ryokan

10

Toshiharu, our ryokan in Kyoto, is a cosy and beautiful home built in the Meiji era. The family that run the ryokan were the nicest hosts we could ask for, always taking care of our every needs and there to greet us with a smile whenever we made our way back after a long day out. We were checked in with a cup of hot matcha and warm sakuramochi (sweet pink rice cake wrapped in sakura leaf). Had the best time lounging around on our futons wearing cute sleeping robes after soaking in the hot Japanese cedarwood bath. I want to go back. T_T

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.
—  Ryokan
5

RYOKAN (旅館)

A ryokan (旅館) is a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), when such inns served travelers along Japan’s highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner.

Ryokan are difficult to find in Tokyo and other large cities because many are expensive compared to hotels, and Japanese people increasingly use hotels for urban tourism. Nonetheless, some major cities do have reasonably priced ryokan, with some costing as little as $100 a night. However, ryokan are more typically located in scenic areas, such as in the mountains or by the sea and in recent years many ryokan have been redeveloped to their original style particularly by resort chain Hoshino Resorts, whose first ryokan opened in Karuizawa in 1914.