09/30/2009

All's well that ends well

Anybody looking to crash for a night or five near Kyoto Station and you say your budget isn't the primary concern?
Want to blissfully count your J-Land sheep in a relaxing atmosphere of refined charm and Eastern elegance?
Craving a taste of Old-School Kyoto Machiya-Style flavor gently blended with all the creature comforts (albeit in a much smaller size) of Home?
Need a piping hot Breakfast to fortify you before you tackle your day's sightseeing adventures?
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(check-in Time)


If you're nodding your head right now then SAKURA/KAEDE RYOKAN may be the place for you.

http://www.kyoto-ryokan-sakura.com

The Ryokan Experience is a distinctly Japanese way of unwinding that graciously carries a list of very subtle attributes that may not be suitable for everyone but I'm certain can be appreciated by most and Sakura will satisfy, most likely in proportion to your expectations.

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The decor and design of the rooms are understated and pleasing but you should adjust your scale to the Japanese model lest you face frustration. These are not Western-Size rooms or really anything near it; they are pleasant, pristine and placid with just the proper amount of low-key taste.
The many reassuring pluses include-

Fine Shiseido Shampoo in your immaculate bath.

All rooms are Non-Smoking but for you tobacco die-hards out there an efficient smoking alcove is always available for use.

A suprising (considering the building's dimensions) amount of clean, natural light during the day.

And the highlight of my stay.....

Your tatami sleeping space and the luxurious futon that goes with it like your childhood peanut butter and jelly.

Now if you've never felt the perfection that is tatami matting beneath your grateful toes then do yourself a favor but watch out because you may never go back to anything else.
And I don't know what they filled their futons with over at SAKURA but when I tucked in for the night and woke up in the morning my rejuvenated body told me it just had to be angel feathers sprinkled with moonbeam dust and topped off with those snowflakes from the poppy field scene in the Wizard of Oz!

Want a great night's slumber? You got it!


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Please don't forget to slip into your supercool, comfortable and casual all-cotton Yukatta after your bath because you'll be glad you did and why not chill in the Garden a bit before bedtime as you admire your own sartorial splendor.


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You won't worry as you saw logs and you won't have to because in the morning pretty Girls will be there to serve you a hot meal and hotter coffee.

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Having mentioned these strengths the savvy Traveler should definitely weigh the Ryokan's perhaps somewhat weaker points against them.

The smallest rooms are almost claustrophobic and will not please everyone.
Internet service (an unimportant feature to me but...) is only available in the very public Lobby area.
Your bath, while immaculate, may be uncomfortably small for your larger-size Westerner.
No Dinner.

But if you're seeking a stylish, homey alternative to the sometimes antiseptic, sometimes slightly cold blandness of Big Hotels then check out the way they do things around these parts.
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(check-out Time)

Depending on your pocketbook and your expectations you might be glad you did.






posted by Billy at 14:45 | Kyoto (Japan)
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