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A ryokan experience

Sarugakyo, Japan

Today we traveled to Gunma, for we had a ryokan-reservation at Sarugakyo-Onsen for the night. The ryokan had Onsen-access and was convienently located for the fireworks competition/display ("hanabi taikai") held that night.

We arrived a tad late and called from a station on the way to not loose our room, but everything worked out fine. Taxi from the Jomo Kogen station cost us 5000yen, but was the best choice.
We were shown around the building and got some explanations, everything in Japanese, but we managed.
Our room was on the first floor, here some pictures:

We had reserved for dinner and breakfast, but did not know exactly what awaited us until we sat down at the dining hall. The food that already was on the table would have easily qualified as a dinner, but the courses just kept coming! Marion had to scoop along the way, and I struggled to finish. We counted 16 (yes sixteen) dishes, everything included, which were as follows:
- Sweet sake/appetizer
- Tsukemono (pickles)
- Seaweed salad + carrots
- White (rice/veggie) gruel
- Crab legs
- Misoyaki
- Wagyu over mushrooms, cooked on the table in a giant leaf on a hot plate
- Local specialty of rice: Cooked with mountain vegetables and herbs as well as mushrooms
- Sashimi
- Fish-on-a-stick ^^
- Peeled tomato (I don't like tomatoes, didn't eat)
- Konjaku + veggie salad
- Tempura
- Soup
- Tsukemono 2
- Fruits


As you noticed by now, my camera started to break down. After the thousands of pictures I took with it in the last weeks I probably should have anticipated it. Still a shame.

After dinner we forced ourselves up and went to the hanabi taikai, which was much like Silvester at home, only without the cold and on a professional scale. I especially like the picture I used as header.

Having returned to the ryokan we entered the onsen (hot springs ftw) and relaxed. Onsen dwelling is great, by the way. Unfortunately the rotemburo was going through maintenance at the time, so only indoor bathing, but still nice.
Originally we wanted to go to sleep early, happened to stumble over Harry Potter in Japanese though and watched the last bit. Pretty much the first time watching TV since leaving home.

Breakfast the next day continued the style of the dinner before, lots of dishes and every single one in a separate bowl, each different in form and color from the rest. Here is the list:
- Miso soup
- Rice
- Green tea
- Salmon fillet
- Sweetened egg
- Konjaku + veggies
- Smoked salmon over salad
- Tofu
- Salad with mountain veggies + herbs
- Seaweed salad + carrots
- Minced tuna + wasabi
- Tsukemono
- Sweet red beans
- Dish of flavorings (spring onion, wasabi, herbs)

Filled to the brim we got on the taxi to the station and made our way back to Tokyo for the last night there before going to Kyoto.

So long and stay tuned,

permalink written by  JuergenS on August 28, 2010 from Sarugakyo, Japan
from the travel blog: Two month of Japan
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