August 10, 2010

Ryokan, traditional Japanese inn

We spent our first three nights in Kyoto in a ryokan (a type of traditional Japanese inn), where we slept on futons spread out on tatami-matted rooms, ate Japanese meals, bathed in Japanese-style hot bath and wore the yukata.

Japanese garden © Evelyn Howard 2010

The ryokan has a beautiful Japanese garden complete with 20 year old carps. You can see a red one swimming at the bottom middle of the photo.

ryokan garden

Our upstairs room has a little balcony that looks down onto this lovely section of the garden. There is a water feature on the right, with water cascading down rocks. It’s not obvious in the photo but you can see that the rock surface is wet. I love the mossy top of the stone lantern in the middle.

Tatami room © Evelyn Howard 2010

The interior of our room is covered with tatami- mats, and was quite sparsely decorated. The above photo shows the feature wall. Beyond the photo, on the left is a small dressing table and on the right is a television. There is a table and 2 chairs low to the ground (not shown in the photo). These were constantly moved, when our beddings were laid out in the evening, and stored away during breakfast (I wonder what the right thing to do is when one desires a nap during the day and there is no bedding).

Ryokan breakfast © Evelyn Howard 2010

We had breakfast at the ryokan every morning and it came in many little bits. Double this amount for my husband and I, and the table was full of beautiful ceramic pieces :).

Japanese desserts © Evelyn Howard 2010

It had been a wonderful experience staying at the ryokan, where the hospitality was superb and it was peaceful. On our last morning, our host gave us a box of azuki beans (red beans) dessert as a parting gift.

My World


Sylvia K said...

What a delightful trip, Evelyn! I worked for a Japanese company with offices here in the states and I learned to enjoy so much of their food and their hospitality! A wonderful experience! Sounds as though your experience was a good one, too! Marvelous captures and so colorful! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing it. The food makes me hungry (even though I just ate). Your blog looks so interesting -- I'll be back! (Visiting for the first time because we're next-door-neighbors on TMW)

Lesley said...

This looks wonderful!
That breakfast would be an experience in itself!

Luna Miranda said...

that's a lot of choices for breakfast.:p the Japanese garden is delightful. i don't know if napping is popular in Japan.:p

☺lani☺ said...

Nice one here... I would also like to experience stayin in this kind of hotel!

J Bar said...

Great shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Francisca said...

Great post, Evelyn. I love Kyoto too. We did not stay at a traditional ryokan, as we booked rather late for our trip at peak season. But we did sleep on futons there. (Maybe you can share its name with me for next time?) I slept on futons a good part of my university days in the 70s.

Indrani said...

The shot of the parting gifts is so well taken, there is a surprise element in it.

Gwendolyn L said...

I enjoyed reading about your experience. It looks so inviting. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Kaori said...

Since my parents live near Kyoto, I've never had the need to stay at a Ryokan...but I feel like I've experienced a bit of the beauty through your photos :D

PS: I love moss, too!

yoon see said...

Such heavenly scenic place with the best green and relaxed atmosphere. Evelyn, you have lovely and unforgetable experience to share.

Kyoto is so amazing, love the little gestures from your shots.
I can together feel the moment of peace too.
Yes, I love moss too, very very much!

Kala said...

You really got to experience a bit of the culture didn't you? I would love to stay at an inn like this.

lisaschaos said...

I tall looks so pretty! I love the view from your room. What a wonderful experience!

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