When we went to Akishinonomori Nazuna, we were exactly the type of assholes that would make Japanese restaurants hesitant to accept reservations from foreigners. It started out with missing the train in Kyoto, followed by unexpectedly having to take 2 train transfers in Nara and then a 20 minute walk to the restaurant. To make matters worse, we chose the wrong fork in the road, ended up standing outside the woods behind the location, and had to completely backtrack around the block. While it wouldn't be the first time we were late to a restaurant in Japan - the previous times being courtesy of the Japanese address system - it was by about an hour. Maybe more. Fortunately, the staff appeared to be more than understanding and seemed happy enough that we showed up at all, out of breath and our faces red with intense shame. #tripofshame
Although Akishinonomori [quite a mouthful, eh?] is far off the beaten path, I loved it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone visiting Nara. The minute you step into the dining room, it's like stepping into a Scandinavian design paradise. It's exactly the type of establishment meant to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, surrounded by natural sunlight, trees, and minimalist yet cozy furnishings (including a fireplace for the wintertime!). And the meal? As you could expect, it was delicious and beautiful, made with vegetables from their own garden. And! - it is also a hotel! As the type of idiot that has to be out and about for at least 16 hours a day when I'm traveling, bringing myself to a point of greater exhaustion at the end of my vacation than where I started in the beginning, Akishinonomori was like my deepest travel fantasy come to life.
Date: March 2015
Camera: Canon 6D