17 Feb 2017 in In immersion
Rest and relaxation will be a great feature of your holiday at this hotel with its unusual architectural style.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga is located in the city centre, and the first thing that strikes you is its traditional frontage and its large annex, symbolising a happy marriage between tradition and modernity.
At check-in you will receive all the attention customarily shown by the Japanese to their guests. The staff team stands by the entrance, smiling and eager to show you around. First you take off your footwear before stepping onto the tatami mats opposite the reception desk, and you then go to the lounge, where a few details about the functioning of the hotel are explained to you. To move between the two areas you cross a very elegant patio with a superb stone lantern – a toro – very typically Japanese, which marks the transition between two worlds.
A doll’s house
When you enter the lounge, your eyes are instantly attracted to a small wooden house set in a charming Japanese-style garden. This is the tea house. Cross the garden following the little paved path, slide open the door, and take your place on the tatami to experience an authentic tea ceremony.
This ritual always creates the feeling of escaping for a moment from a world where time flies past at top speed. The calmness of the geiko and the grace of all her movements add a poetic quality to the matcha tea tasting ceremony, always served with wagashi – adding a sweetness to counterbalance the slight bitterness of the tea.
The library lounge area
The lounge is the place where everyone likes to get together, for a break during the daytime to enjoy a coffee or a cold drink, or to meet up before going for a stroll.
To delve deeper into the country’s culture, you can browse one of the books from the library, or take your seat after dinner to enjoy the Shishimai spectacle – the dance of the dragons – which is always very popular with guests.
Between tradition and modernity
The hotel respects the traditions and codes of the ryokan, whilst cleverly integrating modern comforts. The bedrooms, for example, are furnished with a harmonious blend of the traditional elements of the ryokan together with a more contemporary style of bedding and a modern lounge area.
In addition, some rooms have a terrace and an outdoor hot tub; a private onsen that you can enjoy at any time. Of course the hotel has its own onsen, located on the ground floor, with an indoor and an outdoor bath, and a rest area where you can prolong this moment of relaxation.
High-class Kaiseki cuisine
The hotel’s restaurant consists of small private compartments that allow you to dine in privacy, the service is attentive and absolutely charming, and the cuisine is authentically Japanese.
The chef’s kaiseki cuisine is prepared with great skill, creating an elegant and subtle combination of seasonal produce and local specialities. The sake menu is an opportunity to discover a range of beautiful drinks to complement your meal.
In the city centre
If you are seeking a good base for visiting the city, you will find nowhere better than Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga. Opposite the hotel is the Kosoyu, a traditional public baths that simply has to be discovered. Completely restored back to its original condition as it was during the Meiji period, it is attractive from the outside and even more charming on the inside. You can easily visit all the streets of Yamashiro Onsen city centre on foot, and you will find many pottery shops.
The prefecture is famous for its pottery and ceramics, and you can admire these items or even try your hand at making them yourself. Another point of interest for food lovers: the wagashi shops. One of these makes some of the finest mochi in the country.
In the neighbourhood
A free shuttle bus takes you to Kanazawa station, some 40 minutes away. Tourists come to this city primarily to see its splendid castle, which has been completely renovated and whose architecture, built entirely of wood, is particularly impressive. You can then stroll around the castle’s very extensive grounds and cross the road to prolong your walk in Kenroku-en Garden.
This cultural property, a site of national interest, has retained all the features of the landscaped garden in the Edo period (1603-1868). Nearer to the station, the big Omicho market has been in existence for 300 years, and has many stalls selling local products: fruit, vegetables, fish and much more. You can lunch on sushi, eel kebabs or one of the many other local dishes. And before you leave, do not miss the Higashi Chaya district where you can admire the old tea houses.