In the mountains near Kanazawa, the small hot spring town of Yamanaka Onsen runs alongside the dramatic riverside scenery of Kakusenkei Gorge. The spring waters are regarded as some of the best in Japan and have attracted bathers for 1300 years. The town has also been a respected source of woodturning and lacquerware for centuries.

In a place of such rich history, the hand of tradition lies heavily on each new generation. But like nature, culture is everchanging. At Hanamurasaki, the youthful sixth-generation owner Kohei Yamada and his wife Manami are seeking to preserve the spirit of traditional Yamanaka and Japanese culture in a new evolution that speaks to modern sensibilities.

Their 25-room riverside property has been completely transformed in collaboration with famed designer Shinichiro Ogata, drawing on influences from tea ceremony, traditional Japanese architectural techniques, and time-honored crafts to create a chic, contemporary ryokan that is both unmistakably unique and quintessentially Japanese.

Throughout, hundreds of local artworks are on display, from up-and-coming contemporary artists and artisans from the Yamadas’ social circle to Kutani ware antiques and pieces from Living National Treasures. The inhouse gallery hosts regularly changing exhibits and art-focused events, for a dynamic experience of regional art.

Hanamurasaki’s exquisitely presented kaiseki cuisine has a similar regional focus, with the seasonal bounty of Japan’s Hokuriku region served in locally made lacquerware and vessel. In winter, premium Kano snow crab from the frigid waters of the Sea of Japan is a particular delight. Meanwhile, the Japanese-style afternoon tea, with wagashi sweets and vegetable sushi accompanying a choice of 12 Japanese teas served by expert brewers, draws fans from near and far.

A stay at Hanamurasaki is an experience of Japan’s tradition in evolution.