Kifu no Sato in the north of Okayama has been chosen as a quality luxury ryokan to participate in the ILTM(International Luxury Travel Market) in Kyoto in March 2013.
Also Kifu no Sato has been voted the best ryokan in Okayama Prefecture for the last six consecutive years by JTB, one of the most established tour operators in Japan.
Please review our ryokan and our “Samurai Tour” and write about any places of interest that you have visited in the surrounding area. Your honest opinions of the experiences you have had will greatly improve our service and help many travelers to make decisions. Thank you for your cooperation and thank you for staying at Kifu no Sato Ryokan!
Kenneth from Singapore
I stayed at Kifu No Sato recently in March. It is a most lovely ryokan with the most beautiful garden and flower arrangements i have seen. That said, I have been to many ryokans. From the outside, and even from google maps, the surroundings looks like the ryokan is in a commercialised area, but far from it being the truth, the ryokan sits in a very quiet area of mimasaka city in yunogo onsen. Once you enter into the ryokan, you have also entered into another atmosphere of what i describe as impeccable Omotenashi. The service is perhaps the best i have stayed so far. The people are warm, friendly and there is a culture of family amongst the staff. Junko san for example made it a point that i was comfortable and looked after especially being a single traveller. She offered to take me to himeji and made sure ryoto san looked after me for my lunches in the city. They arranged for transportation to Sayo station so i was more comfortable and made sure i had lunch at the ryokan which was the best tempura udon i had. I was also looked after so well by michiko chan and her colleagues for meals and they would take pains to go to the kitchen to check with the itamae the origins of the kaiseki i had. the kaiseki was good and gave me many ideas on how i could improve on my own cooking. Kifu no sato sets new standards for me to judge ryokan’s by. the gift shop was well stocked, generous with many manju, daifuku to try. more so my experience in seeing the last winter’s snow amidst Kifu no sato beautiful sakura and ume trees has etched forever in my memories. Opening the windows of my rooms, i could see the beautiful of the mountains surrounding the quaint and quiet town, watching little kids go to their school and the locals running in and out of the izakayas. But never once, i felt i was in a urban place, my stress oozing out in the pristine onsen, and cool mountain air. i miss this ryokan already and i do turn to my photos to remind me of my time there. I highly recommend Kifu no sato and i would say you will be looked after well by the grand dame, Okami Hiroko san too. the property booked with luxury ryokan collection is amongst the top in japan and the value is exceptional. They accept single visitors but this would be a place you want to bring your family to. It was easy to reach, and the journey was beautiful through the countryside. So thank you Kifu No Sato for a most lovely and memorable stay.
the rivers in the city, okayama observatory, fruit jelly, ice cream and milk from marui super market, gyu sugi kasu jiru from a sushi ya is not to be missed. please ask them about this soup, they will be happy to tell you too.
Thank you once again for a most enjoyable stay.
The Wall Street Journal movie critic, Joe Morgenstern, stayed with us last Autumn. This is what he had to say about us!
“… the ryokan was extraordinary, a level of unadorned luxury and expertise that’s new in my experience.”
Authentic Iai and Kendo martial activities with Trevor Jones
We had a very nice stay at Kifu No Sato Ryokan during the Easter holidays. The ryokan is amazing – super relaxing atmosphere with hot springs, great traditional food and fantastic hospitality. As part of our stay, Hiromi arranged for us to visit Musashi’s hometown in Miyamoto and spend time with Trevor Jones in a ‘hands-on kendo and iaido experience’.
The Musashi hometown was a great place to visit. As someone interested in samurai culture, I was keen to explore the sites of Musashi’s birthplace. It was fascinating to see such a historical site. But the essence of the place is the Japanese way of the sword and the hands on Kendo/Iaido session we had booked with Trevor Jones offered the opportunity to not only visit but truly immerse myself in its spirit and participate in this.
Having practiced martial arts since childhood, I was a bit skeptical. These types of activities can sometimes be very commercial or mediocre. Instead, I met in Trevor a true martial artist of the finest caliber, someone who has dedicated a big part of his life to the Japanese way of the sword. Most importantly, someone who showed true passion for the art and was passionate in sharing it with others.
One does not need prior experience in martial arts to enjoy the session with Trevor. He breaks down a complex art into simple concepts, he communicates clearly and is very engaging throwing in his good sense of humor. Besides having an authentic learning experience, I had a lot of fun!
