arrival at the ryokan in takayama

We just stayed the most relaxing and unique accommodation yet. It involves dressing up, bathing in the nude, heated toilet seats, and sleeping on the floor… intrigued enough to keep reading yet?

A ryokan is a traditional type of Japanese inn. Traditionally, a ryokan is a wooden building with the rooms of tatami mats, futon bedding, and sliding doors. They tend to be in scenic locations near hot springs (onsen), providing visitors with a calm place to relax. And finally, the meals tend to be provided, including an elaborate dinner of local cuisine.

ryokan lobby


A Welcome Arrival

You start by being warmly welcomed into your room with some green tea and snacks. I loved all the sliding doors. And there’s no bedding to be seen yet – it’s to be laid out for you later.

and then were welcomed into our roomsoy bean snacks and iced matcha tea on arrival


Dinner in a Kimono

For dinner, you get to chose a traditional yukata to wear (ie. a casual kimono). We struggled figuring out how to put one on, so we ended up with an adorable lady dressing us all up. Thank goodness! Once you get “dressed for the ball,” you enjoy an extravagant 12-course dinner.

we got to choose the color of our yakata and sashshe was so quick and preciseall done!sashimigrilled fish on a stick (literally)sake tasting


Japanese Onsen

The night ends off with a traditional hot spring, termed onsen. These are areas where people communally bathe in the hot springs. Sounds like the usual, except that since it is a bath, it is done without clothes. The Japanese believe that this is a form of breaking down barriers and getting to know people in a relaxed atmosphere (“naked communion”). We found it a bit weird at first, but were all happy to try it in the end. It was very relaxing and we would definitely do it again.


A Cozy Evening

After dinner, we returned to our room which was magically set up for the night while we were away. We changed into our bedtime yakata‘s and sprawled out. I loved it because the entire room was turned into a big bed and I felt like we were having an old school sleepover party.

after our onsen bath, it was slumber party time on our futons

I can’t even really describe how lovely this place is, so hopefully some of the official pictures help do it justice:

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