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Some ryokans come in the form of dazzling traditional architecture, letting it be known from the moment guests arrive that their stay would be simply unforgettable. Then there are others that may look at first glance rather unassuming, but strive impress with what they do inside. Kifu no Sato, housed in a blocky yellow building in the mountainous onsen town of Yunogo, near Mimasaka in Okayama Prefecture, is one of the latter kind.
Considering that the name of this 35-room ryokan translates to “the home of seasonal melody,” it’s only natural that the times of the year are abundantly expressed. The delicate kaiseki dinner may include an array of wild mountain vegetables in the spring, or crab and blowfish sashimi in the winter. And the fully tatami-matted hallways and little corners throughout the building blossom with traditional arrangements of, say, Japanese iris and sunflower in the summer, and camellia and pine sprigs in colder months.
We’re talking about some pretty subtle pleasures here — even among ryokans, Kifu no Sato is anything but flashy. There are some delicious details, though, if you know where to look. Each room is furnished with a unique pair of chairs made with hinoki cypress by a team of young local artisans, and comes with a pillow menu as well as a yukata (light, casual kimono) menu for ladies so they can lounge in style. And should you find it all perhaps a bit too soothing, head over to the lounge where you can sip organic single-origin coffee, served in Okayama’s traditional Bizen-ware.
How to get there:
Kifu no Sato is about a 90-minute drive from both Osaka and Hiroshima. Okayama Airport (OKJ) is about an hour and 10 minutes away, and Kansai International Airport (KIX) is about 2 hours and 45 minutes away. The ryokan can arrange private transfers for an additional charge. For further information or assistance with transportation, please email CustomerService@TabletHotels.com.
- 35 Rooms
- Style: Contemporary Classic
- Atmosphere: Quiet
- Kifu no Sato
- 180 Yunogo
- Mimasaka City, Okayama, Japan
Hotel amenities and services
- Free parking
- Free wi-fi
- No pets allowed
- Spa treatments (on request)
- Wake-up service