A heady mix of cutting edge and deeply traditional, Japan continues to appeal to travellers who are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Whether it’s embarking on a trek through a towering mountain range, or taking in the sights of an ancient city, Japan is a place where you can do it all.
And when it comes to accommodation, you might find yourself bunking in a Buddhist temple one night and soaking in your own luxurious onsen the next. Japan offers the perfect mix of luxury accommodation and unconventional experiences. If your travelling style is all about getting off-the-beaten-track then you’re going to love these places to stay in Japan.
KAI Beppu offers a contemporary spin on the traditional hot spring experience. Located on the island of Kyushu, the resort resides by the sea and produces more hot spring water than any other resort in the country. Spend your days soaking in the luxury bathhouse and learning about the healing properties of the tradition. With kaiseki dinners featuring a platter of seafood and rooms offering ocean views, you’re bound to leave Kai Beppu with a renewed body and mind.
Glaminka Sayo Village
Nestled between the mountains of the Hyogo Prefecture, Glaminka Sayo is a hotel made up of four beautifully renovated historic Japanese houses. Surrounded by the countryside, this unique accommodation gives you a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and experience what life would have been like at an old Japanese house hotel. With clear night skies, peaceful walks and gourmet food, you won’t be rushing back to your real life.
If you need a little more motivation to get into meditation then perhaps a private Japanese villa overseen by a traditional Shugendo monk will help. Taking up residence in an authentic Japanese thatched-roof mountain house that’s over 200 years old, Sasayuri Ann’s combination of traditional features and modern comforts provides you with a truly unique experience. With room for up to ten guests, this is one to get the group together for.
Azumi Setoda is a Japanese Ryokan or bathhouse hotel, situated on the quiet isle of Setoda. Here, you can take in the island’s citrus groves, mountainsides and secluded bays by bike, or take a stroll across the road to the hotel’s own Yabune bathhouse and enjoy a long soak in the lemon baths. Each luxurious bedroom comes with its own cypress bathtub and peaceful outdoor garden space, creating the ultimate private retreat.
If merely looking at temples doesn’t quite satisfy your need for cultural immersion, why not stay in one? Head south of Osaka to historical Koyasan to find Fukuchiin Onsen – a shukubo or temple stay that offers pilgrims and well-heeled tourists a place to rest their heads. With your accommodation inside the temple compounds, you can truly immerse yourself in the mindful Buddhist traditions practised in the temple and experience one of the most unique hotels in Japan.
This article originally appeared on Fancy