The sweet straw smell of a tatami mat is the trigger for many precious memories of staying in a ryokans. This one lists our names and those of other guest on boards near the entrance.
Across from the hotel is the Kokubunji temple with a three story pagoda and a 1,200 year old ginkgo tree.
There are many tourists here and indeed it is one of our favourite places in Japan. While I checked into the hotel, the other two bathed their feet in the Miyagawa River alongside huge koi carp.
We were all so tired that it was difficult to motivate ourselves to head out for dinner. We wandered the streets searching for food, past many smoky izakaya, eventually choosing the reasonably priced Tenaga Ashinaga. There I had another Takayama favourite hoba miso. Hida beef and mountain vegetables with miso paste grilled on a magnolia leaf.
To end off the day a scorching bath to relieve blistered feet in the ryokan’s public baths and a strawberries and cream sponge birthday cake from Monbille. We thought we’d be finishing it for breakfast, but nope, all gone. Even Alex, who normally dislikes cream, devoured a couple of slices.
A sweet finish to a wonderful day.