Japanese Inn & Kaiseki Cuisine: The Ryokan Stay Experience

Japanese Inn & Kaiseki Cuisine: The Ryokan Stay Experience


ONLY in JAPAN The traditional Japanese inn “Ryokan” is more than just a place to stay You can lounge around in cotton Kimonos called “Yukata” or soak in mineral baths until you feel 10 years younger Each Ryokan room and meal is different offering a real only in Japan experience It’s a place where you can try well-prepared seasonal Japanese cuisine The inside often impresses wood to “Tatami” bamboo the natural world inside Welcome to a Japanese Ryokan I’m here in Fukushima Prefecture to show you some of the best Ryokan. now a Ryokan is usually built in the middle of an Onsen, An Onsen is a hot spring naturally coming from the ground and these Ryokan have a lot of attractions: There’s food. There’s culture. There’s tradition. There’s the “Tatami” rooms and then there’s the bath, the Onsen baths We have an entirely separate episode for that Where exactly is Fukushima Prefecture? It’s a few hours north of Tokyo stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains and plains on the other side Fukushima is Japan’s third-largest prefecture, and it’s loaded with everything that you need for an adventure We’ll go to 13 amazing hot spring towns around Fukushima, all with their own style and charm and Focus on the traditional Japanese Inns called Ryokan, and they’re delicious, “Kaiseki” cuisine We start this one at “Dake” Onsen and one of my favorite Ryokan called “Hana kanzashi” The inside is cozy and beautiful The Tatami lined hallways passing gardens and windows lined with Japanese “Washi” paper This is a typical room at “Hana Kanzashi” perfect for two There’s a private bath overlooking a rock garden This is a room for a family of four the Onsen bath here takes up most of the back its outdoor and covered The natural hot spring water from the ground contains a lot of minerals giving it a milky white color It’s the ultimate room for a relaxing holiday away from it all Welcome to “Ohkaw-So, “Ashinomaki” Onsen Ryokan sit at the river’s edge by a mountain The lobby is spacious and beautiful Water flows under the walkway inside the building The Japanese-style rooms are just as lovely. A Tatami room with a spacious window a Japanese “Kotatsu” by Kotatsu is a heated table the blanket keeping the heat under it a divine experience in winter Stay warm relax and enjoy the view During my visit to “Tsuchiyu” Onsen, the snow came down adding a spectacular layer of white to everything around the town The town wraps around the river where the hot spring water flows freely it has a beautiful turquoise color to it This is hotels “Sansui-So” where I spent the night Here’s my room come in make yourself at home There’s no bed here yet But after you change into your Yukata and make your way to dinner the Ryokan staff will prep your room for your return The Futon setup service is something that’s always impressed me about staying at a traditional Japanese Inn He can make up the Futon in about a minute When I come back from dinner, I’ll be able to go right to sleep if I like Dinner at a Ryokan is a real treat. It’s “Kaiseki Ryori” or traditional Japanese cuisine served in many courses This is the complete layout so you can see just how beautifully prepared it is Even for Japanese it’s a lot. Staff will explain to you what everything is as well as include a menu Staying at a Ryokan can be a little pricey, but with the meal and service you can see its value It’s an experience you simply don’t want to pass up local A5 grade “Wagyu” beef and Sukiyaki Beat the raw egg then dip the beef in it The taste is amazing you won’t be disappointed I ordered the local sake “Kampai”! It really is a meal that hits all five senses Wow now this is a meal fit for a king the entire layout is here And I don’t know where to start I’ve been in a Ryokan many many times before and every time I do I’m just overwhelmed by the amount the variety of food and the amount the volume of it all it’s actually not as much as it looked it’s all out on the table usually they bring it course-by-course and you start from the Starter and then move on to the different dishes But we put it all together just so you can see just how amazing it is each season has its own special ingredients has its own special food so the meal changes by the season and this is just incedible I don’t even know where to start “Itadakimasu” This is a Fukushima’s brand-name “Shamo Chicken” coming from the neighborinng Kawamata This chicken is very chewy and delicious. Chef shows the autumn cuisine. He’s prepared using local ingredients That’s a big attraction about the “Kaiseki” cuisine