Ryokan Style Dining
About Ryokan

Traditional Japanese Inn

Ryokan is a type of accommodation unique in Japan . Many of the Ryokan in Kyoto are very old and have a long history. As it is built in traditional architectural style, the service they provide at Ryokan is also very traditional. See and feel the beauty of Japanese culture and tradition.

 

Warm friendly service

Most Ryokan take pride in their warm friendly service. Their female staff in Kimono (they are called Nakai-san) welcome you at the entrance with a graceful bow and show you to your room. They usually serve you some tea as soon as they show you to your room. After relaxing having some tea, take a bath and put on Yukata (cotton made Kimono or robe). Enjoy their beautiful and delicious dinner (often served in your room) in the cozy atmosphere. After dinner, while you are gone for a walk or a bath, a comfortable Futon (bedding) is set up for you in your room. It is perfectly okay to walk around in or near the Ryokan in Yukata. Breakfast is often served in a dining area (sometimes in the room). Usually, dinner and breakfast are included in a stay at Ryokan. If you have any specific requests (vegetarian meal etc), please let us know in advance because they prepare all their service by hand with a lot of care. Please remember Ryokan is not a big business. It is very important for the Ryokan to know your requests in advance. Because it is not a big business, they can provide great and warm service for each guest.

 

Variety of the rooms

Not like hotels, Ryokan has several different types or sizes of rooms, sometimes all the rooms in one Ryokan are totally different. (This is why there is a wide range in prices for many Ryokan.) When you make reservations at Ryokan, please know what your priorities are. Is it the view? Is it the size of the room, the price or the location? Once you know what you want, please let us help you find the one that suits your need.

 

Gardens

Many Ryokan in Kyoto have beautiful gardens in their compound, large or small. There are many famous gardens to visit in Kyoto while you are doing your sightseeing during the day time. However sitting in your room in Yukata relaxed with some drinks, looking at their beautiful Japanese gardens is a whole different experience.

 

Baths

One of the charms of staying at a Ryokan is the bath. Most Ryokan have a big communal bath. Wash yourself well before you soak in the bath tub as the hot water in the tub is for relaxing, not for cleaning your body. You are not allowed to soak towels in the tub either. Relaxing in the hot water with your eyes closed takes all your fatigue away. Some rooms in some Ryokan have its own bath but try to have the Japanese communal bath experience as it is a part of Japanese culture. If you feel too strange about taking a bath with strangers, then some Ryokan have smaller version of communal bath for a family. (You need to reserve it.) Their bath tubs are often very beautiful made with different types of wood or stone.

 

Food

Many Japanese enjoy staying at Ryokan for their food. Lots of Ryokan have a great chef and they often serve seasonal traditional food in the area. Kyoto is one of the best place for gourmets in Japan . Food in Kyoto is called Kyo-Ryori ( ) and it attracts people from all over the world. Not only they look beautiful on beautiful plates, (Please be careful with their table wares as they could be very old and valuable!) but the delicate taste is definately a must-try! Of course different Ryokan serves different food but many of them serve Kaiseki (traditional multi course dinner). If you are a gourmet, you might want to make food as your priority when you choose a Ryokan.

 

Things to know

There are some useful information to know about Ryokan before your leave for Japan .

•  The charge for a stay in a Ryokan usually includes a dinner and a breakfast. Please note that they charge on per person basis.

•  When you arrive at a Ryokan, take off your shoes at the main entrance area. Don't worry if you don't know where to take off your shoes as the staff will give you a pair of slippers to put on. When you enter your room, please take off your slippers. Tatami mats are for bare feet or socks.

•  If you have any valuables, you can place them in the custody of the front desk. (Please tell the value to the front desk for the case of an accident.) Some rooms in some Ryokan may have a safe but it will be your responsibility for any accidents to valuables in your room.

•  Yukata is a cotton robe provided at Ryokan. Usually it is placed in the closet or in the drawers. It is quite easy to put them on. Although there is a manner for putting them on since they are traditional clothing but you can just put them on like bath robe. BUT Yukata should come down to your ankles, and the left side part should be over the right side. When you tie the belt, make a bow just off-center of your body or in the back for women, and make a single knot in the back for men. (You can find a lot of information on how to put on Yukata on the internet.) You can walk around in or around the Ryokan in Yukata with no problem and also you can sleep in it if you feel comfortable!!!

•  Japanese toilets could be very strange for some people from overseas. There is no seat and you need to squat. However, a lot of Ryokan have western-style toilets. If you need to have western-style toilets at the Ryokan, please let us know before you make a reservation. There are lots of information on the internet on how to use a Japanese-style toilet.


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