Our 3 night stay at the Sumiyoshi Ryokan was one of the highlights of our trip to Japan. This was our first ryokan experience, and it won’t be our last.
The ryokan is well located, in an old house (was a merchant’s shop) on the river right across from the morning market and historic district. It is about a 15 minute walk from the train station. The town has covered sidewalks, so walking to the station with our luggage was not a problem, even when it was raining.
When booking, due to availability, we scheduled a room without a private bathroom the first night and with private bathroom for the succeeding nights. We had thought we would want a private bath, but learned, after our first night, that sharing was not a problem. The toilets and sinks were just down the hall and we never had to wait. We also discovered how great it is to soak in the giant hot bath, an experience we had never had, though it is somewhat like a hot tub. We found it so relaxing we soaked every night before going to bed.
We did not know how we’d do sleeping on the floor and eating at the low table. We discovered we could actually get a good night’s sleep on the thick bedding. Eating while sitting on a cushion on the floor was a bit challenging for my husband who has bad knees, but he managed okay and enjoyed the experience. The room had a little sunroom type area with a small table and western chairs, which we sat at when not having meals.
We had 2 dinners and breakfast each morning in our room (One night we had dinner in the town). The dinners were fabulous – with course after course of excellent Japanese food (local specialties), beautifully presented, and special house sake. I tried the Japanese and continental breakfast. The Japanese breakfast was huge and delicious. The western breakfast was different each day but basically eggs, a meat, fruit, coffee, toast.
The hosts are very friendly. We felt like house guests more than like “hotel” guests. When we came in with sopping wet shoes after a bike ride in the rain, our hosts greeted us and asked if they could put our shoes in a special shoe drier. Thank goodness, but who would have expected that? As others have noted, the older woman who serves a lot of the food and transforms the room from dining area to sleeping area is delightful. She doesn’t speak much English but manages to communicate and we shared laughter together.
A great experience!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Traditional merchant house style Ryokan built in Taisho era. (1912)SUMIYOSHI RYOKAN located MIYAGAWA riverside and central TAKAYAMA city.Ideally located for sightseeing. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sumiyoshi Ryokan Hotel Takayama