Living Like a Shogun…
I know I’ve completely skipped our day at Mt Fuji and the Hakone cruise… I’ll get back to them. I really wanted to skip ahead for a moment and tell you all about our stay at A Traditional Japanese Hotel, locally know as a Ryokan.
When we arrived at Hakone Station, we knew we were in for a hike. Meaning… we had to walk uphill for about 20 mins (thanks to our tour guide), pushing our luggage the whole way up. It was supposed to be a 10 minute walk, but our tour guide ended up dropping us off in front of someone else’s hotel… which helped them out a lot and, basically, screwed us over. I was slightly ticked off and not in the best of moods by this point.
This day was probably my least favorite day we’ve had, but let me tell you…. when we arrived at the Fukumizu Ryokan, dripping in sweat… they quickly made it all better!
We felt like Emperors.
First, they took all of our luggage up to our rooms for us (not that we needed it). They dressed us in traditional Japanese “night clothes”… which, to me, was the equivalent of being dressed up in a Kimono like a Geisha. We felt fancy.
I’ll add some photos of our room, but basically, the entire place looked like something straight out of a ninja movie. Sliding doors. Tatami mats all over the floors. Coy fish ponds and we left our shoes at the door. Instead we put on some comfy slippers (which we had to change out for “washroom slippers” when we used the bathroom or Osen). It was an intensely unique experience, and (next to Disney) my favorite).
Our room was next to the rushing river. No air conditioning. Sliding windows. We could look out our window and see the Full Moon! I was surprised to see a tv, but we didn’t watch it. Who would?!
Our room maid (I’m not actually sure what to call her… if you know, please tell me) came in and set up our dinner table for us. She served us a crazy 5 course meal… and it was CRAZY!
I ate it, but I maybe cringed some while I did. Most of it was yummy… and a couple things I could only take one bite of (like the raw barracuda). I also tried cold saki, which I’d never had, and it was amazing. If you can find some in the US I recommend it!! I’ll be sure to add several pictures of the food here!
After dinner we grabbed our towels and headed downstairs to the washroom and Onsen. The couples Onsen was taken, so Jeremy went to the Men’s, and I went to the Female’s. This is going to take a lot of explaining and I know so many people wonder about this. How it’s done and what it’s like….. I will put this explanation in another blog. There’s so much to talk about on the topic!
Moving on. After enjoying our scolding hot Onsen… 😉 we headed back up to our rooms. Our room maid had prepared a tea set for us, and I’m pretty sure I poured it all wrong. I think it’s like an art all in its own. So, we kinda sorta drank some tea. 😆
During our meal earlier, they gave us dessert on our porch (next to the river) while they layer down tatami mats for us to sleep on. So, now we finally had a moment to lay down and feel out these mats. A pain in the back, that’s what they were!!! But we payed on them listening to the river and staring at the moon, until we fell asleep.
In the morning we woke up at 5:30am to beat everyone down to the couple’s onsen. This was a pretty relaxing, romantic and amazing experience that we really enjoyed. After our bath we went back to our room and lounged around until our room maid cleaned up our beds, replacing them with a table for breakfast.
I was highly impressed by the traditional Japanese breakfast. It looked weird, but it was sooo yummy! Again, I’ll add lots of photos. Feel free to ask me anything you want about the photos of food! We weren’t always sure what we were eating though. I didn’t ask! 😉 The less you know…
After this, we were rushed away and out the door. It was a rude awakening from the pampered dream I was living in. At the time we didn’t realize it, but we were about to miss our train to Kyoto! The language barrier was a little difficult in Hakone. But, we made it in time for our bus!
Unfortunately, I started to feel sick at this point… and it’s been rough the couple days since. I’m still making it though! More blogs coming soon…. :). I hope you all enjoy them!