at Ryokan trying the flavors of the area The presentation also uses the colors of the season, brown, yellow, orange and red When he’s finished it is as much art as it is food And to end it all I returned to my room all set up for me It really makes me happy to see my Futon magically set up for me every time I spent some time relaxing in the lobby a check out and talked to the manager about communicating in English The staff is working hard to learn English They can speak English a little bit. That’s right So international visitors can relax about language barriers They can feel comfortable staying here The Ryokan has guides in English to answer all questions, too I moved on to Kawachi, Yanaizu Onsen which had a lovely Tatami room overlooking the river and bridge In a “Aizu-Wakamatsu” is Ryokan “Harataki” at Higashiyama Onsen I got a look into the kitchen to see just how they prepare the food for so many people everyday The head chef is preparing the fish soup stock fresh It takes hours of preparation every day to make every meal here a chef is making “Negi Toro” from tuna Next he blowtorches the fish The menu changes by season so for three months the menu is basically the same They’re using Fukushima beef for the “Shabu-Shabu” dinner For people staying a second night the menu changes a bit reflected in the plate color Each day at guests days the menu is altered a little There aren’t many guests staying longer than two nights The staff also makes accommodation for guests with dietary requests these plates here of chicken instead of beef or pork The head chef oversees the operation like a general great attention and effort is made to make sure that the meals are perfect When finished they’re transported to the restaurant where they are presented to the guests along with the starter and side items The fire is lit and after a couple of minutes. It’s time for some “Shabu- Shabu”. I went straight for the beef I always go for the “Goma”, sesame sauce over the “Ponzu” the two sauces that accompanies Shabu-Shabu It’s really good I added the vegetables and Tofu after but that’s my style This Ryokan also has a buffet. So you can help yourself to soup rice and other items. All of it made with local ingredients You can go back to your room after dinner or for guests only hit the Onsen bath at night Many Ryokan open their baths the day trippers At night you can sometimes have the whole bath to yourself a real benefit to staying the night An hour away is “Toryu-Kan”, “Yunokami Onsen”. This is a family-run Ryokan, smaller and more personal The rooms have names let’s tour this amazing Japanese-style room The Futon is already set up because this room is dedicated to sleeping and evening Yukata on the pillow The room next door could be considered the living room In the front is the bathroom the sink separated from the toilets Oh, in these apples go in the bath behind this steamy door That’s right this room has its own private Onsen bath great for families the shy or people with tattoos I always change for dinner It’s sometimes hard to find a Yukata in your size, but this will do the Tatami socks are a nice touch Let’s go to dinner The chef at Toryu-Kan works hard from the morning to prepare dinner each day Top grade A5 Wagyu beef is on the menu seared at high heat The inside is still rare beautiful coloring to the meat I can’t wait to try it Depending on the season, what we get in or how it looks changes so which means we have to change the dishes accordingly Each Ryokan has its own unique style Toryu-Kan’s “Kaiseki” cuisine really fits the season It’s polite to pick your glass up with two hands when staff pours the beer for you Here’s that Wagyu surrounded by sauces and garnish adding a lot of color It just melts in your mouth Meals added Ryokan always leave you satisfied, and that’s the Fukushima traditional Japanese end story Away from the city out in the countryside Sure, you can also have Western meals and hotel experiences in Japan like here Ura-Bandai and you can certainly go local, too there’s a charm to every room a uniqueness to every experience that makes staying at a Ryokan on the ultimate must do because basically a Ryokan is where you can feel the soul of Japan Next time we’ll take an immersive look at the Japanese hot springs the baths the traditional ends and the Kaiseki cuisine in 360 virtual reality video Take a closer look around and feel that experience by navigating around the smartphone screen your monitor or VR goggles If you liked it hit that subscribe button and check out another one of our shows Don’t miss my second live streaming channel only in Japan go and check out location photos on Instagram Matane

