Stay in one of Japan’s most luxurious properties complete with stunning views
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History & culture | Natural world | Relaxation
The Kii Peninsula juts out from Honshu Island and is jagged into a series of bays and inlets; it’s a ria coast that looks out onto islet jewels. Amanemu is set on one such coastal formation – Ago Bay. Known as Japan’s answer to the Aegean Sea, you’ll be able to watch rafts laze over the sun-kissed, azure waters in search of pearls while others fish up lobsters, oysters and abalone. And, designated as a national park, it’s an idyllic setting for this luxury resort. Heading away from the waters on the World Heritage-listed Kumano Kodo pilgrim trails will bring you to the Ise Grand Shrine, whose construction dates back some 2,000 years.
Inspired by a traditional Japanese village, suites and villas are tucked away among the resort’s landscaped grounds. Entire textile walls peel back to reveal grand terrace decks where suspended daybeds look out over treetops to the waters below. Back inside, open plan arrangements feature king-size beds, walk-in closets, a personal bar and dining area. An intimate fire nook provides a welcome sense of intimacy as do the spring-fed onsen baths. For larger groups, the villas feature private gardens, powder rooms and courtyards as the living and bedroom area comes as a pavilion.
Looking out over pearl divers and peninsular forests, both Amanemu’s menu and views are informed by its locale. The varied microclimates of Mie Prefecture produce everything from the famed Nabari melons to delicately flavoured seafood. You’ll also enjoy the region’s Matsusaka beef, considered one of the ‘three big beefs’ of Japan for its tendril marbling and rich flavour inculcated by strict guidelines governing its production. Its no surprise the region was once known as the breadbasket of the Imperial Court.
At Amanemu, there’s a range of experiences designed for you to get the most out of the rich history of the resort’s location. Perhaps explore the Ise Grand Shrine with an expert guide to watch as morning prayers are chanted and rituals are danced before putting on a kimono to head into its inner sanctuary. The region – for centuries – has also been famous for its female ama freedivers whose harsh, ancient way of life still lives on in a form to this day. Taste a slice of history by dining with an ama in her traditional hut or take to the waters yourself with an expert angler to catch and prepare your own sashimi and tempura. Alternatively, take things slower with a champagne and canapé cruise to watch the sunset or a round of golf at a nearby course. Closer by, you’ll also find a 2,000 square metre spa – complete with pools, gardens, treatment rooms and fitness facilities – that combines onsen sensibilities with modern best practice.
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