Japan -03/31/- 04/08/2017

Hakune- Mount View Hakone hotel -4/2/2017

Lake Ashi Hakune ropeway Mount View hotel Breakfast/Odawara

Wanting to experience the Japanese traditional way of living, we stayed at Mount View Hakone a Ryokan which is a Japanese style inn.

Ryokans have been a part of Japanese culture for centuries. Some of the earliest ryokans were (and some still are) located on the Tokaido Highway which connected the capital city of Edo (current day Tokyo) and the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. It was a very busy highway as samurai, traders, and others made their way between the two popular destinations in the country. Ryokans were built to welcome these weary travelers who needed to rest before continuing on their long journey. Some ryokans were very simple and offered extra rooms in their homes for travelers while others were more elaborate and served the higher ranks of the government. In any case the owners worked hard to make their guests feel as welcome as possible as they still do today.

After checking in, we were shown to our suite.

Our room is pretty large with tatami flooring and a low table at the center of the room. There is a wash room with a sink and a toilet room separated from the main room by sliding doors. There are no bathroom, bath are taken in community. 

We were invited to sit down (heated blanket underneath the coffee table) to drink tea.

We asked where are we going to sleep tonight and they told us that while we are having dinner they will come in our room to set up a futon bed for us.

On the table is a large wooden box containing tea service and a tray of mochi - all complimentary of the hotel.


Inside the black wooden box is a Tea service


Pouring tea...



Tea was very good and the mochi was probably one of best we have eaten during our trip.


We were also asked to wear a Yukata for dinner.  Yukata (literally "bathing clothes") are a traditional garment, similar in style to kimono, but lighter, much more casual, and made of cotton.

Yukata function both as a bathrobe and loungewear, which can be worn at all times, including to dinner and breakfast, walking around the hotel, and to bed as sleepwear.

We were each provided a yukata which were meant to be worn throughout the extent of our stay,


We scheduled a private bath and a full kaiseki dinner in the evening, but now had a few hours to stretch out and relax in our suite



Dinner is served at 7:30 PM in the main communal dining area located on the first floor of the hotel. 

At a Japanese ryokan, one of the highlights is dining on “kaiseki” a traditional, multi-course dinner. Meals are elaborate, multi course affairs with a multitude of dishes and ingredients that are carefully and artfully arranged to reflect local and seasonal specialties, expressed in the ryokan's own unique style.

The first thing we realized is they misspelled Hoa's name!  The table is nicely set up.


Pot beautifully arranged!

When we are ready they will turn the gas on to heat up the soup.

Sashimi platter


Seared white fish

Vegetable tempura

Cauliflower mousse with salmon roe

Ready for dinner.... There are so much food!

The four of us enjoying our dinner...


Not much left once we are done with dinner!


Private Open air bath

After dinner Japanese usually take a bath with the whole family in the community public bath.  Since I am not comfortable at all with taking a bath with strangers, we opted for a private room.

As we walked in, the tubs was already filled to the brim with piping hot volcanic water straight from the hot springs of the surrounding mountain. The water is supposed to be good for muscle tension and to relax your body.


Unfortunately, the water was so hot that Hoa and I, we only lasted maybe 20 minutes.  The bath was reserved for 1 hour but because it was so hot, I started to feel dizzy so we had to cut it short.  


When we got back to our room, two beds were arranged in the room.



Japanese beds consist of a futon (Japanese mattresses) laid directly on the tatami floor. The futon will not be laid out when you first enter the room. Instead, they are kept in the closet during the day to be set out in the evening and put away again in the morning by the ryokan staff.


Next... Breakfast



Our house


Photo Gallery

 Mon  petit coin