This was the first time I visited Japan and so I wanted to spend a night at a ryokan. I was visiting with three other friends. We chose to go with Ayunokaze because it was one of the places a friend of mine recommended and it seemed the nicest based on the pictures on the website. Everything was in japanese and so I needed the help of my friend who is japanese for the booking. I don't think it would be possible to make a booking at this place if you do not understand japanese so you would definitely need help from someone if you don't. I was lucky enough to have someone help.
My friends were a little skeptical at first as it was a little on the pricey side. The cheapest package was 21,000 yen per person per night which is approximately 270 CAD at the time. This includes dinner and breakfast served in your room.
When we first arrived at Ito station we decided to walk to the place since according to google map it was only a 10 minute walk. This was a bad idea since the place is actually up at the top of the hill that overlooks the town. We ended up getting lost but managed to find our way after being offered help by some locals. I would strongly urge you to take a taxi cab at the station. The hill is incredibly steep so if you have any luggage with you at all it would be incredibly difficult to climb.
Once we arrived at the place the owners I presume greeted us and were really nice in helping us with our luggage. They were a little surprised with how much we had with us but we were actually coming directly from Kyoto and then later will be heading to Tokyo and Hong Kong after.
They showed us all the rooms they had and allowed us to choose the rooms we liked. There were four of us so technically they could have crammed us into one room but they were kind enough to give us two separate rooms and instead of serving us our dinner and breakfast in our rooms they set them up in another larger room so we can eat together.
Dinner and breakfast were both incredibly elaborate. For dinner there was a sashimi boat as well as a mix of both japanese and french dishes (see pictures). There was also wagyu which are these perfectly marbled pieces of beef. After each course attendants would clean the tables and would then present the next course. We felt like kings. I actually felt a little guilty at how well they were treating us.
We had private baths in each room that is accessed via the bathroom. We were free to use it whenever and however many times we wanted. I personally enjoyed a nice soak shortly after arrival and before dinner, then another later that evening before bed, and then a final one in the morning.
The next morning after breakfast we got packed and ready to head out. After settling the bill the owner offered to drive us to the station which was really nice. The car was too small to fit us all so he did two rounds.
I was thoroughly impressed by this place. Despite the language barrier their service was impeccable and people were super nice. In retrospect, the price was totally worth it considering all the food and service. I actually regret not going for the more expensive package as it included even better food items.
I definitely recommend this place to anyone who is looking to experience a night at a ryokan and would prefer having private baths.
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- Also Known As:
- Ayunokaze Japan/Ito