AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Ryokan Second Impressions

Posted on Jul 21, 2014

After our first experience we were not too impressed with staying in a traditional Japanese room. You paid the same as a decent hotel to then sleep on the floor and you even had to make your own bed! It was like camping but inside! For the price you’d expect a bit more. The room itself had been rather small, so you couldn’t relax with green tea and have your bedding out at the same time; you either sat around the table or had the bed out. However, the next place we were staying at was in Magome in order to walk to next post town of Tsumago. Magome to Tsumago is a popular walking route and is raved about in the Lonely Planet and by people who have already undertaken it. It was part of a route from Kyoto to Tokyo though the Japanese Alps. Around this built up post towns. Japan recognised the importance of keeping these towns as heritage sites when they were busily developing. The towns are now designated national treasures and have become tourist honeypots with locally made products available to buy from the beautifully crafted dark wood houses. We had to be at the Ryokan before 6pm. This is because there was a meal package included in our room rate. Along with a room for the night you also have a traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast included. It was not much more than the first ryokan, ¥3000 or £18 extra. To eat what we had for dinner in a restaurant would have cost us ¥5-10,000 per person depending on the quality and reputation of the place. The ryokan was empty when we arrived. We were warmly greeted and shown around. Our room was a family room, it was huge. We had a separate lounge area with a small table as the focal point. Then through the Shoji doors was the bedroom and also a private toilet. It was the only room that has a private toilet, complete with toilet slippers. The bed was already laid out and made. There was also a traditional robe for us. All very civil and polite. We had time to have a quick bath before dinner. The bathing area was quite cosy. There were two showers at the side of the bath, which was covered by a mat to keep in the heat. The bath was in essence a really big version of a British bath, more akin to a hot tub. At 6pm on the dot we sat down to our meal. Neither of us really like raw fish or miso soup but we both wanted to...

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