Surrounded by lush gardens and bamboo forest, this first-rate ryokan inn is anchored around a pristine lake and offers indulgent hot spring baths. Founded in the 15th Century, this family-run business remains one of the premiere ryokan inns in Japan. All of its 17 guest rooms feature unique designs while staying true to their timeless, minimalist aesthetics. Meticulously crafted meals are served in accommodations, and the staff unrolls fresh futons every night. There is a stage atop the central pond, a gift to the Asaba Ryokan during the Meiji restoration, that holds performances and an intimate spa. Indoor, outdoor, and private baths give guests the opportunity to bathe in flowing onsen waters, and many rooms are fitted with their own private baths. Service is impeccable and the surroundings are serene.
All of the resort's 17 rooms embody the classic ryokan style with tatami mat floors, sliding paper screens, and futons unrolled by the staff nightly. Delicate decorations of calligraphic scrolls and asymmetrical flower arrangements complete the rooms, and large windows frame stunning views of the lake. Each room has its own distinctive design, leaving interested guests with a difficult choice to make. The resort boasts 510 years of history, and the refined aesthetics clearly reflect this.
Offering views of the pond and surrounding gardens, these meticulously decorated rooms offer spacious living areas, serene terraces, and indulgent, deep wooden bathtubs.
These rooms feature a comfortably sized living area, a terrace that faces the pond, and a basic bathroom. Guests of these rooms are welcomed to enjoy the resort’s large, family, and outdoor baths.
A mixture of culture and serenity, the resort’s facilities create an intoxicating, Zen atmosphere that guests can lose themselves in. Between the indulgent hot spring baths and the intimate Hitotoki Spa, guests are certain to reach a near unparalleled degree of relaxation.
Looking over the Noh stage, this intimately designed spa offers relaxing massages that make use of Eastern and Western medicine and yoga elements. Certain European beauty treatments are also available, and top-of-the-line cosmetic brands are used, such as those from the clinic of Dr. Widmer in Montreux, Switzerland.
The raison d’etre of the inn, it houses three types of onsen water bath facilities. The outdoor baths look over the bamboo forest and pond. Distinct time slots are allocated for men and for women. There are also separate indoor bathing rooms for men and women that feature baths furnished out of fragrant hinoki wood. Finally, private baths are available for rent at all times. These baths can be enjoyed with family or privately.
Constructed during the Meiji period, the Gekkeiden Noh stage on display at the Asaba Ryokan holds several famous plays that depict tragedies of family, love, murder, and redemption.
Situated on the edge of the resort's intimate pond, the salon is a relaxing environment where guests can enjoy a variety of drinks from freshly ground coffee to a glass of sparkling, bubbly champagne.
All meals are served in-room. Guests are invited to slip into cotton kimono-style yukatas before a classic kaiseki banquet is served. The whole experience accords with traditional Japanese ryokan customs, a strain of sensibilities derived from royalty.
The meal consists of a variety of beautifully presented seasonal delicacies that range from a hotpot of sea eel and matsutake mushrooms to delicate sashimi flavors. Meals are served atop artistic ceramics adorned with flowers and leaves. Breakfast is also served in-room, and guests can choose between a traditional Japanese or Western plate. There is also the hotel’s Salon, which serves a selection of coffee and champagnes.