We stayed in a very fancy Kyoto ryokan (Kyoto cuisine and ryokan Shiraume) for one night to treat ourselves. Having stayed in a hostel previously it felt so luxurious. It was a great experience and the food was exquisite. For dinner and breakfast we had the choice of Japanese or American style cuisine. I went for Japanese for both meals of course and was not disappointed. The shot above is taken just after breakfast with the morning light flooding in and the sound of the babbling Shirakawa Stream running just outside the window. Located in the beautiful Gion district of Kyoto. Shiraume was started at the present location in the Edo period (19th century) as an Ochaya or place where Maiko lived and worked together with their female manager. The ryokan had a private bath as well as a larger public one. It was such a great way to relax.
We were served a 9 course meal for our dinner in our room which was a sublime experience. The courses consisted of; appetiser, soup, sashimi, stewed dish, grilled dish, beef pot, vinegar dish, rice and dessert.
History of the Ryokan
A ryokan (旅館) is a type of traditional Japanese inn that has existed since the eighth century A.D. during the Keiun period. These ryokans also served travellers along Japan’s highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner.
Ryokan are more typically located in scenic areas, such as in the mountains or by the sea, and in recent years many ryokan have been redeveloped to their original style particularly by resort chain Hoshino Resorts, whose first ryokan opened in Karuizawa in 1914.