Iwaso, Miyajima

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This family-friendly and historical inn is located on the approach to the Mount Misen ropeway, adjacent to the seasonal hues of the Momjidani Park.  The Itsukushima Shrine, with its photogenic floating torii gate, is just a few minutes away by foot, and if you’re encumbered by luggage on arrival to the island, a free shuttle can save you the 25-minute journey from the ferry port.

The Iwaso inn has been welcoming travellers for over 160 years, and has slowly been expanding its buildings as more people began to visit for the splendid views.  A number of self-contained cottages, dating as far back as 1900, give an incredible opportunity to escape modernity and relax in the forest surroundings – as long as you can live without WiFi for a night!  For those preferring contact with the 21st century, the new 5-storey Shinkan building still offers a traditional experience and boasts unrivalled sylvan vistas, or views to the sea, from each room.  Regardless of which part of the Iwaso you stay in though, it’s the open-air hot spring that grants you one of the most indelible memories possible.  Where else can you bathe while gazing out at softly lit woodland, with the chance of seeing deer stroll by?  This authentic inn is one of our top picks for a truly special ryokan experience in Japan.

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