Driving the West Coast of Japan

Wild Rugged Noto Peninsula West Coast Japan

Stunning Vistas along the west coast of Japan and the Noto Peninsula. Often secluded, the drive is a treasure trove of rugged coastline images.


Dream Destination for Art Lovers -Benesse House, Naoshima

Benesse House – Park

Benesse House was a hotel/ museum concept, started in 1992.
Based on the concept of “coexistence of nature, art and architecture.” Designed by Tadao Ando, the facility is built on high ground overlooking the Seto Inland Sea and features large large glass expanses that serve to open up the interior to the natural surroundings. In addition to exhibiting the painting, sculpture, photography, and installations in its collection, the Museum also contains permanent site-specific installations that artists have created especially for the building, selecting locations on their own and designing the works for those spaces. The hotels consist of Park- 47 rooms, Beach – 8 suites, Oval 6 rooms and 2 suites and the museum hotel- 8 rooms. Among the artists featured are Claude Monet- Water Lilies, Jean Michel Basquiat, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Yayoi Kushama, and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Oval at Benesse House

Beniya Mukayu- A Relais & Chateaux Gem


Tea Ceremony Beniya Mukayu

A marvelous addition to the Relais & Chateaux Japan collection is the beautiful Beniya Mukayu. Tranquil rooms with open-air baths in a hot springs hotel offering a garden setting, spa, and spectacular dining. The rooms have a traditional Japanese Mineral Spring tub. Located near the western coast of Central Japan, the drive offers spectacular coastal views.

Japanese Style Mineral Spring Tub

Typical bedroom Beniya Mukayu

Restaurant Kaiseki Horin


Iconic Miyajima Island


Itsukushima is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest portion of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima which in Japanese means “Shrine Island”. The island is one of Hayashi Gahō’s Three Views of Japan designed in 1643.
What a thrill to see.

Buddhist Pagoda at Miyajima


Sasayuri-Ann, a Villa in the Japanese Countryside


Interior Sasayuri- Ann

Sasayuri-Ann is one of about 8 small villas and Ryokans we are going to experience. Owned by a village Buddhist priest, Tetsuji Matsubayashi, the villa was surpassed all expectations! Hosted by he and his family, we were most pleasantly surprised to have a flute serenade by his teacher- who plays all over the world. Then the topper was having dinner prepared by another friend, a Michelin Chef.

Dinner cooked by a Michelin Chef! What an experience!


Japanese Countryside and Temple visits.

We visited the town of Nara – near Kyoto- on the way to an amazing country villa but more about that later. We visited Fushimi Inari, a shrine famous for it’s 10,000 gates. When one makes a donation, their name is inscribed on one of the gates. Stunning!

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Morning Mist Nara

Todjaiji Temple, largest wooden building in the world

Diety from Tojaiji Temple


Ritz Carlton Kyoto- a Japanese Jewel Box!

Ritz Carlton Kyoto

One checks in and gets an immediate sense of

Ritz Carlton Kyoto

Flowers at the Ritz Carlton Kyoto

Kyoto. Japanese culture is on display in every corner. Rooms are luxurious with a floor to ceiling window view of the city. Japanese design with an extreme sense of luxury. Both 5 Star hotels in Kyoto, the Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons are superb choices for an experience in Kyoto.