|Above, this has to be the most spacious room I've ever stayed in while visiting Japan. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Another reason to get out of Tokyo and other major cities in Japan is to stay at a country ryokan where a visitor will enjoy Japanese hospitality at its best. Ryokans are great places to relax and unwind after running around big cities like Tokyo.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO):
For a complete appreciation of Japan, a journey through its stunning countryside is a must. Getting off the beaten track need not involve abandoning luxury, with countless indulgent accommodation options found on every island. The most famous of these are undoubtedly Japan’s famed ryokan.
Ryokan are traditional Japanese inns with a 1,300-year history and an impeccable reputation for hospitality and comfort. Imagine staying in a top quality ryokan, enjoying a relaxing soak in a private hot spring with a view of the nearby mountains or town, followed by a delectable Japanese meal brought to your room.
Unlike standard hotels, a ryokan guides you towards comfort and luxury through their Japanese-style room (washitsu).I have stayed at several ryokans over the years, but none of them (at least, so far) tops the hospitality we had last October at the Atami Shinkadoya. There, we had our own private hot spring bath on the terrace outside, plenty of space (where you're not bouncing off the walls) and great meals (we were literally overstuffed from dinner).
|Above, our terrace bath. Believe it or not, there was plenty of room for three. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
I plan to make it a point to stay at a ryokan during future trips (at least for one night), especially ones with a hot spring bath.
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