1-Ho-20 Yamanaka Onsen Higashimachi, Kaga-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture, Kaga, Ishikawa, Japan
"Everything about staying at Kayotei was wonderful. The service, the food, the artist experiences, the onsens, the inn itself, and the gorge walk were all highlights. The inn is a 20 minute drive from the Kaga-onsen train station, and they can arrange for you to be picked up. We arrived and all the staff turned out to greet us. The staff was all extremely gracious, and everyone we interacted with spoke perfect English. We were checked in by the lounge with a cup of tea by general manager's son, and met the room attendant who would be personally taking care of us. We had arranged ahead of time with the General Manager, Jiro Takeuchi, to visit some local artisans. That is a particular passion of his. We went to a soba noodle restaurant, and made our own soba noodles, which they cooked for our lunch. We visited the studio of paper artist Mika Horie, who makes traditional Japanese handmade paper from gampi tree bark. (She's also a photographer who makes cyanotype prints on that paper.) She showed us how to make the paper, and we each made two pieces of paper on our own. She dried them for us, and mailed them on to our next hotel a few days later when they were ready. Finally, the next morning we went to see Yasushi Satake, a third generation woodturner who makes amazing lacquer bowls. We bought a couple of his bowls as souvenirs. There are extra charges for all these experiences, but they were one of the highlights of our entire trip. After the experiences we tried out the onsen baths. Some rooms have their own private onsens, but those rooms had already been booked. We tried out the two single gender onsens, which were empty at the time. They alternate which one is for which gender each day, so if you stay for two nights you can try them both. They day we stayed, the women's onsen had a second outdoor bath. There is a rather picturesque gorge directly below the inn, and there is a nice stone paved trail through the gorge, across an amazing footbridge, and into town. We had a nice walk, and explored the town a bit, which has some nice shops (and a post office, if you need more cash). They served a multi course Kaiseki dinner in our private dining room. It was one of the nicest meals I've ever had. I've heard from several sources that it is was one of the nicer royokans in terms of food. Everything was delicious, and nothing was "too weird" as to be off-putting for my children (ages 12 and 18). Much of the food is local sourced from small producers. The rice, tofu, rice wine, soy sauce, seaweed and so many more were all extremely special. They've been doing the local food thing for 20 years now, before it was so common. The great ingredients were expertly prepared. In addition to trying the local sake, they also have a French wine list with some very nice bottles. The service at dinner was discrete but efficient. One particularly nice thing was that our room attendant kept explaining what we needed to do, since much of it was un"
"We have just come from a stay in this lovely Inn. It is a very luxurious blend of traditional Japanese architecture / interiors with the all the comfort of a top hotel. We were greeted with warmth and graciousness by the staff, who were delightful and attentive throughout our stay. Our particular host, whose English was excellent, was so knowledgeable about the methods of food production and preparation and also explained the history of the region's pottery. The Kayotei Inn is renowned for its Japanese cuisine and they pride themselves on sourcing the food from exacting local artisan producers. So enjoy the feast (served In private dining areas overlooking a traditional Japanese garden)....all VERY atmospheric! We had a room with a private ensen overlooking the woodland. It was all beautiful designed and was a joy to experience. We had the pleasure of meeting the owner , he explained that creating a hotel in such a beautifully scenic area whilst incorporating the views into the design was very important to him. And he has succeeded - the views of the trees and valley are beautiful. He is also an excellent calligrapher! He designed the label on the sake bottles which are beautiful. We look forward to returning here soon! "
"After a really busy week in Kanzawa and on the Nodo Peninsula, we spent 2 nights here relaxing and savouring all the Kayotei had to offer. We were not disappointed! We spent the better part of a day walking the nearby river gorge (beautiful) and surrounding area, walking to the two century old cedar trees just outside of town and then ending back in the town for a wonderful late lunch at Yunamachi Enuma Bistro Station. The balcony of our room overlooked the garden and stream are behind the Kayotei - we spent 3 hours reading to the sound of running water. Couldn't have been more perfect! As we happened to be the only guests in the hotel for a couple of hours and in a room that didn't have a private outdoor bath, management suggested we take the opportunity to bathe together in the normally single sex-reserved onsen. Very thoughtful and a wonderful experience in a large oversized bath area! The room was beautifully comfortable meals and service were sensational, with local delicacies on the menu, including lobster and wagu beef on our second evening. Truly a special stay!"