This unique and special place mixes the best of Western and Japanese accommodations. Rooms are mostly in freestanding houses in a wooded setting, making autumn one of the best times to visit. Most ryokan serve only Japanese food, but Murata has an Italian eatery and a full bar where you can sit by the fireside and enjoy after-dinner drinks. And if you get bored taking too many baths, there is a small but elegant art museum with well-curated exhibitions that change twice yearly. The food is made of the finest ingredients, and all dishes are delicately flavored and exquisitely presented. The menu changes every month, and is friendly to vegetarians.