From the moment you board the small cog train that winds up into the mountains to Hakone, you know you are in for a something special. So what is a Ryokan?
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese guest house, created to provide travelers with a place to rest, eat, and rejuvenate themselves on their journey. The concept dates back to 1600, and is still thriving today. Not much has changed in terms of what was traditionally offered: a spacious lobby, public baths, a kaiseki meal, and a room to sleep with tatsimi mats and shoji panels. But while ryokans were once popular around Japan and an inexpensive place to stay the night, the few that survive today offer a much fancier experience and look into Japanese culture for travelers.
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