This historic inn is situated in a valley just broad enough for a noisy creek and a row of dreamy ryokan on either side. 400 years ago the village was booming with 30,000 miners trying their luck in silver, but when the last piece of metal had been extracted and carted off, the fortune hunters disappeared. Today there are a mere 120 people living in Ginzan, pumping and sharing the same 60°C hot spring water from 10 meters underground as their ancestors did for centuries. Fujiya Ginzan’s original 300 year old structure was redesigned by Kengo Kuma, whose cozy minimalism immediately catapulted the village onto the pages of international lifestyle magazines. “Anybody from the street is now welcome to step in,” says the proprietor, “not only guests, and they can have a cup of tea in the lobby to enjoy the architecture.” Doors to the guest rooms seem to disappear and blend into the surrounding walls, as do drawers and cupboards, which keep you prisoner in a labyrinth of relaxation.