Takinoya ryokan, nestled among the leafy forests of southern Hokkaido's Noboribetsu resort area, is a glorious location to rest your eyes on the wonders of nature as you soak away your cares in some of the finest hot springs in Japan.

Whether you are after the healing waters of Noboribetsu onsen or the area's natural splendor, Takinoya is an excellent choice in any season. In spring and summer, the prime seasons in this northernmost prefecture, the area buzzes with visitors from all over the world, attracted by the beauty of the natural surroundings. Winter is somewhat quieter, with a tranquil beauty all its own, muffled by blankets of snow. Autumn is also a popular season, when the foliage turns from summer green to blazing fall colors.

Inside, Takinoya is elegant and tasteful - Japanese art, both traditional and modern, graces the interior spaces, which are outfitted in the lovely, spare, zen-inspired geometric simplicity of traditional Japanese design. The ryokan's hallways are floored with tatami, and guests pad around in bare feet or special socks, unlike most ryokan, where slippers are the norm.

The onsen baths boast five different types of water, piped in from the famous Jigokudani onsen source, with different mineral content, acidity and alkalinity to ease both body and mind.

The owners, the Suga family, have five generations of experience serving up their exemplary brand of hospitality, having operated Takinoya since its beginning as a small restaurant in 1918. Let them and the rest of Takinoya's staff show you what omotenashi, traditional Japanese hospitality, is all about.