Yamashiro-Onsen, Ishikawa Prefecture, Hokuriku region, Japan … April 29, 2006 … Staying at a luxurious traditional Japanese Inn or ryokan is one of the true “experiences of a lifetime.” No other manner of accommodation offers the personalized royal service and pampering of a Japanese ryokan. And, no other form of accommodation can claim such royal history and tradition. Marilyn Monroe and Joe D’Maggio knew this. They spent their honeymoon behind the shoji screens.
There are many ryokan throughout Japan, but some are even more special and more exclusive than others. Unfortunately for Marilyn and Joe, they stayed in a city ryokan, far away from the thermal hot springs of Japan’s mountain retreats. Ryokan Shiroganeya at Yamashiro Onsen (Hot Springs) offers everything that Joe and Marilyn experienced -- personal service; gourmet kaiseki (multi-course) breakfast AND dinner served on your own, private tatami-mat room or suite; exquisite manicured, private gardens; and 380 years of history, but with the added bonus of the best of Japan’s most relaxing and therapeutic hot-spring spas and all this for a package price equal to just the room price at a Napa Valley resort!
Established in 1624, Shiroganeya’s main building was designed by Sen Sosa, the head of the Omote Senke family. The building houses one of the most respected tea schools in Japan and has been designated as a tangible cultural asset. Renowned among Japan’s historic gentry, Shiroganeya hosted generations of prominent aristocratic figures, including Edo era Princess Hisa of the Maeda clan, high ranking Samurai, the acclaimed potter Rosanjin Kitaoji, and many other artists, writers and tea masters.
Shiroganeya’s magnificent high ceilings reflect the Hokuriku region’s signature architectural style. A spectacular garden view suite called “Fukuno-ma” was the favorite of Rosanjin. It exhibits all the major characteristic architectural elements, including: lacquered pillars and Yukimi-shoji, a two-layer vertically sliding window, one with glass and another with Japanese paper, so that guests can view the moss or snow covered garden, regardless of the season, while still seated upon the tatami, floor.
Shiroganeya is ideal for those who seek peace and tranquility. Facilities include: a garden tea room, where authentic Japanese green tea and sweets are served free of charge to guests; a gallery displaying some of the most exquisite and rare artwork of both Rosanjin and Seika Suda, the founder of the Seika Kilns renowned for their superb Kutani-yaki ceramics; a relaxation/ massage room, and an elegant bar serving local beer and wine, overlooking a Japanese garden.
Shiroganeya is also known for its unique gourmet cuisine. Located in Yamashiro Onsen, one of the most superb hot springs areas in northern Honshu and nestled between the Sea of Japan and the majestic Hakusan Mountains, this region, called Kaga, claims it’s own food culture. It combines the freshest local ingredients with a locally adapted culinary style. Meals are served on Kutani-yaki, ceramics and guests can appreciate the aesthetic presentation that enhances the fresh and delicious dishes.
For more information on Shiroganeya, visit its website at: www.shiroganeya.co.jp/, and click on “English.” (Note: You will need the latest version of Flash Player to view the site.) Guest rooms start at 24,000 yen per person and guest suites start at 33,000 yen per person, including two magnificent gourmet meals and unlimited hours in the authentic hot spring spas. School age children are 70% off.