The other day during an interview for a magazine, one of the questions I got asked was, "What makes Kamesei Ryokan unique?"
Having a blue-eyed proprietor isn't unique enough for a traditional Japanese onsen inn?
The same day, one guest brought a magazine titled, "Nagano Prefecture Farming and Living". On the cover were pictures of 4 farmers. Upon closer inspection, I realized 2 of them were Nakajima-san and Tobita-san, local Kamiyamada orchardists from whom we buy grapes and apples during the season.
I personally go to their orchards and buy freshly picked fruit to serve our guests. Numerous time I actually take guests to the orchards to meet the famers and see the fruit on the trees, breathe in the fresh, clean air and taste fruit picked right off the tree. And in late winter / early spring, they give me their tree trimmings to use in our lobby's firplace helping to keep the guests toasty warm.
No other inn in town has this close of a relationship with the local farmers.
So there you go, another thing that makes Kamesei Ryokan unique. In case having a blue-eyed proprietor isn't enough. (LOL!)