Tag Archives: Ryokan

Onsen town near Tokyo even Japan enthusiasts admire

Description

When saying onsen resort, people tend to imagine it to have left far from towns such as Tokyo. Yet, actually, there are a lot of highly original onsen resort and onsen ryokan near Tokyo environs, too.
There are more and more visitors who stay based at Tokyo Metropolitan area and stay at onsen ryokan in short trip in one night and two days. Onsen resorts near Tokyo, including out Shima onsen, are perfect for such needs.

Shima Onsen Town

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Ryokan that has Rooms with Private Onsen and Open-air Bath

Private open-air Onsen

Overview:

There are more ryokan that have guest rooms with private onsen and private open-air bath recently.

At those ryokan, you do not need to take onsen with other people.

So you can enjoy onsen even if you are from foreign countries, where you do not have habit to take a bath with other people.

Also, even if you have a tattoo, you can enjoy onsen without problems.

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Let’s enjoy Shima Onsen with free bike rentals!

rental bikes

It will be about 6km (3.8 Miles) from the most famous sport “Shima Ouketsu (potholes)” that is at the very front to “Okushima Lake” that is at the innermost.

As the distance is relatively short, it is also pleasant if you walk inside Shima Onsen. Yet, bicycles are more recommended.

We, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan, provide rental bikes, which our customers can use for free if they stay at us.

enjoy bikes

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Onsen Ryokan Equipped with Beds and Western Style Meals

Onsen Ryokan entrance

There is also a proverb in Japan, meaning “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

This proverb means that if you enter a land and an environment, it is wise to follow the customs and ways there.

Once you go on a trip, you can realize deeper the country’s culture if you do so.

That is what I believe.

However, during a long journey, you will miss your usual habits.

We Japanese also visit Japanese restaurants abroad. I think this is one of the reasons.

It is a benefit for foreign customers to know about Japanese culture by staying at Japanese ryokan.

On the other hand, some customers feel stress as the life at ryokan is totally different from their usual life.

This seems to be especially strong what comes to meals and beddings.

Some customers want to sleep In Futon and enjoy Washoku as they came so far to Japan.

But others want to sleep in a bed, which they are used to, and enjoy meals other than Washoku.

We Kashiwaya Ryokan basically provide Futon in a Japanese-style room and Washoku.

But we offer other choices, thus foreign customers are pleased about it.

First, concerning beddings,

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A Ryokan outside Tokyo, but Close to Tokyo

Evening at Onsen Ryokan

Overview

There are also a lot of ryokan in Tokyo but most of them do not equipped with onsen and meals.

So, it is hard to experience all the essences of ryokan (Japanese atmosphere, onsen, washoku) there.

Thus, I recommend you to stay at least one night at onsen ryokan that is close to Tokyo.

I have listed up some recommended onsen resorts, where you can enjoy ryokan close to Tokyo.

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In Tokyo, there are a variety of accommodations from ultra-luxury hotels to capsule hotels.

The total number of rooms of accommodations is almost 150,000 rooms, combining hotels and ryokan.

In addition, construction and opening of new accommodations are coming up towards the Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo Shibuya night
Bright Lights, Big Tokyo

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Shifts to Non Smoking !

Shift to Non smoking

Announcement:
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan Shifts to Non Smoking

As shown below, Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan gradually shifts to entire non smoking.

From mid July 2015, the public space becomes non smoking.

From October 1, 2015, the entire building, including guests rooms (including terraces), become non smoking.

We apologize for causing inconvenience for smokers, thank you for your kind understanding and acknowledge.

In addition, we will established a smoking corner at the central part of the second floor, exclusively for smoking customers.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Introduce a chef of Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan

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Tetsuo Inoue / Our chef

First of all self-introduction

I am Tetsuo Inoue, served as a chef since 2011.

When I first became a member of Kashiwaya Ryokan, what I was surprised the most was that the staff had meeting and discussed everyday how they can please customers.

So I also, as a chef of this Ryokan, am enthusiastically engaged in researching cooking and developing new menus every night to deliver joy and surprise to our customers.

My recent theme is mainly dishes, using plenty of vegetables. Meat and fish are not mail role but vegetables are, so that customers can eat meat and fish a little more delicious. This is what I am challenging.

Speaking of challenge, I once have walked from Kagoshima to Tokyo.

I wanna achieve extremely chef road with such inborn strong will.

