I stayed at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. I didn't have a bed frame, but I still preferred it to a Western-style hotel.
13.11.2023 - 20:47
While on my honeymoon, I traveled to Japan and took the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto.
As Japan's former capital city, the historical area is known for its Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. While there, my husband and I stayed at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.
Ryokan are possibly one of the oldest forms of hotels, dating back centuries. They can be found throughout Japan.
Although the types of ryokan can vary, most include a tatami-mat floor, futon mattresses without a bedframe, communal or private baths, and multi-course Japanese meals.
The ryokan my husband and I stayed at was called Sakura Urushitei and was located in Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto.
The building itself looked modern but had curved Eastern-style eaves on the first two floors and a small Japanese-style garden to the left of the entrance.
The lobby was modern, but everything was made of wood and featured display cases with lacquerware, as well as Japanese ceramics and art.
Our room, which was in an adjoining building, was "Sukiya-style" — a type of architecture that uses rustic materials and mimics natural surroundings.
On our way, we walked past a wall of beautiful Japanese art, then several orange torii gates.
As is common in Japan, we took our shoes off when entering our room, left them by the entrance, and put on the slippers that were left for us to wear.
The space was fairly small with a short table and chairs without any legs. The overhead light was covered with a shade that looked like it was made out of paper and there was also a small lamp on the floor.
The room itself was made out of natural materials and felt very minimalist but serene and comfortable.
Our room also didn't have a TV, which felt a bit like an escape from constantly being surrounded by screens.
On the left side, we found a small closet containing our bedding and two Yukata robes made from cotton. There was also a special corner of the room to place our luggage so it didn't damage the tatami mat.
When it was time for us to go to sleep, we unrolled our futon mattress, covered it with a sheet, and put the duvet on top.
Since the room was so small, we had to move the table and chairs out of the way, but they were so lightweight, it wasn't much of an issue.
Although the mattress was a little thin, it was surprisingly cozy and comfortable.
However, because I have lower back issues (a perk of being in my mid-30s), I don't think I could sleep like this every night.
This sleep style is somewhat common in some parts of Japan, and I wonder if my body would've adjusted if I'd slept like this for a longer period of time.
After all, some research suggests there are numerous benefits to sleeping on the floor.
For example, some soft mattresses can allow your spine to