I have been back from Japan a few weeks and I am still talking about my ryokan experience. I can still smell the tatami mats, and envision the gorgeous filtered light through the shoji paper windows. I describe to friends the sliding fusuma panels to separate rooms and for a day or two back home I was tempted to cover up the electronics with silk covers like they do in the ryokan.
I can feel the coolness of the yukata wrapped around my body as we had made our way down the hallways to our meals, seeing no one else (despite the fact that it is full occupancy.) Did I mention the private garden? The 12 course kaiseki meal? The hot aromatic cedar soaking tub?
I hardly have any pictures from my time there because I was too immersed in my experience but luckily I have a few iPhone snaps that can transport me back in time. The ryokan we stayed at has been in the same family since 1818. Everything there is done with intention, dedication and supreme attention to hospitality.
The goodbye was so sincere and to think I only caught it by serendipity! I looked out the back of my taxi to see if our second taxi was following, and I saw our attendants waiting until we were completely out of sight …. just like family …our ryokan family.