One of my favorite things about older ryokan (Japanese style inns) is how they combine inside and out. Kikuya, a ryokan I stayed at in Shuzenji this past week, is built around several inner gardens. As you walk around the grounds many of the hallways go from inside to outside and back in again. My room also opened up right onto one of the inner gardens and ponds. I could sit on the porch and listen to the frogs croak as a light rain fell before sleeping. A peaceful place to visit for someone used to living in the rush of the city.
See where this picture was taken. [?]