Stumbled on a great site today. It’s the Japan Ryokan Association website. It’s a ryokan directory and guide set up by the Japan National Tourist Organization and I must say it’s pretty well done. I feel like visiting a ryokan right now after browsing through that site.

For those of you who don’t know, a Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn or hotel and are usually family owned and passed down to the next generation. Some of the more prestigious ryokans have a history dating back over a hundred years. They are actually pretty similar to a bed-and-breakfast type establishment. Of course being a traditional inn it has all the traditional Japanese trims and fittings like tatami mat rooms, futons, sliding wood and paper doors and those beautiful zen-inspired gardens. They even provide you with a Yukata, a summer kimono, so you can walk around the facilities feeling all Japanese-like. Some Ryokans even have a natural hot spring bath featuring open air hot springs and private or communal bathing.

I’ve always wanted to stay at a Ryokan. All the way back since i first watched Love Hina and wanted to try my hand at peeping into the girls communal bath section. Of course things would then turn for the worse and the girls would discover what I’m up to and promptly proceed to beat me to near-death with whatever bath implement they can find. *Sigh* I wish my life was an Anime. So anyway, start planning your Ryokan experience now and while you’re at it why not read Kirainet.com’s excellent “Prepare A Trip to Japan in 10 Steps” article. That’s where I got the link from.

So I leave you now with the SOS-dan girls relaxing in an open air bath. Enjoy. ^^

Haruhi and the girls in an Onsen


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