Hidden away in the forested valleys of Gifu Prefecture, the Wanosato is a deservedly celebrated traditional Japanese inn which oozes charm and warmth. The heritage buildings look, from the outside, much as they did 160-years ago, but inside each private, detached villa you will find a blend of essential modern touches and gorgeous architectural relics. With steep thatched rooves, earthen walls, and colossal timbers, each room is a magnificent but comfortable place to stay, with private facilities and futons for a traditional night’s sleeping.
Evening meals are a snapshot of the local environment – mountain vegetables, fish from the river that runs past the property, foraged ingredients alongside luxurious Hida wagyu beef. Staying in a ryokan such as this is an experience in itself – with hot spring baths, a glorious irori fireplace in the main building, and invigorating fresh-mountain air throughout… though the nearby town of Takayama is a worthwhile distraction. A free shuttle bus to and from the train station will allow guests to travel the 20 minutes or so to this UNESCO Heritage treasure, while still granting them the tranquillity of the countryside when their sightseeing is finished for the day.