Though we’re great admirers of many of Japan’s urban hotels, we urge anyone who will listen to get out of the city for a bit and check into a ryokan. This is taking that advice quite literally. All the way out in Yamaguchi Prefecture, at the extreme western end of Japan’s main island of Honshū, is where you’ll find Bettei Otozure, in the mountains near Nagato City. Like so much of rural Japan, it’s a place that’s reasonably accessible, thanks to a world-class rail network; but like all the best places in rural Japan, once you’re there it’s another world entirely.
It’s a very traditional form of hospitality, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the past. The suites are a mixture of tatami-style floor-level furnishings and some Western design classics, looking for all the world like a ryokan reconsidered for a design-conscious modern world — which is, of course, more or less exactly what it is. The presence of electronic amenities and luxury-hotel comforts is a bit of a surprise, but they do nothing to distract from the main event, which is, as always, the view of the sublime Japanese countryside, in this case seen through floor-to-ceiling windows. And in typical style there’s a decided emphasis on bathing — either communally, at the main baths, or privately, en suite, in the open air.
Text Courtesy of Tablet Hotels
Bettei Otozure in Nagato, Japan