• Deep valley views, rolling hills and the ryokan's own Japanese gardens, with its use of bamboo, mineral pools and enormous rocks
  • The kaiseki and shabu shabu dinners that are served in your room are exquisite
  • The service is a truly a cut above the rest

Given that Gora Kadan was once the imperial family’s preferred getaway, it’s a truly privileged retreat. You’ll enjoy the region’s finest traditions in its superb kitchen, superb service and rooms that balance historic charm with contemporary flourishes.Once the emperor of Japan’s private retreat, it’s fair to say that Gora Kadan has something of an illustrious past. Indeed, the residence’s commitment to the omotenashi principles of Japanese hospitality can be keenly felt throughout, not least in its sumptuous kaiseki dining. A degustation affair, guests are treated to breakfasts and dinners of immaculately prepared dishes that are designed to balance – across numerous courses – not only flavours, but everything from textures to colours. It’s all served by your kimono-wearing host in the comfort of your room – a tradition that dates back to the wandering samurai.

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In more detail

In your room you’ll find such luxuries as steam saunas and rotenburo stone baths – outdoor hot springs. The samurai would recognise the décor too, with traditional futons, tatami mat floors and timber furnishings recalling the rural charm of feudal Japan. The suites and private verandah also host picture-perfect views of Hakone’s national-park beauty – it’s a land where ancient shrines dot shimmering lakes and mountains backdrop great swathes of old-growth forests. It’s scenery invited into Gora Kadan by the sculpted greenery of your private garden – one for each suite.

As you’d imagine, this isn’t the place for beauty salons and late-night bars. Instead, baths heated by Hakone’s bubbling volcanicity soothe any sightseeing aches and the rice-paper walls of the treatment rooms offer the chance of an authentic Japanese massage with views out over the traditional gardens. Lastly, the pool and Jacuzzi offer more modern comforts.


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