Name

Tetsuo Inoue

Although born in Tokyo, he had been trained not only in Kanto but also Kansai when he was young. He is a craftsman of this road.

Although initially, all staff thought that he was a silent person, he was just a little shy.

Actually he is really a friendly guy with nice smile.

Interests

JAZZ appreciation, Rakugo storyteller appreciation, old art tour.

His favorite Rakugo storyteller is, Kokontei Shinsho, Katsura Beicho, and Kokontei Shincho.

He taught me that there is a description that a storyteller Sanyutei Encho, called as a god of storytelling, walked to Shima Onsen in Meiji period in a book, “Encho Zammai,” which he read because it’s about storytelling.

Favorite food

Indeed, he is a chef.
He loves materials, which likely go well with Washoku!
Bamboo shoots, radish, redness of tuna, tasty dried fish ..

What He is Good at Other than Cooking

Walking.
As he told in the self-introduction, he had walked from Kagoshima to Tokyo for 40 days when he was young.
It is exactly the “master of the walk.”

Dinner at the guestroom Chef

Short Message to the Readers

I (Inoue) feel like what I have done has come to match with the trend of the times, the health boom.
If you get tired in a city, please refresh at Shima Onsen.
I look forward your visiting, cooking body-friendly cuisine.

Example of meals

Amenities of Onsen Ryokan

When Japanese travel abroad, we are surprised about what is written on guide book, that is “we should bring toothbrush and sleepwear, as most hotels do not provide them.” This is very surprising for Japanese, as “Oh? Really?” This is because Japanese accommodations almost always provide toothbrush and sleepwear (yukata).

yukata
Yukata

Basic Amenities Provided at Onsen Ryokan

Well, let me introduce basic amenities provide in rooms of Japanese onsen ryokan.

・Electric kettle + tea set – You can enjoy tea (green tea) for free.
・Refrigerator – It is empty or filled with drinks (surcharge required).
・Towels – Most combination is face towel and bath towel.
・Toothbrush – It comes with toothpaste for one night.
・Yukata – Other than yukata, there could also be monk’s working clothes or pajamas.
・Body soap, hair shampoo – Sometimes equipped in a bath rather than in a room.
・Safe (strong box)

These are the basic amenities provided at general ryokan.

At Kashiwaya Ryokan, we also offer the following amenities.

Amenities provided at Kashiwaya Ryokan

・Wi-Fi – Although this is not a thing, it is so useful. ※It is for free.
・Hair dryer
・Drawstring pouch – A convenient fabric pouch, useful when you go to the bath.
・Hairbrush and comb
・Shaving set
・Cotton and cotton swab
・Hair rubber band and shower cap
・Tabi – A kind of socks. We provide it only during cold season.
・Skin care products – Provided at women bathrooms.
・Bathrobe – Provided at rooms with private bath.
・Soap, shampoo, and conditioner set of THANN, the Asian luxury cosmetics brand – Provided at rooms with private bath.

Bus amenities are one of the pleasures of accommodation, as you can select various things at each ryokan and some ryokan provide their original amenities. In fact, I imagine that many customers enjoy amenities at home that are possible to be taken-away. (Please ask at each ryokan whether amenities can be taken away.)

Use amenities and built-in fixtures at ryokan effectively to enjoy your comfortable trip!

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Difference between Ryokan and Hotel

Ryokan

There are more than 80,000 accommodation in Japan. The breakdown is about 10,000 hotels and less than 50,000 ryokan. The remaining are small inn with less than 4 rooms, minsyuku (small ryokan), capsule hotel, and so on. Then, what are the differences between hotel and ryokan?

According to the law, the definition of ryokan and hotel are as following:

“Ryokan is a facility, which mainly has Japanese structure and equipments.”

“Hotel is a facility, which mainly has Western structure and equipments.”

In other words, roughly speaking, ryokan is a facility with main of “sleeping on Futon in Japanese Tatami room type” and hotel is a facility with main of “sleeping on a bed in Western room type.” At many ryokan, you have to take off your shoes at an entrance and change to room shoes, such as slippers.

Most of them are applied to this definition. But sometimes, relatively large ryokan at onsen town calls itself as hotel and some ryokan provide rooms with beds, other than futon room, like our Kashiwaya ryokan.

A Japanese Room With A Bed

In this way, the difference of ryokan and hotel is becoming ambiguous little by little recently.

Customer Service Style

However, the biggest difference might be their customer service style.

In the case of hotels, most services are provided at an entrance and front desk. Meals are basically provided at restaurants. So staff do not enter guest rooms so often.

