Weary travelers (who have plenty of money) can find an amazing experience at the classic Japanese inn, a.k.a.–Ryokan. It’s a combination of restaurant, sauna and community center. We checked in, stocked up on sake at the local 7-11, took a quick dip in the volcanic heated spring water pool and put on our robes for dinner.
The dinner was quite an experience, served with the classic Japanese focus on presentation creating a mindset for better taste. The food was varied, delicately flavored and filling.
I really liked the green tea.
After a post dinner soak and a schvitz in the sauna, it was time to get comfortable. There were several fluffy blankets and soft pads to make a bed on the clean floor. We used all six of the pads and blankets to make a marshmallow bed.
The next morning was a big buffet breakfast complete with sticky fermented soy beans, fish and vegetables. It’s not the soggy eggs and limp bacon on most buffet menus. It was an expensive night, but such a full course of Japanese culture.
We were in the middle of nowhere and near a big lake on a quiet moonlit night.