We arrived at the Beniya Mukayu in mid-November during a heavy thunderstorm. A young man arrived instantaneously with a huge umbrella, but asked us to wait a few minutes before getting out. We told him we’d wait in the car for ten minutes. But he came back within 2 minutes beckoning us to get out quickly. We soon realized why he didn’t want us to wait, but to use the short respite from the heavy rain to enter the Ryokan as soon as possible. The thunderstorms continued all through the night, far into the next day, and then again all night. They were heavy thunderstorms accompanied by pouring rain, hail, wind, loud thunder and bright lightening, sometimes so close that we thought we would soon be blown or washed away. It seems to have been a strange phenomenon of the Fall along this coastline, with cold air from the snowy mountains meeting the air over the still warm ocean.
But the atmosphere in the ryokan was welcoming. The owner himself awaited us with towels to dry our coats and hair. His flawless English was a great help in making us feel at home straight away. A freshly pressed apple juice was offered us instead of the traditional tea. These freshly pressed fruit juices are a part of the concept of the ryokan and delightfully accompanied us at every meal.
Looking around us, we were amazed by the felicitous marriage of modern architecture and typical Japanese elements in a most wonderful way. The Japanese art on the walls and in the hallways, especially, a very special sculpture on the second floor in the entranceway to the dining room give us a hint of the high art standards of Kazunari Nakamichi and his wife Sachiko.
Our tatami room and the adjacent bathrooms left nothing to be desired. Every wish we might have had was thoughtfully fulfilled before we needed to express it. A private onsen (hot spring) bathtub al fresco opened up a view into the trees and the thunderstorm beyond. I don't sleep well on the floor, but I understand that there are occidental style bedrooms available.
Our Japanese Kaiseki dinner was served in a spectacularly appointed black dining room. The lighting, the candles, the friendliness of the serving personnel must be experienced, they cannot be described. The menu card is handwritten and illustrated in Japanese and English (for us) by the owner’s wife and is in itself a work of art.
The sumptuous lineup of exquistely decorated and tasty small portions of food may be typically Japanese, but seldom do you see them served in such decorative ceramics, lacquer and porcelain dishes and bowls. What delightful tastes to regale the palate.
The second evening, we splurged on a body massage which took us to heavenly realms in an esoteric experience of gentle and yet sturdy touch, the fragrance of delightful aromatic herbs and spherical music.
All in all, we highly recommend the Beniya Mukayu Ryokan not only as a place to stay but as an allround experience of beauty.
The Beniya Mukayu belongs to and fulfills the high standards of the Relais & Châteaux Group.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.