Relaxing in the Serene Japanese Countryside at Wasure no Sato Gajoen

Luxury from a bygone era in Kagoshima, Japan.

High in the mountains of Kagoshima Prefecture, in the far south of mainland Japan, Wasure no Sato Gajoen offers guests luxury from a bygone era. Built in the traditional ryokan style, the thatched-roof cottages that make up the property are home to only 10 suites, an open-air kitchen, a hearth hut, a restaurant, a hybrid reading room and café, and of course, a well-appointed spa. Perched over the Amori River, whose gentle burble is the score for walks between cottage, spa, and restaurant, Wasure no Sato Gajoen is positioned to connect guests with the tranquil, wellness-inspiring nature of the region.

Because of nearby Sakurajima, the most active volcano in Japan and an emblem for the prefecture, the region is dotted with onsen (hot springs), one of which provides the water for Wasure no Sato Gajoen’s spa. Similarly, each suite is outfitted with its own onsen that is fed mineral-rich water from the local Myoken hot springs, allowing guests to experience one of Japan’s time-honoured wellness traditions in the privacy of their own lodgings. Sakurajima also nourishes the region’s famously fertile soil, and the hotel’s own farm provides the produce that is served alongside local chicken, beef, and fish as well as shochu and sake.



For those wishing to explore Kagoshima beyond the walls of their own private paradise at Wasure no Sato Gajoen, the prefecture brims with cultural opportunities. At the foot of Mount Kirishima, a small range of dramatic volcanic peaks, the Kirishima Jingu Shrine welcomes tourists to explore one of the oldest and holiest Shinto shrines.

The Ibusuki no Tamatebako, a sightseeing train that follows the shoreline south of Kagoshima City, shuttles passengers to the seaside town of Ibusuki, where visitors can experience a unique local wellness ritual, fully submerged sand-bathing on its geothermally heated beaches.

An hour’s drive west through fields of green tea, Samurai culture is on full display in the 150-plus ancient Samurai residences of Izumi-Fumoto and at the Marutake Sangyo Samurai armour factory and museum, where baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani’s iconic helmet was made.