On the 25th of December 2015, I received an e-mail from The Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA) of Japan inviting me to join nine other Experts to experience a place called Gifu. Gifu Prefecture is located in Central Honshu, Japan’s main island and has played an important role in Japan’s history because of its strategic location. But honestly – why haven’t I heard about this place even before this invitation? I was excited anyway and was very eager to learn about Gifu so I packed my clothes way before my scheduled flight!
I skimmed through the documents that came along with the invitation to search for our accommodation since I committed to writing about hotels and restaurants. You know what I found out? We will be hotel hopping for the five day trip! This is going to be an adventure!
From the list of hotels, HOTAKASO YAMANO HOTEL particularly caught my attention because their website gave an option for guests to choose to book a western style room or a Japanese style room. I emailed, Yuki Tanaka, one of the the organizers and requested for her to book me in a Japanese style room and I was elated to find out that there was one available for me!
To cut the story short, let me just bring you to HOTAKASO YAMANO HOTEL. Have fun with me as I explore their Japanese style room.
But before that, here is how the hotel looked like when we arrived:
The hotel looks heavenly right? But that will be for another article. Now, let me walk you through my one-of-a-kind room.
Ooops, before we get inside, I would like to remind you to leave your shoes outside. An inside slipper will be provided for you.
Doozo ohairi kudasai! Please come in!
To start with the experience, you must first wear a YUKATA:
I could not stand being alone so I knelt down to summon some of my friends. And with a blink of an eye…
Now, I’m ready to show you around!
A Japanese style room is called washitsu or nihonma and has these five distinctive features:
These days, it is not unusual to find only one room with tatami flooring in Japanese houses, this is where they usually entertain guests or have special gatherings just like what is depicted below:
2) Sliding doors or fusuma–
Well, I discovered that a fusuma can also be used as a backdrop for taking pictures. Whether whole body…
Or half body…
3)Futon – Futon is a special japanese mattress that you can lay on the floor by night and fold by day so you can use the room for other purposes.
4) Zaisu – another distinctive feature of the room is a zaisu, a chair without legs but with a comfortable backrest.
You might wonder, how about their restroom? Well, it looks pretty much western to me. The only difference is that the toilet is separated from the shower.
I also enjoyed the regular soaking tub..
Those are the five distinctive features of a Japanese style room. Throughout the night, I could not hide my amazement at how rich the Japanese culture is and I am truly blessed to have experienced it through an overnight stay at HOTAKASO YAMANO HOTEL at Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan.
Thanks to The Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA) for a successful tourism program! My “Japanese Style Room Experience” was worth accepting your invitation!
by: Dexter Duclan Diwas
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