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Iwaso Ryokan (whose doors first opened in 1830) is situated in Momijidani Park and boasts the same craftsmanship and architecture of many of the islands historical shrines.
Just 38 Japanese-style rooms make up the hotel and are located in different buildings, with the Honkan the oldest, most elegant and traditional building followed by the more modern Shinkan. The hotel also has one-storied wooden cottages that adopt tradtitional Japanese architecture.
Guests can enjoy dining on traditional Kyoto-style meals in private, including delicious kaiseki dinners. The chef uses only seasonal ingredients, sourced from the sea (think oyster and Conger eel) and the mountains, to ensure the highest quality of cuisine.
The hotels trump card has to be the Hot Springs where the open-air bath faces the national park. Enjoy bathing in mineral waters as deer stroll along the paths outside and the sound of trickling streams fill the air.
As the hotel sits inside a national park there's an abundance of nature walks to be embarked up on, alternatively the Itsukushima Shrine (a world cultural UNESCO heritage site) is only a three minutes' walk away and the Miyajima port sits close by too.
Why we love it
Anybody who's anybody has stayed here, including some of the Japanese imperial family.