I’m in my yukata in a tatami room overlooking a forest glen where rain pours, and its sound competes with the stream and waterfall. This is The Kayotei: http://intravelmag.com/intravel/innkeeper/the-kayotei-a-japanese-ryokan.
It’s my fifth visit here.
The Kayotei is a traditional inn or ryokan, located in Kaga Onsen, an old village that for centuries has attracted visitors seeking cure or amelioration from pains real and imagined.
Just below is a gorge where Basho wrote poems. Yes, that Basho.
These days one arrives, removes shoes, sheds clothing for yukata, takes hot baths during the day and night, and eats long, healthy meals of local vegetables and a little bit of fish from the nearby Sea of Japan.
There is little to do here except collect and then scatter thoughts. I find that writing is more possible and sleep easier.
Why, just last night there was a long pleasant meal of little dishes each of which made my mood buoyant. This morning a Japanese breakfast with so much flavor: a sticky yam, yuba, river fish, a light miso soup, and so on.