all photos courtesy ume yamazoe

Nestled in a small mountain hamlet of Nara prefecture is a grand townhouse once owned by a former village chief. A sloping path leads up to the home where it looks over Oku-yamato and all of the small town’s secluded, untouched beauty. Easily over 100 years old, the home was falling into disrepair until a sushi maker decided to purchase it and expand into the hospitality business. But the end-result was unlike any other hotel.

With the help of two architecture firms, OH Architecture and Atelier Satoshi Takijiri, the old townhouse was reborn into Ume Yamazoe, a small hotel with three main rooms. “Our wish is to create a space where people wake, reconnect, restart and recall what Japan is like,” says the hotel.

If you’re looking for all the modern conveniences of a luxury vacation, you’ve come to the wrong place. And the hotel takes pride in this. In fact, they make a point of listing everything they don’t have: televisions, convenience stores, perfect A/C, tons of amenities, pools or room service. Instead, they offer serenity, morning mist, the sounds of gurgling brooks, starry skies,hearty meals made from freshly picked vegetables, and old-school hospitality.

Rooms range from 17,500 yen to 30,500 yen per person depending on the room and how many meals to choose to have there (in addition to breakfast, you can also add on dinner). All rooms require a minimum of two people and the entire structure, given it is made from wood, is a smoke-free facility. You can read more about Ume Yamazoe on their website, or follow them on Instagram.