Here I am, back in one of my fave countries – Japan. The work ethic here is really quite extraordinary: they work a lot, then some more, then more, and then even more. Thankfully, they also know how to unwind of a weekend, which is what we needed to do after our long trip getting here. So off we popped – out of the big city and up into the mountains – to a ryokan with an onsen in the village of Hakon.
Never been to Japan? You really must one day.
Been to Japan, but never stayed in the countryside for a bit? You must – asap! Mountains, lush forest, volcanoes, hot springs, and the ryokans where you stay – it’s all not just good, it’s sugoi!
You probably know already that a traditional Japanese house is a simple wood-bamboo-paper construction. All very charming, but rather fragile: winter frost or strong winds can cause them to fall apart. Their fragility however can be blessing if ever there’s an earthquake – no one getting crushed by crumbling bricks-and-mortar, and easy to rebuild.
Meals are taken at these here low tables; you sit on a mat on the floor, cross-legged:
To the sides of the main room are sleeping quarters – one side for males, the other for females. If there’s more than one of you to a room, you sleep right next to each other – so it’s to be hoped your neighbor doesn’t snore!
Bathroom, mirror > selfie!
But the main feature: hot springs – right on your doorstep. Oh my geyser! Perfect!
And the Japanese cuisine, at least – in a ryokan in Hakon? How shall I put it…
The perfect way to unwind and recharge. Which is just what we needed that weekend, for we had a busy working week ahead…
That’s all for today folks, but I’ll be back with more tales from the Japanese side tomorrow…