Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kyoto: Ryokan Shiraume

In Kyoto, we stayed in the Gion, in a ryokan--a Japanese inn--called Ryokan Shiraume ("White Plum Inn"). This is the entrance: the little bridge spans a canal. Our hostess, Tomoko, a former JAL flight attendant, was unbelievably charming. She told us that in the Gion, only women are allowed to own businesses (interesting, no?)
Before dinner, we took a traditional bath (a bath for just the two of us), with the hottest water I've ever sunk into. Ahhh...

As we walked up, two elderly ladies were rubbing this statue for good luck; they also admonished me, in Japanese, for not having my arms and shoulders covered from the sun (sweet!). The entrance...and then below that, the alcove in our room.
The garden just outside our room was lovely, and you could hear the soft sounds of the canal water flowing by. Apparently there is a resident family of ferrets, which we didn't see, unfortunately. We did see a cat, which Tomoko said belongs to the geisha who lives nearby: a geisha cat!

Some charmingly rustic sandals to wear while in the garden:


At Shiraume we had a kaiseki ryori meal, the gorgeously elaborate many-course meal that Kyoto is known for. Each course is related to those around it, and the meal is highly seasonal (only certain foods served in the summer, etc.). It was quite an experience; I wish I'd photographed it! On the other hand, I was able to savor it rather than document it...

5 comments:

Robin said...

what a beautiful place - a fantastic memory you will always cherish i'm sure. did you wear the cute sandals in the garden? how very japanese.

Christina K said...

Hello, this ryokan looks lovely. Would you mind sharing contact information? I'm headed to Kyoto with a friend soon.

dolapo said...

I was wondering the same thing :)

somosamerica said...

I was wondering the same thing...

vi said...

OMG This place looks like heaven !
Is it rude to ask you how much does a night cost here ?
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Vi
(if you have time to answer my question, here is my email address : bonybunz{AT}hotmail{DOT}com