Flo & Nancy
25 May 2014
from Mark & Charlene
Thank you for a VERY enjoyable stay at your ryokan. Kaori-san really touched our hearts with her lovely manner and fantastic service. She is to be commended for her personal, yet professional manner and I would like it if you were able to pass on our appreciation to the head of the ryokan.
Thanks again and I look forward to visiting Kifu no Sato again in the future.
Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year also.
Mark & Charlene
22 December 2013
New Year holiday visit
Your ryokan is very interesting. ?You can’t find it in any other country. ?It’s very clean and new.
Our favourite food was Ise lobster and Chiya beef and the coffee and tea were enjoyable, too. ?
The most memorable part of the stay is the hot spring baths and the peal pillow!
I love the coffee/tea spoon,,,wish I could buy them for my own home. (Two family group from USA)
The “hobbit” restaurant
I was floored, quite literally! After a hectic week in Kyoto we arrived somewhat frazzled and just impatient to get to our room. But the moment I walked into the lobby sans shoes(!) on the tatami floor, I felt really relieved. The peaceful atmosphere with all the gorgeous artwork and flower arrangements, the outdoor hot spring bath, delicious sushi, and kind staff all made for one of our most memorable stays at a Japanese ryokan. I could have been dreaming when I sat in the sunshine streaming though large windows overlooking the beautiful garden, then looked up to see a pair of hawks circling gracefully in the sky – but I wasn’t. I was living the dream. Highly recommend, hands down.? AND, be sure to go to the “hobbit” restaurant (aka Mitaki-En) hidden away in the mountains for the most enchanting lunch and authentic countryside experience ever. Indoor fireplaces/hearths sunken into the floor, massive tables made from a single slice of tree trunk, moss and flower covered thatched roofs, persimmons strung up in long rows set out to dry… Need I say more? ?(One female traveler from USA)
The Peach Family from Australia
10,May 2013We had a very warm and welcoming stay at Kifu No Sato. ?Hiromi Charles met us at the train?station on our arrival and showed us around the little town before driving to the ryokan. ? Little English is spoken at the ryokan, however,?Hiromi was nearby to assist with organising day trips?and restaurant bookings. ? We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this traditional Japanese ryokan and would recommend it to others. ?We had one of our most memorable lunches in Japan at a tiny sushi bar where we were entertained by the owner, a great sushi master, and her puffer fish!
7 April 2013
we would like to thank you and the whole staff of Kifu no Sato Ryokan for the warm and enjoyable welcoming and stay we had in Yunogo. It was such a pleasure for us to experience the Onsen, the beautiful landscape (including the tea plantation on top of the mountain) and last but not least the delightful and outstanding food.
We were especially pleased with our charming host who was taking care of us and would like to send her a souvenir from Wien, but unfortunately we forgot her name. She was very lovely and her english was quite good. So can we maybe ask you to give us her name and the correct address of the Ryokan that we can mail something to her?
Thank you again and we hope you will have many international guests from now on!
ILTM March Fam Tour Group
“10 March 2013
Thank you very much for your kind hospitality. ?I had a great time staying with you as I felt right at home.
Very warm welcome by all your staff and team. ?It was so nice to wake up to the stunning mountain views and
relax in the hot spring bath. ?I can’t wait to be back again!”
Luxury Leisure, Australia
“It was a wonderful stay. ?Staff very welcoming. ?Rooms are lovely with comfortable beds.
Overall service was excellent.”
Deidre Van Antwerpen
ICAN Holidays, South Africa
“Thank you for an amazing stay! ?The best steak I have ever eaten, a great experience
and loved staying at such a traditional ryokan.”
Luxury Travel Magazine, Sydney, Australia
“Thank you so much for your kind hospitality during my stay at your hotel.
It is great to relax and experience traditional Japan in such beautiful surroundings.
The dinner was fantastic and of course, the hot spring baths are not to be missed.
Keira Fitzgerald, HK/UK
“I like the hot spring bath very much. ?The service in the restaurant is good
and the food is nice. ?I love the flower arrangement in your ryokan. ?The garden is nice.”
Target Magazine, China
I stayed with my wife at Kifu no Sato for one night in February this year. This small ryokan in Yunogo has struck a perfect balance between exceptional service and genuine hospitality. The dinner was superb and the dishes did not seem to stop coming. It was a guided discovery of local traditional gourmet cuisine. The room was spacious and timeless and its outside private bath made our Japanese cultural experience extra fun and unique.
The ultimate pampering experience was without doubt a few hours spent in the Onsen (public hot spring) and its stone sauna.