Beniya Mukayu has all the age-old grace of an ancient ryokan but with the contemporary style and elegance to suit the most discerning traveller. Nestled in the forest, in the spa town of Yamashiro, the hotel effectively blends ultimate sophistication with the conservative customs embedded in traditional ryokan life.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by Mr and Mrs Nakamichi. Third-generation owners, they give the ryokan a very special sense of place. Beniya Mukayu dates back to 1928 and was refurbished in 2006. On first impression, the architecture is striking but also tasteful and subtle. Kiko, from the team, accompanied me to explore the beautiful grounds, which feature impressive landscaped gardens and elegant water sculptures. She explained how the views from every guest room change with the seasons – from the sakura cherry blossom season and the lush shades of green in the summer months to the bronze and rust-coloured maple leaves in autumn and the crisp blanket of snow that covers the ryokan in the winter months.