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Friday, January 13, 2017

Tatami Floors: Popular With Foreign Tourists

Above, a ryokan room with tatami floors in Atami. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Visitors to Japan should try out a Japanese style hotel room or stay at ryokan for a taste of the "Japanese experience".

Japanese style rooms or ryokans with tatami floors are currently in high demand by foreign tourists, even though the demand for tatami floors in Japanese homes has been "in the doldrums".

According to an article in The Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun):
TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tatami straw mats, a key feature of traditional Japanese life, are attracting the attention of tourists from overseas, who are growing in number. 
To meet the newfound demand, lodgings, including high-end urban hotels, are publicizing Japanese-style rooms. 
At the Hotel Grand Ark Hanzomon, Japanese rooms overlooking the sprawling Imperial Palace in central Tokyo have seen growth in reservations from foreigners, a hotel official said. 
Tatami-floored rooms are cool in summer and warm in winter. The scent of rush, used for tatami, has a comforting, therapeutic effect, similar to forest bathing.
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