Finding boutique hotels in Japan (outside of Tokyo) is somehow a challenge. First, you generally won’t find them on your usual hotel websites, which more than often means you’ll have to come up with new, more specialized sources. And then there’s the price, because you’ll soon find out that they’re in rather different price range than what you would have thought. But let’s not spoil our pleasure with these details yet, and enjoy the pictures first!
Beniya Mukayu is nestled in the woody hills near Kaga, less than one hour away by train from Kanazawa. To put it in a few words, the hotel is contemporary riff on the traditional ryokan (the Japanese b&b). Yet it would not be Japanese if this modernity didn’t seem to have so much soul and so much ancestral roots. I’m actually moved thinking about it…but let’s focus!
That’s the entrance to the spa. My husband indulged in a shiatsu massage that was so mind-blowing I’m still hearing about it! I regret not doing it too, but I did take the daily yoga class with its view on the garden. Can we talk about the garden for a second?
Do you see what I mean? This is the kind of place where you can literally watch the rain drop on leaves in complete awe. They’re very proud of the fact that they keep their garden “untrimmed”, something I believe to be a tad rebellious in Japan!
The area is well known for its fruits and vegetables as well as for its extremely fresh fish (the sea is very close). At this point you wouldn’t expect anything but gorgeous food served in fantastic dinnerware, right? Well, it’s spectacular yet so humble in a way. Like this mini pitcher. (I’m planning to start collecting those!)
Breakfast (we went for the western option, I don’t have any tolerance for anything miso and fish-related early in the day) is deceptfuly simple because most of the things are very local, like the fresh Fuji apple juice or the delicious glass of milk from the neighbouring cows. And these delicate salad leaves? Perfect. That as the only time we managed to eat salad in Japan, too bad it was for breakfast!
We picked a tatami room, which meant our futons would only be set in the evening, like in a traditional Ryokan. Except here it felt more like a fabulous ritual, with a choice between three types of pillows, plush duvets and soothing smell coming for a perfume diffuser. The room itself was vast and lit in a very subtle way, making the space very peaceful.
…the private outdoor onsen! Well, obviously this is fabulous. You get to soak in this naturally hot spring water with trees right above you. That’s the kind of experience I will remember for some time!
Well, obviously Beniya Mukayu was simply our most amazing hotel experience in Japan. That was definitely a huge dent in our budget, but worth every penny if you ask me. I feel you get to experience an invaluable a level of refinement and poetry there. Go and be delighted like us!________________ Book a room there, or visit the website.