Gion Hatanaka Ryokan
Gion Hatanaka Ryokan
Gion Hatanaka Ryokan is one Kyoto’s popular traditional inns. Located in Higashiyama, Gion Hatanaka Ryokan is at the centre of some of the most popular sites and offers a rare, up-close look at Maiko (apprentice Geisha) during a delectable dinner.
Short walk from the Gion district, 5-minute walk from Yasaka Shrine, 10-minute walk from Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Kyoto Station 15-minutes away.
Gion Hatanaka Ryokan features traditional Japanese style rooms, spacious public baths overlooking a zen garden. Free Wi-Fi available in public spaces. Spacious rooms at Hatanaka Gion feature large windows and a balcony. They come with a flat-screen TV, a seating area and an en suite bathroom with bathtub.
In-room spa treatments
Gion Hatanaka Ryokan arranges Maiko (apprentice Geisha) dance performances and Kyoto tours (advance reservation necessary)
Gion Hatanaka Ryokan offers in-room meals with seasonal local dishes. Meals need to be reserved at least 1 day in advance. Guests who cannot eat raw seafood need to notify the property 1 day in advance, as well. Non-seafood meals like sukiyaki or shabu shabu hot pots can be requested. Any other meal/dietary requests cannot be accommodated.
Maiko (apprentice Geisha)
Many of you have heard of Geisha, but Maiko are rather less known. Maiko are apprenticing Geisha who also entertain at various places and for a variety of audiences. Gion Hatanaka Ryokan is one of the few places to enjoy Kyoto style cuisine and a Maiko experience at the same time.
(advance reservation necessary)
Ryokan are traditional style Japanese inns found throughout Japan. In Kyoto, there are a variety of inns, tending to differ according to size, cost, style and the history attached to the inn. Common elements to most inns will be tatami mat floors, futon (beds), yukata (thin style kimono), ofuro (Japanese bath) and Japanese style breakfast/dinner.
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Hospitality is a significant part of Japanese society and culture. In general, the hospitality and level of service at any accommodation in Japan will surpass most places. Depending on the quality of ryokan, it will take the concept of omotenashi (hospitality) to a whole other level.
The okami-san (head lady) or other staff of the inn will go to great lengths to ensure all the needs of their guests are met. For example, you may have your meals served to you in your room or other little personal touches. In some cases their insistence on telling them about the time you will wake, take a bath or return on a night out on the town may seem intrusive. However, keep in mind this is only to ensure staff are attuned to the guest and have everything ready just when you need it.
The food served at inns adds another integral layer to the whole ryokan experience. The type of breakfast can differ from ryokan to ryokan but dinners are typically kaiseki ryori (Japanese haute cuisine) served as a set meal featuring local and seasonal specialties.
At most ryokan, you will be provided with yukata. Learning to put on a yukata and using the ofuro can be daunting at first but these are not only unique aspects of a ryokan stay but Japanese culture in general.
A yukata is a casual version of the kimono made from cotton or other fabrics. It is worn like a robe, wrapped around the body and fastened with an obi (sash). Yukata literally means, “bathing cloth.” Usually, the garment is worn prior to and after bathing at a communal bath. You might also see people strolling around the streets in yukata and geta (wooden clogs). It offers a comfortable way to experience the ofuro (bath) as it quickly covers the body and absorbs any moisture your towel may have missed.
Ofuro (Japanese bath) are another mainstay of the ryokan stay. Some will be communal while others private. The biggest difference in bathing etiquette is that Japanese people wash and clean themselves off before they enter the bath.
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