A centuries old building that has been lovingly and beautifully restored, Zenagi is a luxury wellness retreat in the Kiso Valley that doubles as a rural expedition hotel. Intrepid guests are invited to connect with nature by sampling thrilling outdoor activities led by Olympic-level athletes, experience local culture by meeting the artisans who are considered some of Japan’s most precious cultural treasures, and sample distinctive cuisine created by Michelin-level chefs. Zenagi offers an insider look at rural Japan for those who are willing to step off the beaten path and immerse themselves in another world.

With only three maisonette style guestrooms, the entire ryokan can be booked by a single family or group, if required. The rooms feature private garden views and artisan crafted cypress baths on the ground floor. Stairs lead to luxurious upper levels, tatami matted and with all the zen minimalism one would expect.

Food is a major part of the Zenagi experience and breakfast lunch and dinner are all included in the price. The kitchen and menus are led by a Michelin-starred chef and inspired by Kiso Valley flavours, from rivers and forest to mountains. The dining room and the common areas all have custom-made furniture carved from local wood. Comfort, relaxation, exploration and nourishment are all integral ingredients of the Zenagi experience.

A wide range of activities are available to each guest, with bespoke itineraries created, based on guests’ own preferences. Options include hikes along the old, cobbled Nakasendo Way, canyoning in the beautiful Kiso river gorges, exploring nearby rural villages, cycling through rice terraces, or paragliding to get a lofty, bird’s-eye view of the Japanese Alps.

Zenagi is the perfect hotel for clients who want an authentic Japanese experience and want to get away from the well-trodden tourist routes. Only a matter of hours away from Tokyo, Zenagi offers a hidden oasis of calm.