Overseen by the proprietors of another Tablet favorite, the Niki Club & Spa, Numazu Club comprises a restored 1907 teahouse and a guestroom complex built in 2006. The old building, somehow unscathed by the Second World War, is a paragon of the sukiya style, an austerely refined approach to the classic tea ceremony and its attendant traditions; the new building utilized venerable wood-and-clay construction techniques to match its surpassingly serene architecture. In short, everything about this place encourages an immersive retreat; this is where you go to recharge.
Good thing it pulls that off so well, because there isn’t much else to do in the sleepy fishing town of Numazu. Nestled in a vast swath of old-growth pine — and further encircled by a massive, rambling garden — the hotel boasts Fuji-fed natural springs and a contemplative pond fit for long hours of watercoloring. The rooms radiate intimacy and structural simplicity, proof positive that natural wood surfaces are more than sufficient to spur visual interest. All the hallmarks of textbook ryokan interior design show up: springy tatami flooring, whispery sliding panels, and unobtrusively low furniture. Yes, the requisite flatscreens and free wi-fi exist, but you’ll hardly notice them for the enchantingly verdant garden views through enormous, floor-to-ceiling windows.
Of course, they don’t eschew contemporary style altogether, especially in the new wing, where the furniture balances graceful curves with clean, severe edges. “Timeless” might be the better descriptor for the refreshing lack of frivolous ornamentation and the commitment to attractive, architecturally framed views of the grounds. You’ll have a decent vantage point from the deep soaking tubs crafted from hinoki (Japanese cypress); for an optimal viewing experience, spring for one of the rooms with an outdoor tub. Once you’re good and placid, take your time exploring the still-functional tea room and library — after all, the point of these structures is to revel in their perfect balance and composure — then grab a seat at the on-site restaurant for a freshly caught meal. Trust us, they’ve had a lot of practice at preparing seafood specialties of wide renown, exceeding even the locals’ lofty standards.
Text Courtesy of Tablet Hotels
Numazu Club in Numazu, Japan