Chill Out: Southern Nara's Relaxing Retreats

Head south to the mountains, where life slows down and follows nature’s rhythms. The traditional ways of farming and making things by hand never went out of fashion here, and the locals always have time for a chat.


Each room at this venerable ryokan has its own private onsen bath. After dinner, kick back on the veranda with a cool drink. | Ryokan | Dorogawa Onsen

Ryokan Kuboji

Welcoming and atmospheric family-run ryokan with rooms looking out onto Dorogawa's main street. | Ryokan | Dorogawa Onsen

Ryokan Kato

Staying with the Kato family feels like home. Enjoy leisurely home cooked meals and views over the valley. | Ryokan | Yoshino


Life slows down in Gojo. Enjoy a stroll along the river before relaxing in a comfortable suite room. | Ryokan | Gojo

Totsukawa Onsen Hotel Subaru

The clear mountain air and low lighting make for perfect star gazing. The hotel is popular for its large outdoor onsen baths, also open to non-guests. | Hotels | Totsukawa

6 related lists & stories