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2-4-40 Higashi-Karatsu, Karatsu, Japan


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Innovation is all well and good, but the goals of hospitality haven’t changed — so why bother tinkering with a solution that works? Japan’s ryokans, collectively, are among the greatest hotels in the world, provided you’re up for some intense peace and quiet, some extraordinary Japanese cuisine, and a bit of low-slung, traditional furniture. Here, the notions of novelty and originality which we apply to contemporary hotels are just about moot. What’s special about Yoyokaku, in northwestern Kyushu’s city of Karatsu, isn’t that it’s particularly unique in any easily identifiable way; simply put, what’s special about Yoyokaku is that it’s just so good.

You’re greeted as you enter by the day’s flower arrangement, and after changing into your house shoes you’re shown to your room. It doesn’t get much more tranquil than this — each year, the slow, simple life in a traditional ryokan becomes an even more precious currency. The elaborate kaiseki meal is, as always, key to the inn’s appeal, and in Karatsu, a city that’s known for its pottery tradition, you’d expect a nod to the local industry — here a series of showrooms display work by the master potter Takashi Nakazoto and his children, Taki and Hanono.

How to get there:

It’s a 75-minute train trip from Fukuoka to Karatsu train station, starting either at Fukuoka airport (FUK) or the city's Tenjin train station. From Karatsu train station, it’s a 6-minute taxi ride to Yoyokaku.

  • 20 Rooms
  • Style: Traditional Elegance
  • Atmosphere: Quiet
  • Yoyokaku
  • 2-4-40 Higashi-Karatsu
  • Karatsu, Japan

Hotel amenities and services

  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi
  • Jacuzzi
  • Multi-lingual staff
  • Room service

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