When I asked on Instagram what kind of recommendation you guys would want for Japan Travel Guide, a few of you mentioned to me about Ryokan Experience. Unfortunately it's difficult to find authentic ryokan in Tokyo as most of them are located outside of the City Center to obtain the peaceful escapade. Most famous area to experience Ryokan nearby Tokyo is probably Hakone, but is it really impossible to find one in Tokyo?
RYUMEIKAN is one of the small numbers of authentic japanese inn (Ryokan) that has been around since 1899, located at the heart of Shin Ochanomizu. If you're interested about this hotel, please read my whole review below
Ryumeikan is only 2 stops away from Tokyo station and around 1,5km away from the Imperial Garden. It is occupied the first and second floor of the tall building, and the hotel is within walking distance from stations. You can reach the hotel either through JR, Toei, or Metro (Chiyoda, Marunouchi, Ginza) Line which makes the hotel convenient during your stay in Tokyo
The hotel itself is under Michelin Guide in Tokyo and had their own restaurant named Green Tea Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu that serves healthy meals along with their variant of green tea beverages including the green tea beer! I stayed at this hotel for a few days during February 2017 when I was in Tokyo for private holiday and I would like to share with you about this fascinating place
I reached the hotel right at the time for check in. Upon the arrival, the staffs kindly assisted me with perfect english at the spacious lobby. I was given some forms to list regarding my preferences including my choice of breakfast so they can serve me better during my stay
There are only 9 rooms available in the hotel which made the experience private and serene. You wont find the crowd and loud noise during your stay which is something that I treasure about and hardly can get it at big hotel. All the rooms' names are referenced by Japanese Flowers and they have some common areas such as the Refresh Room where you can do your laundry, and the Library
In case you'd like to spend your relaxing time by reading some books while sipping a nice hot coffee, get yourself a few hours in the intimate library. They also offer complimentary beverages and small snacks such as mochi and chocolates
I stayed at FUJI room, and I was fascinated by the size of the room as it's spacious and well-designed. The room in Ryumeikan is around 50-60 sqm (depends on which room you're staying at). My type of room is ENJYU Twin room with 53.1 sqm at size, and this is the type of room that's most common in the hotel. Shall you want something bigger, get yourself the corner room for a little price adjustment!
At the living room area, there's comfortable long couch to watch TV, but I shot this picture from the entrance (genkan) where I stored my coat and shoes
What always impresses me from the hotel is the little thought and care given by the staff by writing personal handwriting like this. They have printed informations regarding how to wear Yukata and so on, but they also write the guest's name on top of the paper which made me feel like home
Their hospitality relies heavily on a lot of complimentary services that they offered and for me the best service is this mail card service. They have a few post cards from Japan and you can mail it to your friends / family / loved one through their service (free of charge). At this digital age, I really appreciate something like handwritten postcard and the idea of preserving your memory in Japan through this service. Imagine the one whom receive it, they must be so happy!
Another complimentary service is their wide choice of beverages. They have high quality coffee and tea provided, and along with some Fuji Mineral Water along with whatever you have inside the fridge for you during your stay!
Now let's take a look at the bedroom! In fact there's no separator in between of living room and bedroom which makes the whole area more enormous. However, the difference lies on the floor as the bedroom area has tatami floor, while the living room is carpeted. The lighting is dim and there's audio speaker playing calm instrumental music which makes the whole ambient more pleasant.
All the rooms in Ryumeikan consists of Twin Bed and can accommodate up to 2 persons only. The bed is one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in and I swear that I felt like not going anywhere but just rolled on my bed all day long. The blanket and the pillow sheet are so soft, and the bed's firmness is just perfect. The comfort of the room is beyond awesome and they really live up to their standard, talk about the next level of Japanese omotenashi!
As I wrote this blog post and checked on their website again to find out the secret of their bed, turns out the mattress is from a brand in Kyoto that was born in 1830 named IWATA! The mattress name is LARKOWL , a handmade mattress with long history that made themselves a pioneer of gentle sleep and exclusive patent. One of the reasons I'm writing about this mattress is so I will remember what brand I will have to buy for my bed in the future, future goal!!!
