Hidatei Hanaougi, Takayama

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Although it’s tricky for us to call a traditional ryokan inn ‘5-star’, the Hidatei Hanaougi makes us reconsider this.  The service here is exemplary, the traditional decor is impeccably well-maintained and the included meals are outstanding (and feature local Hida beef, of course!)

There are a wide-variety of room types to choose from, all named after aspects of the natural surroundings.  For something very special though, we would enthusiastically recommend one of the rooms featuring a private hot spring bath – an incredible touch of luxury.  The Hanaougi is located a short drive north of the historical central streets, but this is to benefit from the naturally hot onsen waters of the Jingai spring that runs below the property.  Even if you don’t splash out for your own tub, the public baths will give you the same healing warmth and relaxation – with both indoor and outdoor options available (separated and alternated for men and women).  There’s even the option to rent a cordoned-off private bath, situated in the idyllic gardens to the front of the inn, for those without their own – perfect to enjoy with your partner or family.

All rooms boast plentiful space to lay out on cosy futon mattresses, but some suites also give guests the home-comforts of twin beds… a great choice if you’re not accustomed to sleeping in the traditional Japanese manner! Despite its distance from the Old Town, this is still one of our preferred places in the whole region – great in all seasons, and immaculately presented every time.


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