This traditional Japanese inn is a charmer, with a history dating back more than five centuries. A Buddhist monk named Yakuro Yukitada Asaba came to this site to found a temple. Guarding the entrance to the temple gate was the lodging for the monks—the beginning of Asaba Ryokan. Stretching around a central pond are the temple gardens, through which guests can wander. The rooms at Asaba Ryokan are Japanese style—"tatami" straw mat floors, with a central table and cushions to relax around during the day, and transformed at night with thick futons laid on the "tatami" for a cozy sleep. Views across the pond reveal a traditional stage, where Noh and traditional music are occasionally performed.
The ryokan is located on the Katsura river, and cycling and hiking trails start just outside the temple gates. Relax in a hot spring bath after a day in nature—the water at Asaba is especially good, and the outdoor bath under soaring trees is a delightful place to soak.