In contrast, at Japanese ryokan, especially ryokan of providing meals at guest rooms, staff visit guest rooms very often, thus customers have more chance to communicate with staff at their rooms.

Providing Meals

Let’s consider the situation by each scene of contacting with staff at ryokan.

First, when you arrive at a front (Choba) and fill in a guest book (Yadocho). Then staff guides you to your room. Some ryokan staff provides tea in your room.

Then dinner.

Staff (Nakai) visit your room and provide meals. They explain the names of dishes and so on, and you can enjoy a moment of conversation.

After that, staff make bedding Futon at some ryokan (including Kashiwaya ryokan). They make it amazingly so it must be fun to talk to them, looking at their work.

You can communicate with staff also at breakfast next morning. And payment, checkout, and send-off are following. Now you know there are many chances to contact with staff at various situations.

Origin

Another difference might be their “origin.”

The origin of Japanese ryokan is said that Nara monks mainly built accommodations in Nara period for free in order to protect travelers’ safety. After that, inns for worship journey were born, then Honjin, where Daimyo stays, along with roads and Hatago, where common people stay, increased dramatically in Edo period.

In addition, inns for Toji purpose began to be built at onsen town, then Toji culture has been formed until contemporary.

Shima onsen is said to be built during Genroku period. “Sekizenkan Main Building” is also left, that is designated as a cultural property, and you can remember the old days. (You can visit the building of Genroku era but cannot stay there.)

In contrast, Japanese hotels were accommodations for Western people from late Edo period to Meiji, when the entire Japan changed a lot from Sakoku (seclusion policy) to opening the country, because they were trying to obtain Western cultures aggressively. The origin of Japanese hotels is says to be “Yokohama Hotel” in Yokohama, Kanagawa, that opened in 1860. The so called classic hotels in Japan, such as Nikko Kanaya Hotel, Fujiya Hotel (Hakone), Manpei Hotel (Karuizawa), and Nara Hotel, have tradition of that flow.

During traveling in Japan, where do you stay?

Of course it is recommended to stay at a hotel style, which you are familiar with. But it is precious traveling in Japan. I recommend you to stay at ryokan to enjoy Omotenashi culture of Japan.

Please spend wonderful travel in Japan.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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Meal is One of the Most Important Point in Choosing Ryokan

In general, ryokan rates includes meals fee, too. If you stay over a night, ryokan prepares the dinner on the day and the breakfast on the next day. Thus you can save your time to prepare food by yourself.

Wa-Syoku

It cannot be an exaggeration if I say that meals at ryokan are one of the best parts of travel. You can fully enjoy a wide variety of delicious cuisine washoku with abundant seasonal local ingredients to Western with fruits and main meat dishes.

Grilled Fish

You can enjoy the service only at ryokan that taking onsen with a plenty of time, warming up your body, and enjoy delicious meal. Your feeling must be raised in front of lavish meals, such as you cannot eat everyday. You will be released from the stress of everyday life and spend the bliss of time.

Every Ryokan Serves its Unique Meals

It should be noted, menus and catering ways served at ryokan vary greatly by each ryokan. If you are interested in tuna, saury, chestnut, nuts, and foods of mountains, ryokan in mountainous areas is recommended. In order to fully enjoy onsen travel, you can be more enjoyable if checking what kinds of meals are served as well as onsen.

Meals at Kashiwaya Ryokan

We, Kashiwaya ryokan, basically serve “Kaiseki Ryori” that is a kind of full course among all the Japanese foods and arrange so that modern customers and younger customers can also enjoy.

Meals at Kashiwaya Ryokan
Kaiseki Ryori In Kashiwaya ryokan

In addition, although Kaiseki Ryori tends to serve lots of amount, we are committed to serve reasonable amount. For menu that changes about 5 times a year, we cook them in gentle taste.

Kaiseki Ryori is hospitality dishes to enjoy drink. The basic menu is one soup and three dishes (soup, sashimi, grilled, and boiled), side dishes for sake are added, such as Otoshi (appetize), steamed food, marinated, vinegared dish, and finally rice, miso soup, pickled, and fruits are served.

Meals at Kashiwaya Ryokan

After taking efficacy rich Shima onsen that is said to work on 40,000 diseases with plenty of time, enjoy tender Washoku with lots of local Gunma fresh vegetables and utilized bonito soup that is totally unique in Japan.

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >

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