Standing on a mountainside vegetable patch, chef Chiharu Takei – wearing his kitchen whites beneath an anorak and wellies – pulls a clump of carrots from the soil and says: “Dinner!” Several hours later, in the hotel restaurant, the vegetables reappear sliced on square black-slate plates served alongside red Kagoshima beef. Forget supermarket shopping. Local produce grown in the surrounding countryside is what you’ll find at the new Sankara Hotel & Spa on southern Japan’s Yakushima island. Home to the world’s oldest cedar forests, the mountainous…
A corridor leads to suites in the main building
Ryoko Ado, from the hotel’s Asian Herb Association spa
Villas look out to the Pacific
Lounge and library
Yakisugi wood displayed next to the logo
Decked infinity pool
Prius for hire
Chef Chiharu Takei, left, with a local farmer
Jiro Sato, designer of Sankara
Okas restaurant kitchen
Private stone bath
Takei’s organic jams
Mountain spring in the surrounding forest
A dish prepared by Takei
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