Gora Kadan: The Architecture

Built about 20 years ago, Gora Kadan is one of Japan's finest contemporary ryokan. It is located in the wooded hills of Hakone, in the little hot springs town of Gora and surprisingly close to Tokyo. I recently spent two impeccable nights there. It was the perfect combination of Japanese aesthetics, cuisine, comfort, hot springs relaxation and extraordinary Japanese attention to every detail.

We were greeted by the kimono-clad ryokan owner when we arrived and were escorted to our rooms by our butler, who was dressed in kimono and hakama trousers. The butler was polished and polite, yet warm and welcoming. He explained to us about the baths, the meals and the spa facilities and served us a wonderful cup of tea with sweets.