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Sacred Retreat

For the discerning traveler, a countryside retreat in Wakayama offers luxurious resort accommodations perfectly placed near a historic Shinto shrine

The bustling temple town of Koyasan is one of the best-known attractions in Wakayama Prefecture. Just 30 minutes away by car, however, brings you to the picturesque village of Amano, which has close ties to the history and culture of Koyasan.

Nestled among Amano’s rice fields is Sanso Amanosato, luxurious resort accommodation perfectly placed for visitors who would like to experience the charms of the area at a relaxed pace. Sanso Amanosato draws on the auberge concept—a French term for boutique accommodation in the heart of the countryside—elevated with impeccable Japanese service and style. For the convenience of guests, Sanso Amanosato offers a pick-up service from multiple points, including Koyasan, Wakayama Station and Kansai International Airport.

In harmony with the surroundings, the interiors of the beautifully-appointed guestrooms and the three onsens (hot spring) bathing facilities utilize the natural warmth of wood. Japanese-French style dining mixes the best of local seasonal produce with innovative techniques to delight both the eyes and the palate.

At One With Nature in Amano

Take time to savor the tranquility and the changing face of the seasons in this mountain hamlet: Cherry blossoms in the spring, the lush greenery of the rice fields in the summer, the rich colors of autumn foliage and stark yet pristine winter snowscapes. In June fireflies light up the night along the banks of the Makino River and the area is recognized nationally as one of the best spots to see these beguiling little insects. The clear night skies of Amano are also ideal for stargazing and each guest's room at Sano Amanosato includes a telescope.

World Heritage on Your Doorstep

Niutsuhime Jinja, a beautiful Shinto shrine complex with more than 1700 years of history, is just five minutes up the road from Sanso Amanosato.

Along with Koyasan, Niutsuhime is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it played an important part in the Koyasan origin story. According to legend, the revered monk Kobo Daishi (774 to 835) received divine guidance from a hunter spirit, the son of one of the deities honored at the shrine. Kobo Daishi was searching for a place to establish a Buddhist community and the spirit lead him to Koyasan.

The magnificent architecture at Niutsuhime Jinja offers numerous photo opportunities, including the impressive entrance gate and the gracefully curved bridge over the pond on the approach to the shrine. The grounds are surrounded by flowering plants and trees. Every April the Hanamori Festival is held to celebrate the coming of spring with sacred dances and a parade of people in traditional costumes, and the shrine is bathed in a golden glow of colorful foliage in the autumn.

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