Kanja, is an Inn in the traditional Gasso, thatched, steep roof dwelling style. Inside stout dark beams and thick sliding panels divide the guest bedrooms. Rice paper screens on the outside facing walls let in light; in the colder months at dusk, large sliding timber panels are drawn over the paper screen panels to retain inside warmth. Around mid November extra heavy, woven reed panels are placed around the outside perimeter to keep the snow off the outer walls. Our room was large with a low set table, cushions, some coat hangers, Yukata (cotton Kimono) and Tanzen worn over Yukata for extra warmth were supplied.
Located the far end of the Inn, the Male and Female toilets, with heated toilet seats. Across from this, a dressing and shower room, which was chilly and unheated during our stay; however ample hot water in the shower with amazing water pressure soon turned the shower into a steam bath. The shower room also contained a small deep cypress soaking tub. Bathing times here, as in similar Inns were at specific evening times. Hot water was available in the hand basin area in the mornings though.
Meals were served in Kanja's Japanese style dining room with open hearth, very pleasant on a cold night. The evening meal of many, small individual dishes, was accompanied by rice and miso soup. A ceramic dish heated from underneath cooked the rich hida beef, mushrooms and delicate vegetables to perfection while we sampled other dishes. The Green tea at this inn was especially nice, previously we had not liked the taste of Green Tea. Heating old buildings is never easy, a heater was provided, however at night we preferred to snuggle under the doona and fluffy blankets. Under the mass of foot thick Doona and blankets we resembled those large turtles with our heads sticking out and slept like logs. We had no trouble communicating during our stay, the younger lady spoke some English, certainly much more than our Japanese.
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