Japan’s rural ryokan present a bit of a challenge in classification; while they’re new and uncharted territory for most foreigners, to the Japanese they’re as traditional as it gets. But the Arcana, on the Izu peninsula two hours outside of Tokyo, is one we can all agree on: while in concept it’s still a classic, peaceful country inn, in execution it’s something quite unique.
Not just for the style, which is a blend of East and West, one part traditional ryokan and one part international boutique hotel. But as alluring as the interiors may be — and thanks to Graf, the Osaka-based furniture designers, they certainly are that — the main attraction is the widescreen view of the forest, just outside the massive windows. The same view is on offer from the 32-seat French restaurant, where diners all face outward, like a theatre audience. And you can get closer than that: instead of a central onsen bath, there’s a spring-fed hot tub on every balcony.
Arcana Izu, like its more traditional ryokan cousins, has mostly served as an escape for locals and expats seeking a quick (yet complete) escape from Tokyo. There’s no rule, though, that says that has to be the case — if you’re coming from overseas, you can bookend it with stops in the capital, or just get yourself to Izu with all due haste.
Text Courtesy of Tablet Hotels
Arcana Izu on the Izu Peninsula, Japan