Hey! It’s Tammy! One of my guides and i believe was responsible for most of the planning on my trip. I could have that wrong but either way she did an excellent job. This is her showing us how to people traditionally cleanse themselves before entering the shrines/temples. You take that wooden tool and scoop some water into it and wash your left hand, then again with your right hand, and then once more and clean your mouth (as is pictured) and then on final time and drip the water down the handle to wash itself off.

After the jump I’ll continue the story from when i arrived at the ryokan sakura house. That’s right i put a link in! Check it out and I highly recommend them. Hit the Jump for the review.

Wooooo! You made it to the actual page. Now i understand that last post got pretty long so i’ll try and be a bit more brief. Let’s start with Sakura Ryokan (Ryokan is a traditional style Inn). So i arrived and was greeted well. I explained i came with the tour group and they had a few form for me to sign but pretty much everything was ready for me. They brought me up to my room which was on the third floor. The let me ride the elevator (which was pretty small) and said they would meet me at my floor. I smiled and they waited for the door to close before going off. In my mind i was thinking wow, how polite but now i’ll just have to wait for them at the top of the stairs without knowing where to go. I have to say it was not a slow elevator, in fact it’s faster then the ones i have in my building here and when the door opened on the third floor the same person greeted me standing in the same welcoming stance as when the doors shut. These people were fast. They showed me to my room which was right around the corner. They unlocked the door and when i opened it i realized how amazing this was going to be.

In front of me was a small space to take my shoes off with a mini fridge in an alcove area and several maps of the area on top of it.  In front of me was a little corridor that had a large window on one side and some paper wall doors on the other. Just like in all the movies of Japan that i saw. And at the back there was a small table and chair with a tea pot and cups. I took off my shoes and stepped onto the wooden floor as with custom in Japan and I slide open the door to the main room. When I walked inside i felt a nice breeze of cool air from the AC unit. It felt like heaven. The humidity outside mixed with the heat had caused me to start to soak my shirt. Yes, soak. So when i felt that AC i knew i would have no problems sleeping at night.

In the middle of the room there was a table set up and two legless chairs that sat right on the floor. To the right there was a TV in an alcove underneath two closet doors. Inside would be the futon i would sleep on. Ever night i would take it out, set it up with a sheet, and then in the morning put it back (OK i lied i never put it back, i just folded it up and put it in a corner of the room, but it was still way more then i do at my apartment.) The room size was pretty big for just myself. It made me think if they used the same size for a 1 person room. In the back, through a cloth curtain there was a space with a mirror, a basket that held a yukata (or summer kimono to wear around the room and even inn, although i never braved it outside my doors). and the bathroom. Now i saw online that people complain the bathroom was small, which it was but come on. It wasn’t bad at all. I didn’t pay it any mind. But there was something really cool about the bathroom. The shower was linked to the sink. Now maybe this is common in other parts of the world but for me this was brand spanking new and i loved it. It was so simple and functional. Good on you Japan.

The bathroom as had some soap and shampoo but they also gave you a toothbrush and as i found out Japan loves giving you toothbrushes. I’m not entirely sure why but it was awesome. The first night i used it and sure it was a bit small but whatever i was on vacation and i just brushed for a little longer then normal. I put it next to the sink. Now the next day they gave me a new toothbrush sealed in some nice wax paper, but i still had my first. So that day i used my original toothbrush. On the third day a second wax paper container appeared with house keeping with another toothbrush. I had 3 toothbrushes. This amazed me and learned that they were disposable. Everywhere i stayed, even the Manga Kisa’s which I’ll explain those once we get to Tokyo, gave me a toothbrush. That might have been one of the more unexpected things i learned about japan on my trip.

Another amazing thing about the room was the light switch. I know stay with me on this one. There was a hole near the entrance to the room where you could put your keys, or more of the wooden plack your keys were chained onto. When you grabbed your keys to leave the lights in the whole room would turn off. When you would return and put the keys back the lights would go back on. How genius is that! I want that for my apartment.

The ryokan also provided breakfast for us every morning. We could choose a western style or Japanese style. I went with the Japanese style every day i could. It was a small thing of rice, a piece of fish, some salad, miso soup, and green tea. Super fresh and super delicious. There was also no curfew at the ryokan and a electronic key code to let you in if it was super late and they locked up for the night.

OK, so that wasn’t quite as short as i was hoping for but i wanted to give a fair review for Sakura Ryokan, which i provided the link to above. If anyone is reading this for research you should know it was the best place i staid at in Japan. Good food, comfortable room, nice air conditioning, and they spoke pretty good English too.

Tammy / Sakura Ryokan Review

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