8.32km from Cake Kobo Cake No ChiyoI’ve visited Japan once or twice a year for the last ten years. And after staying at Waterside Cottage Heron for the last two nights, I can say this is my very favourite hotel in Japan. The food is the most incredible farm to table, fresh, vegetable rich food you can imagine. Mostly sourced from their own kitchen garden and the local kumihama area. Very River Cottage in style. Dinner was I think six courses and breakfast four - everything ultra seasonal, delicious and so beautifully presented. Eg dinner had courses like steamed vegetables with bagna cauda, pear salads, local snow crab. I just can’t do the food justice by describing it. And of course served in the most incredible room right on the river. The rooms are even more gorgeous than the photos would suggest. Everything is beautiful, considered and built to last - raw timber floors, Belgian linen sheets, heavy wool blankets, Scandinavian furniture. Plus thoughtful details like great tea and coffee, Bamford bath products etc. I loved sitting by the window watching the river, the ducks and the incredible view - just heaven. Kumihama itself is a beautiful, sleepy coastal village. There are two local sake breweries to visit and also an art gallery that looked fabulous but was closed when I visited over the new year period. But really you would come here to relax and soak up the hotel. The train ride was an easy one from Kinosaki or Kyoto and the last leg is very scenic in a cute one carriage train. I had such a wonderful stay and so appreciate how wonderful the team were. They were all so lovely and went out of their way to make it a perfect stay. They were also great with accommodating picky western dietary requests! I would so encourage anyone to stay and know you will love it.