Japan

A Ryokan Stay in Hakone 

After a few days in Tokyo we were looking forward to our escape to Hakone, a small town known for its onsens and views of Fuji-san. We booked a one night stay in a ryokan, traditional Japanese accommodation, and the plan was to arrive late morning, explore some of the nearby sights, hopefully catch a glimpse of Fuji-san, and then check-in into our ryokan at 3pm to make the most of our time there. 

Unfortunately, after a few glorious days of sunshine the weather changed – we left Tokyo in the rain and arrived to even heavier rain in Hakone.

On our arrival, a misty, wet and grey Hakone.

However, the rain did not dampen our spirits too much. We found a great soba noodle place for lunch and then spent a couple of hours in a cozy old school cafe. As the rain eased off we explored Hakone’s main street, stopping in the many inviting shops selling various Japanese sweets and delicacies. Of course, we couldn’t help but sample a few! We had to drag Rob out of the shops that were offering free samples before he ate them all and ruined his dinner (the child becomes the parent lol).

Lunch time! Delicious cold soba noodles with dipping sauce and prawn and vegetable tempura.

We checked into our ryokan, Fukuzumiro, bang on 3pm. As the rain continued, we changed into our yukatas and lazed the afternoon away sitting on our balcony, sipping green tea, and taking in the river views. A wonderfully relaxing afternoon followed by a pre-dinner soak in a private onsen. Bliss! 

For dinner, we joined Lila and Rob in their room and had a private traditonal Japanese multi-course meal, called “kaiseki”. Sitting on tatami mats, wearing our yutakas, we were served small and beautifully presented dishes of fish, vegetables, pickles, miso soup, rice and dessert washed down with a couple of bottles of tasty cold sake. Delicious and a highlight of our stay! 

Kaiseki dinner, almost too pretty to eat! The food is brought in many small courses delivered to the room.  But this is not your standard room service, this is done in a beautiful and traditional way you can only witness in Japan.  Too hard to describe so visit to experience it for yourself.

This was our second time staying in a ryokan and we loved both experiences. The Japanese hospitality is very special and unique and the ryokans have this wonderful sense of zen and tranquility. We loved wearing the beautiful yukatas, sleeping on the tatami mats (which are super comfortable), and soaking in the hot onsens. A ryokan stay is a MUST on any Japan itinerary. And we would definitely recommend Ryokan Fukuzumiro.

Of course the next day we woke up to sunshine and clear blue skies. After our Japanese style breakfast (which is another great experience) sadly we had a train to catch. But we did get to see the magnificent Fuji-san from our speeding shinkansen. 

Next stop on our Japan itinerary: Osaka! 

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2 Comments

  1. Isabel

    How nice to read about Japan! we haven’t been but it is on my list, even more now and the pictures as usual, look wonderful.

    1. Jen

      Thank you Isabel! Japan is amazing – you must go!

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