Kamenoi Besso


Dignity and finesse imbues everything about Kamenoi Besso, which is one of Japan’s finest ryokan inns. Quintessential essences of Japan are embodied in its tranquil surroundings and congenially attentive service providing a sanctuary where mind and body are enveloped luxuriously in an intimate relaxing comfort.

A family-run business in its fourth generation, Kamenoi Besso has honed its qualities over a century since it was established as a country retreat, a besso, for VIPs, by Kumahachi Aburaya, the father of modern tourism in nearby Beppu. Adjacent to Yufuin’s famed Kinrin-ko lake and with soaring Mt. Yufu-dake as an immediate backdrop, Kamenoi Besso is beautifully located in a three hectare (7.4 acres) estate of moss gardens, trees, bamboo and ponds. Artfully harmonised with this natural oasis is traditional and modern Japanese architecture, which, in turn, is infused throughout by beautifully composed interiors and the gracious hospitality of the staff.

Kamenoi Besso’s 20 capacious guest rooms are composed of 14 detached villas and six apartments, which are divided into purely Japanese or Japanese-Western style accommodation. Each have their own en-suite kakenagashi continually flowing onsen hot springs baths, heated floors and views over private gardens. The latter are a haven of nature that transform with the seasons from spring’s sakura cherry blossom, early summer’s myriad mottled greens of the young leaf, autumn’s brilliantly vibrant foliage of reds and yellows, to winter’s covering of light snows.

Elegantly prepared and presented multi-course kaiseki dinners, Japan’s haute cuisine, are a celebration of Oita's abundant and varied ingredients sublimely satisfying both the palate and eye. Villa guests may enjoy meals, including breakfast, in the privacy of their rooms or with other guests in a private restaurant. One area of the grounds, which is open to the public, also incorporates an à la carte restaurant, a tea room, gift shop and bar.

Not surprisingly, Kamenoi Besso is a favourite destination for many. These have include Akira Kurosawa, one of the most important and influential film makers ever. Apparently, he would regularly find respite and solace here from the pressures and stresses while on the set of Ran, his epic masterpiece filmed in nearby Kokonoe.

Japan, Oita, Yufu, 湯布院町

At a glance

A exquisitely refined ryokan inn in the heart of Yufuin.

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