Ryokans are silent witnesses to many events in Japanese history…. If Captain Nathan Algren and Katsumoto had stayed in a hotel in 1870’s Japan, it surely would have been a ryokan! However, not all ryokan are old. There are modern ryokan as well, some as a result of updating, and others simply because they're new. Some ryokan offer private views of famous gardens, both wet and dry, and others are located adjacent to the healing waters of legendary Japanese hot springs.
A world unto itself, a visit to a ryokan makes possible a glimpse of traditional Japanese customs and the opportunity to experience it for yourself. It is a necessary journey for any visiting American interested in Japanese culture, and should not be missed.
A visit to a Ryokan begins as most things do, At The Front Gate…..
The gate is an entrance to the building. You may find a dignified gate, tasteful gate, or a traditional gate in front of a ryokan, depending on its location and history. Upon entering the gate there is an “approach”, a passage between the gate and the entrance to a building. It is designed for the eyes of guests to feast upon. When you go through the gate, a Japanese-style reception will await you.