A Travellerspoint blog

A Slipper for Every Occasion

sunny 26 °C

We may only be a train ride and short walk from the modern city of Matsumoto but we have stepped way back in time and are staying in a two hundred year old coaching inn in the ancient town of Narai in the Japanese alps – a town once known as the town of a thousand inns. This town has been a stopover between Tokyo and Kyoto for centuries and it is easy to picture throngs of Japanese traders arriving nightly after walking the mountain passes…
It must have been a relief to take off boots and shoes and to slip into more comfortable footwear in olden times and nothing has changed…
There are slippers for every occasion and floor type at the hotel and guests are strictly required to stick to protocol as they move from place to place, even to the toilet. No shoes are allowed anywhere and not even slippers on the tatami mats…

With its bath house, (more of these later) and superbly prepared and presented meals our traditional lodging house (a ryokan) in Narai is a wondrous museum where we are living history…
Imagine waking each morning to a breakfast like this…
And filling your water bottles from the many pure mountain streams…
…before strapping your wares to your back and heading up the main street towards the mountains…
Sayonara for now. Hope to see you on the other side of the alps in a few days.

Posted by Hawkson 15:19 Archived in Japan

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Oooh, I remember those wonderful meals - Sheila, let me know if you ever come across a meal like the feast we had on our way to Akita!
Still HOT here but a change is a-comin'.

by Joyce

Oh it looks like a wonderful time. Have you hit the communal baths yet. Yes to the breakfast. What do they do with large sized feet and slippers for the guests. Your selection looked mighty small. Enjoying every moment.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Trek on and over - hopefully not in slippers!

by Diane

the breakfast looks pretty good mine were mostly rice, boiled weeds and cold fish

by pat

And then there is the utter embarrassment (usually felt by the Japanese on behalf of the oblivious foreigner) when you enter a room having forgotten to leave the toilet slippers in that room.

by Siki

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