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Retreat, Recharge

What is a "Ryokan"?
 
A "Ryokan" is a traditional Japanese guesthouse. By staying in a ryokan you can experience age-old Japanese hospitality and customs. You'll change into a Yukata (cotton kimono) after taking an Onsen (hot spring bath),

and will sleep on a Futon (mattress), put down directly on a Tatami (straw mat) floor. Some Ryokans are in old wooden buildings, and others have modern architecture. Most have "daiyokujo" (a public bathroom). Some have a mix of Japanese and Western-style bedrooms.
 
Staying in a Ryokan
  1. You usually leave your shoes at the entrance, and put on slippers.
  2. You will be led to your room, and should remove your slippers before entering. No type of footwear is worn on tatami mats.
  3. The room often contains a "tokonoma" (alcove), decorated with ikebana or hanging scroll.
  4. You will be served green tea with Japanese sweets, on a low table surrounded by a "zabuton" (cushion).
  5. You should put on your "Yukata" (robe) and possibly "tabi" (socks).
  6. You can take an "Onsen" (public bath) in the Ryokan.
  7. Dinner usually provided in the Ryokan between 18:00 - 20:00, either in a communal area, or in your room.
  8. After dinner, your bedding will be prepared.
  9. In the morning, a maid will pack up your futon before breakfast between 7:30 - 8:30.
What is an "Onsen"?
 
An "Onsen" is a Hot Spring. As Japan is a volcanic country, there are about 2,700 hot spring resorts. Hot springs are believed to be good for health and injury recoveries. From ancient times, Japanese have been fond of taking an Onsen!
 
General Information on Onsen
  1. Some Ryokans and hotels have private baths but usually an Onsen is a communal activity, and you have to remove all your clothes to bathe.
  2. Moderate your exposure to Onsend; you should not bathe more than 2 or 3 times a day, for about 30 minutes each time. Sometimes the water temperature is very high, in which case, immerse yourself gradually into the bathtub.
How to take an "Onsen"
  1. Remove your footware at the entrance to the Onsen.
  2. Do not wear bathing suits or any article of clothing in the bath (unless otherwise specified).
  3. Wash your body with soap and rinse thoroughly before entering the bathtub.
  4. Do not use soap in the bathtub.
  5. Usually a small towel is provided for washing your body, and a big towel for drying after taking the bath. Do not take towels into the tub.

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