Stayed here with family and a group of friends. Largish, traditional Ryokan hotel, with large rooms, terrific public baths, and in-room soaking tubs if you’d prefer. From what I saw, there are a wide variety of different rooms, though all are appointed similarly, with a western-style sitting area, a Japanese eating / sleeping area with futons on tatami mats, a separate toilet room (ours had two toilet rooms, one Japanese, one Western), and a changing / makeup / vanity room with adjoining Japanese bath and small soaking tub. One room that I saw had western beds, so that must be an option, though not one I’d choose if I wanted the “traditional experience.” Some rooms have a private outdoor soaking tub. We had no meaningful interaction with the staff, as our Japanese-speaking son and friends handled this for us. But other reviewers indicate that this is not a problem for English-speaking travelers. We did spend time soaking in the public hot baths, and once you get the routine down, this is very relaxing.
The food is perhaps the highlight. It is very good, and is served in traditional Kyoto Kaiseki fashion. Dinner must have been at least twelve courses, and breakfast five or six. Each course is comprised of several small dishes with relatively small portions of a variety of food items. You will have to inform them in advance of your meal time, and due to the extremely intricate sequence of events to bring off such a meal, you better be on time. To the minute. No kidding. And you won’t be sorry. These meals are a very special part of the experience. There are also restaurants and a bar with karaoke equipment if you’d prefer, but that may be priced differently. Inquire. I saw NO children here ... if there were any, they were well-behaved and invisible.
The rooms are perhaps a bit dated, and the shoji with their wooden tracks are a bit worn here and there, but the overall effect is much like being in a traditional Japanese country home. They make you very welcome and relaxed here, and if you follow a few simple rules like being careful where you wear what slippers and show up for meals at the designated time, you will be pampered and will have a lovely time. I’d go back any time I had the time, the cash, and wanted a total relaxation experience!
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