Kazenokuni in the mountains of Shimane Prefecture is a new, upmarket resort spa set in wonderful, wooded countryside.
The Kazenokuni resort, which opened in 1997, includes spacious grounds and play areas for children, indoor tennis courts, an orchid garden, handicraft studio, outdoor onsen baths with sauna as well as a Noh stage and even an indoor gate-ball ground.
The handicrafts visitors can see being made and try their hands at making are kachiji washi, a kind of paper only made in the local area and taketombo bamboo propellers.
Accommodation is either in 15 hotel-style guest rooms or separate, wooden cottages. The staff run shuttle buses to Gotsu Station to pick up guests and the area makes for a relaxing base to discover the charms of Shimane.
As with nearby Mizunokuni, the local food served in the restaurant was superb.
2696, Nagatani, Sakurae-cho, Oochi-gun, Shimane, 699-4431
From Gotsu take National Highway 261 to Kawado and then follow the signs on route 41.
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Saturday, November 17, 2007