Kurashiki, Honshu, Japan

This charming heritage traditional inn, or 'ryokan', lies at the far end of the willow-lined canal in the Bikan historical quarter of Kurashiki. It is a 300-year old building originally used as a sugar storehouse and converted into just five guest rooms, reception area and Japanese-style dining room. There is considerable variety between the rooms, some being more modern with twin beds while others are have traditional tatami mat floors and roll-out futons. It is distinctly Japanese in character, yet bears some comparison with heritage bed & breakfasts in the UK. The kaiseki traditional dinners included in every stay are a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. Nakamura-san, the elegant and welcoming manager, speaks excellent English and she can advise on all aspects of the ryokan from bathing etiquette to the less familiar items on the kaiseki menu. 

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