EPICURE LOVES

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KAI Sen­gokuhara

Ban­ish thoughts of a fusty and old-school ryokan. KAI Sen­gokuhara mar­ries mod­ern min­i­mal­ism with an inn 700 me­ters up in the moun­tains of Sen­gokuhara, Hakone. Each of its 16 rooms fea­ture mas­ter­pieces from 12 Ja­panese and in­ter­na­tional artists, mes­meris­ing glass fix­tures from con­tem­po­rary glass artist, Mio Mu­raki, and a pri­vate out­door bath filled with the min­eral-rich spring wa­ter from the vol­canic Owaku-dani Val­ley. An ate­lier, over­look­ing lush gingko trees (or cherry blos­soms in spring­time), not only comes with paint­ing and draw­ing ma­te­ri­als for guests to chan­nel their in­ner Mu­rakami, but also con­ducts work­shops for time-hon­oured crafts such as tenugui (tra­di­tional hand-dyed cot­ton-based tow­els). Like­wise, the out­door hot spring is perched above the green­ery and is en­veloped by a sub­lime glow, thanks to the dra­matic wa­ter gar­dens and bi­o­lu­mi­nes­cent stones come evening. Its kaiseki course is no less mag­nif­i­cent. Ex­pect Wagyu and abalone, cooked atop heated stones, and the crème de la crème fruits of the sea­son. Room rates from 37,000JPY/S$462 (in­cludes two meals). 817-359 Sen­gokuhara Hakone-machi, Ashi­garashimo Dis­trict, Kana­gawa Pre­fec­ture 250-0631. Tel: +81 50 3786 1144

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