Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Dozen Ryokan | Kyoto | Japan

We took a second trip to Japan in November-December 2015. Mostly to enjoy the coveted Autumn Season.  Whilst we enjoy staying in traditional first class hotels, we also enjoy and embrace staying in a unique Ryokan experience in the heart of Kyoto.  

Dozen offers an accommodation that makes you feel as though you are living in ‘real’ Japan but with modern amenities (useful as a traveler as you just want to get ready with ease).  Guests are expected to follow certain customs during their stay. Like most households and establishments in Japan, you are required to remove your shoes before stepping into the ryokan and they have a shoe storage facility as well as being able to supply you with room slippers.

The ryokan is conveniently located minutes from JR Kyoto train station with plenty of shopping nearby but set far enough within a residential area, so great for a good night’s sleep.  Popular tourist destinations are all in easy reach where there’s an abundant of treasures literally from your fingertips.

Dozen is decorated with vibrant red lanterns, red carpet along the hallways, mural on the wall depicting a historical scene and an ornamental garden. The staff are very welcoming and we settled in very comfortably.

The ryokan, is made up of 11 rooms and a cafè hence the name Dozen (twelve).  Each room is symbolized with a Japanese pictogram. The 12 rooms are named Shiki, Manga, Chawan, Matsuri, Sumo, Ninjas, Samurai, Sado, Kabuki, Shogi and Kimono. I like how they names each guest room with a Japanese meaning behind it. Our room we stayed in is called ‘Kabuki. Kabuki is a popular form of fantasy theatre in Japan. We saw our first Kabuki show the year before so it was quite fitting to be allocated this room.

For us, we particularly enjoyed staying at ryokans mainly because the buildings tend to be many years old and have the traditional Japanese architecture of wooden buildings, bamboo smell and ornamental gardens. The room is calming with sliding paper screens, tatami mats, low tables and closets, that of typical Japanese finishing touches.  We love experiencing living the way the Japanese did over several hundred years ago, it is a far cry from the western style hotels and it certainly gave you a mindset (though, a taster) of living as a local Japanese person would have back in the days, and even in the present day.  Dozen offers a unique way to enjoy the traditional and historical rich city of Kyoto.

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