Hakone is a well known resort area, situated in Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, 100 km west of Tokyo. Famous for spas and onsens (hot spring) and the view of Mt. Fuji, Hakone is one of the popular destination for travelers from all over Japan.
A Ryokan is a Japanese style gueshouse or inn, in which each guest room has tatami-mat floors with a low table. Usually, dinner and breakfast is included and served in the room. The meals are Japanese style and include foods made up of regional specialities. After dinner the room is converted into sleeping quarters by the staff with futons and bedding that are carefully concealed in large closets in the rooms. Ryokans range in price from inexpensive (less than $100) to very expensive (more than $500).
We decided to stay in a so-called boutique ryokan with private onsen in a room. It combined modern conveniences such as a sunken table that was electronically elevated for dining with traditional Japanese design/style. The room includes a separate bathroom with toilet, shower room, and entry to the private onsen (outdoors on a covered deck).
At a ryokan, a yukata is provided for you to wear during your stay. It is worn after bathing in the onsen (for your evening meal). You can walk around the public areas of the ryokan in the yukata.
Meal at the ryokan was a feast consisting of a parade of local delicacies. Our personal room attendant would leave the room and return every tweny minutes or so, each time returning with another dish...it seemed endless! One of the early courses of sashimi even included a live lobster on our plate. The lobster was still moving even though the body had been cut into sashimi!