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Kifu no Sato featured in Financial Times article

05,Aug 2015 Media

At the end of July, one of our guests, Caroline Daniel, had her article about her visit to Japan published in the Financial Times.

Caroline took a nine-day trip around various locations in rural Japan to indulge in traditional Japanese hospitality, and to savour the different experiences offered by the area’s recent artisan-led cultural tourism revival.

In the article, Caroline speaks of Kifu no Sato with fondness, acknowledging the ryokan’s hospitality and the draw of its onsen and kaiseki cuisine for local Japanese tourists. The ryokan was her stop for travelling to other areas to touch base with what the local establishments have to offer.

Returning from the day’s travels to reinvigorate herself in Kifu no Sato, the incorporation of furniture by Masayuki Oshima, a woodcraft artisan from neighbouring Nishiawakura, into Kifu no Sato’s interior decor does not go unnoticed by Caroline. She was also able to observe and attempt ikebana with Kifu no Sato’s ikebana master, Koyo Kuroda.

The full article can be found here, and below the cut is the segment concerning Kifu no Sato and the surrounding area. If any of the experiences (tours, locations, restaurants, etc.) mentioned are of interest, please do not hesitate to contact Kifu no Sato to inquire. We will do our best to arrange and accommodate your requests.

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Introduced in JETGALA magazine

31,May 2015 Media

Introduced in JETGALA magazine, May-July 2015 issue on luxury ryokan story.
JETGALA magazine

JETGALA magazine

 

JETGALA.pdf
JETGALA.pdf

Himeji Castle has just reopened!!

08,Apr 2015 Information, News

Himeji Castle, a world cultural heritage site, has reopened on 27 March after 5 years of preservation project.

Altough the cherry blossom season has finished, it is still worth visiting.

Kifu no Sato is located 1.5 hours away by car.

By train, you can take Super Hakuto limited express from Himeji station toward Tottori and get off at Sayo station. (about 35 minutes)

Free shuttle service available from Sayo Station to Kifu no Sato ryokan (about 30 min)

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Joe Morgenstern Tour

16,Feb 2015 Events & Tour

It had been a longtime dream for Joe, a film critic for the Wall Street Journal, to come to Japan. He came to the countryside for an authentic Japanese experience and personal interactions with local artisans.

Visited Mr. Kaoru Miyazaki, a potter living in Nishiawakura Village. Mr Miyazaki sources local clay with high iron content which appears as spots giving his creations a unique trademark. He also uses local thinned needle-leaf wood for firing instead of the standard pinewood making the firing process more environmentally friendly.

Joe with Mr Miyazaki

 

Mr. Hirokiyo Ando, a sword maker, is a designated “Prefectural important intangible cultural property”. He is never without a smile and always happy to answer questions. Mr. Ando has been pursuing for the last 35 years to find and revive the techniques used back in the 13th century to create the highest quality swords.

Joe with Mr. Hirokiyo Ando

 

Mr. Keiichiro Shimoyama is a 3rd generation tea master who has worked hard to breathe life back into Japanese tea culture in the Okayama region. After he took us through each stage of tea processing, Mr. Shimoyama invited Joe to write his own tea packaging with a calligraphy pen. Can you read what he wrote? Joe gave the tea “5 stars”!!

Joe Morgenstern with Shimoyama sanMr Shimoyama with his daughter

 

Mr. & Mrs. Taylor’s Autumn Tour

06,Feb 2015 Events & Tour

Mr. & Mrs. Taylor spent 3 days with us trying out a range of hands-on traditional activities unique to the northern Okayama area. As experienced travellers in Japan who have also lived here in the past, they chose our tour to go further in their journey to discover lesser-known gems hidden in the Japanese countryside.

Kasuri weaving activity

Mrs. Kashimoto who has a real passion for kimono explained how the threads are dyed in a mathematical way in Sakushu kasuri unique to the Mimasaka area, to reveal a final design. Mrs. Taylor made a placemat in about one hour. Here guests can also purchase handmade cotton fabric woven by Mrs. Kashimoto herself at reasonable prices.

 

 

 

Mrs. Taylor with Mrs. Kashimoto

 

Sushi-making class with Kifu no Sato senior chef (incl. lunch)

Mr. Nishimoto is one of the youngest yet one of the most creative chefs in the team at Kifu no Sato. The couple spent a leisurely 2-and-half hours making miso soup and three types of sushi using prawn, smoked salmon, dagger-toothed conger, squid, tuna and salmon roe. The chef’s educational talk ranged from the different types of knives to his training days.

Sushi-making with Mr. Nishimoto

 

Sushi lunch

 

Pottery activity with Mr. Kyo Isezaki

Mr.Isezaki’s works are known for their classic beauty deeply rooted in the Bizen tradition. Kyo-san guided the couple to make coffee mugs on a potter’s wheel. The guests’ creations were shipped to them after the firing process in the wood kiln.

Pottery making activity with Kyo Isezaki

 

Visit to a sword maker in Osafune town

Osafune town in Okayama has been renowned for its quality sword production for centuries. Attracted by its style, Mr. Ichijo Kawashima who is a 15th generation maker of swords moved here from Kochi Prefecture. Allowed into a workshop considered “sacred” and to see the forging process is a real treat. The couple learned that a lot of a swordsmith’s work is about forging his spiritual self as much as polishing his technical skills.

Ichijo Kawashima

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