Sunday, July 24, 2016

Japan: Kyoto ryokan experience

On our last day in Kyoto, the sister and I checked out of our centrally located hotel and into a traditional ryokan. Sis picked Yachiyo which was close by the train line so we didn't have to lug our luggage around for too long.

Upon arrival, we were quickly ushered into our room. Everything was neatly set and probably strategically located as well. Mischievous us propped open our sliding door that lead to the balcony, gawked at the minimalist design of our bathroom and played with our traditional sleeping robes.

Not long after we started fooling around the room, our demure "lady in waiting" (the one who is in charge of keeping us comfortable throughout our stay) presented us with a tray of freshly brewed tea and a small serve of treats.

Oh how I wish I could be there once more and be at ease. I love how the room has a traditional feel to it and plays a rather breezy music note from the surrounding  trees.

Our entire experience costs us about $aud500 each and this is inclusive of dinner. My friends were shocked at the price of our ryokan and although it is expensive, it was well worth a visit. I think dinner probably made up 30% of the total cost but hey, it was a price that would be considered average at any fine dining restaurant here in Australia.

And trust me, the food was good. Oh and did I mention that our "lady in waiting" also came to our room and ushered us to the dining area?

P.s: there's a common area downstairs that guests can utilize for reading newspaper/magazines and also get refills on tea.

Our dining room view had a magnificent sight.

Seafood sashimi was unbelievably fresh and presented in a beautifully adorned box that I would have liked to pocket home but reasonable me acted accordingly. The cube of bright red tuna sashimi glistened under the light along with the other condiments - such an enticing sight it was.

We ended our meal with a serve of rice with red miso soup and pickles to cleanse our palates. Dessert after a degustation course in Japan is often in the form of fruits and sponge cake - something light and refreshing.

The sister plucked up the courage to bathe naked in the public bath area (which probably didn't have anyone there) whilst I lounged in our room inhaling the peaceful moment that it was. I am still in love with our fluffy soft silk clad futon blankets. The sister and I had no trouble sleeping at night at all.

Highly recommended experience if you have not done this before. Budget is a major aspect to consider but do remember that it is, after all, a once in a lifetime experience. My advice would be to arrive early where possible so that you could explore (and re-explore) every inch of the establishment.

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