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Asaba Ryokan in Japan

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Asaba in a Nutshell
Asaba Ryokan in Japan

Ancient wooden doors mark the entrance to Asaba.

© Susan Breslow Sardone.
Stewarded by the Asaba family since 1675 and still family-owned, Asaba is a classic –- and classically beautiful –- ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) that is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group.

If lovely, kimono-wearing Misa Asaba herself doesn't personally greet you, perhaps her sister-in-law Airi, fluent in English, will.

The wisdom and experience of generations has made Asaba a refined and peaceful retreat. The family's philosophy is spelled out in its brochure:

    "Over the years, we began to acquire the notion that nothing calms the hearts of our guests more soothingly than nature itself; the way a river flows, sparks of light that flitter through a bamboo forest, or the melody of birdsong."
Located in the town of Shizuoka on the Izu peninsula, which juts into the Pacific Ocean, Asaba is as soothing to the eye as it is to the spirit. It's edged by a fish pond with a waterfall and backed by a bamboo forest; most rooms overlook this view. Another thing that makes Asaba distinctive is its outdoor theater, where Noh performances take place a few times a year.

Despite its age, the interior of Asaba is so well kept and so light and pristine that it is hard to believe it is even 30 years old, let alone more than 300. And the inn's wi-fi -- among the strongest we encountered in Japan -- attests to the family's commitment to preserving its high standards and providing conveniences modern travelers depend upon.

See a Guest Room >

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