji-period design. A number of newer ryokan and resort hotels have sprung up around it. A little further on, Yamanaka has a well designed central plaza around its public baths, and a lovely walk along Kasukenkai gorge. Ryokan fans can stay at the Hoshi in Awazu, which has been receiving guests since the year 718 and holds the Guinness World Record as the world's oldest hotel.