100 thoughts on “Japanese Inn & Kaiseki Cuisine: The Ryokan Stay Experience

  1. Have you ever stayed in a ryokan? What did you think? Is it better than the typical hotel? Would you sleep on a futon on the floor in a tatami room? Share your experience and thoughts with me below! -John

  2. If I ever visit Japan, I'm going straight to the nearest Onseni and just chilling!
    I would never even leave the countryside at all to be honest as most of my stay will be outside of Cities like Tokyo

  3. I'd like to visit this place soon, when i go to japan. Japan is the most beautiful place for me. Thank you for this wonderful video! 💞

  4. I've had a Kaiseki feast in L.A.'s "Little Tokyo" on New Year's Eve (traditional celebration on the New Year) from the reputed best Japanese sushi bar & restaurant, and it was outstanding– at least 15 to 20 dishes!  I would love to experience a Ryokan, they look so beautiful!  This was a great video tour!

  5. I want to come to Japan and bring my niece with me, I think it would be fantastic to stay at a Ryokan I want to go to one you have reviewed.

  6. @ONLY in JAPAN I've been watching a few videos about the 3-11-2011 tsunami and have been horrified by them, and to follow those up with this video—to see Fukushima as you've portrayed here simply uplifts the spirits. So happy to see the people bounce back. Thank you for this upload.

  7. I'm visiting Japan for my honeymoon soon and I would love to stay at Hanakanzashi Onsen but I'm worried that it might be difficult since we don't speak Japanese. Do you think it would be possible for people who don't speak Japanese to get there by train and stay at the onsen? I'm just worried that we might not be able to communicate adequately with the staff. Thanks in advance 🙂

  8. I want to visit Japan so much one day. Everything I see in Japan videos, and even in the shows like Super Sentai, gives me ideas of something to do while there.

  9. Did you get any abilities like becoming bigger and green? Beautiful! Have a wish to go to Tohoku! How much are the family rooms with the ajoint hot spring baths?

  10. I have a dream to stay in a ryokan for three nights. Just to make the chef scratch his head wondering what to serve me. Haha

  11. Do you have any videos regarding bring vegan (or vegetarian) in Japan? Or gay/transgender people, in Japan of course.(sorry for asking, I feel like I’m burdening you with difficult questions…) many thanks! Wonderful videos btw! Am currently marathoning them, they’re so good!

  12. You mentioned that the private onsen in the "flower basket" room might be good for people with tattoos. Why would they want to skip the regular baths? I have never heard this before and am very curious.

  13. Do ryokans just have a restaurant for their kaiseki meal? (Eg: if im not staying there but still want to try the kaiseki meal) thanks!

  14. I'd like to visit Japan someday of course with my family but I'm poor so all I can do is watch YouTube videos about Japan. 🙃

  15. I really would need someone to tell me if I’m supposed to eat something or look at and take it home for a keepsake.. I must go

  16. Urgh I would LOVE to go to japan but I've not the money nor the time, luckily I can live vicariously though you and Chris Broad!

  17. “people with tattoos”?
    Is it not appropriate for people with tattoos to show them in a public setting like that?

  18. This video and the channel is the best ever
    very nice work.
    But sadly places like this and food is only for rich people

  19. I must say I stayed at a couple different Ryokan while I was in Japan and they both astounded me with how friendly and personable they were.

    The first was right after I got to Japan, so this young, jet lagged, speaking a few words mumbled half remembered Japanese. But they prepared my lovely meal (I had provided the flight to the hotel as per their request so they would start getting things ready for when I landed.) The food was amazing, and after my meal i was able to sleep right away. I awoke to the temple bells and a freshly prepared traditional Buddhist meal that was to die for.

    The second one was way out in the countryside in Aomori prefecture, you could tell that they didnt get many foreign visitors yet they apologized to me for not knowing much English even as they perfectly walked me through everything. The only issue (And please take this as a warning for those visiting rural Ryokan) is that I dont think they had ever considered someone as tall as myself visiting them (6'3), and they simply did not have a Yukata in my size.

  20. Japan is providing tourists with food made from rice and various food ingredients produced in radioactive Fukushima.

  21. 日本の旅館って考えてみると贅沢だよね
    部屋まで高級懐石運んでくれて天然温泉が24時間入り放題
    最近では部屋付きの露天風呂も少なくない
    海外でこのサービスクオリティなら軽く10万は超えてしまいそう

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