Auriole Potter explains why we love this soulful property
Whilst Japan’s boutique accommodation scene is gradually expanding, it’s rare to find somewhere that can combine exceptional comfort and cuisine with an authentic sense of place. One such property that achieves this holy grail of hospitality is Sasayuri-Ann, a pair of private villas reminiscent of the traditional rural homes known as kominka and located in the rolling hills of Nara prefecture.
The vision of businessman and Shugendo mountain monk, Tetsuji Matsubayashi, Sasayuri-Ann is a property with soul, where guests can enjoy the very essence of Japan, seemingly distilled in one place. Besides the interiors of the villas, which contain the elements and features typical of this type of dwelling (open fires, split bamboo ceilings and shoji screens), all the hallmarks of Japanese landscape design are showcased here too, from perfectly clipped pines and bonsai trees to painstakingly selected and placed stones dotted around the garden, meant to represent the mountains.