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.
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.
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.
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).
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 :).
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.