First I neatly folded and stored the futon in a closet with thin sliding doors (there were instructions), next I left my indoor slippers on a mat before I stepped into the bathroom slippers and then changed back as I exited the tiny bathroom. I took delight in this daily ritual during our stay at a ryokan in Kyoto.
It was my first time in Japan four years ago with friends and I wanted to stay in a traditional Japanese guesthouse because I thought it was one of the best ways to experience traditional Japanese culture.
Tucked in a quiet neighborhood in Kyoto, ours was a small and modern it also had western style rooms. There was also a choice between traditional and western breakfast and guess what? We chose western.
What I liked about the ryokan was the subdued and relaxed atmosphere. It was just the kind of place I would want to come home to after a long day of exploration. It had a convenient location near stores and tiny eating-places in the neighborhood but which we only noticed during our last day.
What was the highlight of my stay? Nights of very good sleep in my comfortable and cozy futon.