Thursday, April 26, 2012

In Japan - Field Trip Part 2: Ryokan Stay

One of the most exciting part about this field trip is a ryokan experience. I haven't been to a ryokan before, and although I have been sleeping on futon for the past few weeks in my dorm, it's not on a tatami. The ryokan that we went to was called KKR (I don't know what it stands for). It's located in Zushi. The ryokan was kind of hidden within quiet residential area, so if you haven't been there before it probably will take some time to figure your way there.

All of the girls are staying in one big room while the guys were split into two smaller rooms.

Here's the living room:

And then this is the bedroom. There's a TV on each room. 2 mirrors for doing make up at the end, and hangers. The futons were laid as we were having dinner, so when we first arrived at our room, the futons were not there yet. They magically appeared haha...

My futon. I picked the one closest to the door because I know I was going to wake up earlier than everyone else.

You can close the sliding doors between the living room and the bedroom.

And inside the bedroom there are closets to store your futon (reminds me a lot of the closet where Doraemon lives haha). The insides didn't smell too good, though.

After several hours of walk exploring Enoshima, pretty much all of us were tired. After settling down for a while, it's time for dinner!

We were told that steak would be served, but we didn't expect anything else. It turned out that the dinner was VERY GRAND.

Ebi tempura, yasai tempura, sashimi, sushi (hai, maguro, ika), steak, nameko soup, rice, and a blueberry pudding (or some sort; it has a color like almond pudding but a taste like a combination of pudding, custard and almond pudding haha). You can take as much rice and soup as you want. Oh and coffee and tea and hot chocolate as well. I don't know how much this meal set costs you because the school has already paid for it (and we paid for it when we paid for the school fee), but my guess was around 2500 yen.

A lot of people from the US program still can't eat raw fish, so our table (2 girls and a guy) decided to be very kind by accepting 3 plates of sushi from other tables. As the result, we finished the meal a little later than everyone else, and we had to wait before we enter the public ofuro (bath). The bath is pretty small so it could only take 4-5 people at a time. But being the last to take the bath wasn't too bad either: we could stay there as long as we could.

Then, yukata time~~

While we were waiting for the bath, we had a little tea time at our room. There were free snacks to savor. It's kind of like a wafer but it has very complex and well-balanced taste. I couldn't figure out what it was.

Because of some disrespectful people I couldn't sleep at night. The futon was pretty comfortable, especially the kakefuton (the blanket). The quality is much higher than the one at the dorm. Our room was located facing the garden at the back. It's beautiful.

After taking bath once again in the morning (the ofuro was really awesome and I don't know if there is another chance for me to enter such a nice bath again), we headed to the beach close to the ryokan. It took probably about 5-10 minutes of easy walk.

Not very exciting, but my teacher gave me sakura-kai (sakura shells), which are only found on the beaches around the area! In total I got 4 of them, but 2 of them broke. I should have taken better care of them like my teacher had said :(

Aaaand after a little morning adventure, it's time for breakfast! The breakfast is awesome because it's buffet style. It offers a good mix of Japanese and Western (or rather, Japanized Western food). This is mine:

Look at the half boiled egg. Awesome----!!

Meatball and tofu (the meatball was awesome, I think it was soaked in some sort of demiglaze sauce)

And of course, our favorite nattou:

Salmon, some pickles, hijiki and cooked vegetables:

Last but not least, coffee, yogurt and salad. Well, I never follow the Western style proper dining order. I mean, vegetables, meat and rice are normally served together in many Indonesian and Chinese meals. LOL. But at least I still try to finish it off with a cup of coffee and a mini bowl of yogurt.

The consistency of the yogurt was a little unique. It is very thin, yet at the same time a little sticky. It's definitely very different from the kind of yogurts I normally had when I was in the US. Even though it's thin, it's not something that you can drink either. For the toppings, they provide powdered roasted black sesame seed and chopped trail mix. And sprinkles of sugar (the sugar used has a very unique form; it's neither crystallized nor powdered; it's very nicely granulated, though).

Ryokan is awesome <3


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