Instead of normal white pajamas, Ryumeikan offers the Yukata experience instead! This is what you can expect from staying at a Japanese Inn (Ryokan) as they will bring you the best of traditional japan experience during your time. I love this service because you can use this to take picture of yourself and blend with the whole tradition perfectly
The window paper that's called Shoji is extended across one side of the room and you can slide it to overlook the scenery outside the hotel. This historical design bring me back to the feeling of Japan hundred years ago and the stay could never be better! However the view is not as grand as most hotels at high buildings since it's only located at second floor
Now let's take a look at their grand bathroom. With space being a luxury in Tokyo, having a bathroom that has 3 areas consists of Powder room, bathroom, and toilet are something that you shall not take for granted
The powder area is spacious enough to welcome 2 people groomed up at the same time and it's complete with lots of amenities
Japan is easily identified with its matcha or green tea and Ryumeikan brings the amenities with that scent. From shampoo to body lotion, and they provide a few bottles at the powder room as well as inside the bathroom. The scent is exquisite and sweet, and it moisturizes my body and hair finely
They also provide luxurious amenities of skincare products, toothbrush, shaving cream, and so on in the wooden box wrapped with Furoshiki. The staff mentioned that it's a part of complimentary service as well and you can bring back the whole box home! They present high quality products and their travel size of skincare is pretty complete with all the cleansing cream to the moisturizing cream. Even better news, the skincare is from Mikimoto Cosmetics for your luxurious stay !
I had a really great fun checking on the box as if opening a christmas present! I was really pampered by the whole conveniences and didnt even want to go back home
Massive and lavish are little words to describe the bathroom that blends modernity and traditional aspects together. You can see the marble floors along with wooden chair that you might spot at some onsen or traditional bath area in Japan. You can either sit while showering on the chair, or do it western style by standing up. The shower heads come in 3 sections which you can adjust which one you want to use. They have the overhead shower, the chest-body shower for front body with 3 spiral heads, and spray shower to be used when you're sitting down
The next handmade item in the hotel is nonetheless the bath called Shiragaki Yaki that has began in the mid of Kamakura period (12th-14th century). It has long been the tradition of Japan and has been registered as Japanese traditional crafts. Preserving this traditional pottery art is not easy in this era, let alone to truly experience it. The bath itself is pretty enormous and you can click the link of Shiragaki Yaki that I put above to see the process of making it and how huge it is. Even a tall man can surely fit in this bath but for the sake of picture, I had to kinda squat instead of sit in the bath so I can show my face
Breakfast at Ryumeikan is only available for room dining and it's not included in the room charge. Shall you want to have your breakfast, you need to order it the day before. You can specify the type of breakfast and preference of fresh beverages that you want including the time you want it to be served. Above is ASAGE with Bread, which is a japanese style western breakfast as it comes with bread and some cold salad along with miso soup. ASAGE with Onigiri is more traditional as it comes with japanese traditional side dishes and pickles. Both set comes with choices of variety fresh milk or fresh juices and seasonal fresh fruits for 1760 yen (tax and service included)
On the last day, I decided to spoil myself by ordering RYUGOZEN, a traditional japanese breakfast that comes in two level of boxes consisted of fish and side dishes. The best part is the steam rice produced by Okachu Farm in Nagano Prefecture cooked in a traditional pot to give peculiar taste. I couldn't finish this early in the morning because it's too much especially for a women so I recommend it to share with your room mate
My short stay was splendid and how I wish you guys could visit this hotel as well in case you're interested to get a nice escape from the bustling Tokyo without going out of the city. A stay in a ryokan is usually always pricey but considering the service, experience, and memory, once in a while spoiling yourself in a trip would be a good way to thank yourself for your hard work
If you're interested, feel free to visit their website
3-4 Kanda-surugadai Chiyoda-ku Tokyo, 101-0062, JAPAN
TEL +81-3-3251-1135 FAX +81-3-3251-0270 MAIL email@example.com