The ryokan is located off a busy street leading to the Tojiama temple and its great Buddha amongst other marvels. Set back in its own Zen garden behind gates meant to keep out the "wild" (but really rather tame) deer, it used to be the lodgings of monks and still proudly displays many scrolls and sculptures.
My son had a room with private bathroom (shower and typically deep and narrow bath tub), I had access to the beautiful antique-furnished dining room where we had breakfast in the monings.
The public baths were very clean and had lovely garden views and I never encountered anyone else there, in fact our whole stay was like a private experience.
We were welcomed with afternoon tea (matcha and a sweet then green tea) every time we came back to the ryokan to catch our breath between excursions.
Breakfast was beautifully served up and very tasty, with special mention for the New Year spread with lucky gold flakes on everything and even sake - we weren't offered any extra rice as I'd got used to in other ryokan but one bowlful was enough given everything else!
The maid / waitress was exceedingly courteous and helpful. The woman who took the payment when we left was a little haughty and cold - perhaps she's the owner and doesn't feel like kowtowing to tourists?
Highly recommended anyway, the place is beautiful, great service and priceless location. But just a word of warning - the whole area shuts down at night so don't hope to get dinner within walking distance so if you haven't ordered it at the ryokan be prepared to catch a cab into Nara city centre - there are plenty of decent restaurants around Kintetsu station, a 5 mns ride away.
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