Kaiyu Inn

Top choice boutique hotel in Kōchi Prefecture

Fluent English-speaking owner Mitsu has redesigned a concrete 1960s edifice, originally built by his father, into an intriguing contemporary retreat. Each self-contained apartment has been designed either by Mitsu or a range of emerging Japanese architects. Coupled with Mitsu's keen aesthetic eye and extensive designer-furniture collection, the results are spaces worthy of magazine covers, each with Pacific Ocean views.

The on-site, boiler-fired onsen is a simple daily luxury, and communal meals are inventive, super-fresh and organic, featuring famed local clams, catch-of-the-day fish, and loads of fruit and vegetables. Meals must be reserved in advance for an additional fee. Many rooms have kitchens and long-stay guests are welcome. Take the bus from Nakamura Station to Ashizuri-misaki and get off at Kaiyu-no-yu-mae (¥1100, 40 minutes).