We were lucky to find Kayotei on our way to Kanazawa, and it's difficult to explain in a way how wonderful it is: both eminently traditional, yet completely welcoming. This is an inn that has been doing things in their own special way for a long time (the ikebana is exquisite, the omelette at breakfast is justly famous), and yet you feel as if they can't wait to see how you will experience it and how they can make sure you have a good time.
I love poetry so we had to hike up the river to see "where Basho stopped." We ended up at the local museum looking at Basho relics and admiring the astounding lacquerware. Next think we knew the docent had called a friend and my nephew was receiving a crash course in wood turning at the local school for artisans. Upon our return, our hosts couldn't wait to hear all about it. It was journeying at it's most perfect.
One night we had shabu shabu (incredible feast) and the founder/director came in and chatted with us for a while. It was just delightful
Really this is a special place.
You don't need to speak Japanese, but if you have someone in your party who does, it will make it even nicer.