27 de mayo de 2018
Nice ryokan, but the segregation issue is disturbing
I didn’t like being segregated in a dining room apart from Japanese guests, and that the Japanese guests were given small, private dining rooms, but all foreigners were put in one larger communal dining room (with chairs, of course...unlike the private Japanese-only dining rooms) and served only by foreign staff. I didn’t like the cracker/potoato salad/pasta combo for part of what I’d hoped would be a “Japanese” dinner (this is a Ryokan, after all, so I don’t think it’s asking too much to serve traditional Japanese cuisine. If foreign guests complain about Japamese food, I don’t think it’s up to the ryokan to change the whole menu to make it more “foreigner-friendly”). Finally, I didnt like that the Japanese staff talked only to the Japanese guests and the foreign staff talked only to the foreign guests (almost exclusively, except on the first night when one Japanese staff member popped briefly into the foreign guest communal dining room to say hello). The segregation issue here was disturbing and uncomfortable. I was told by the manager, when I brought it up at check-out, that the reason for the segregation during dinner and breakfast was because “Some Japanese guests don’t like to mingle with foreigners”. I felt the Japanese staff shared this feeling as our only interaction with them was when the foreign staff were busy with other foreign guests. If I ever stay here again, I’ll be sure to book under a Japanese name or go with a group of Japanese people so that it is a REAL Japanese Ryokan experience. I’ve stayed in probably 50 ryokan (I live in Japan), and never have I had an experience like this one where foreign guests were segregated. It’s a shame, too, because this area and the facility itself were both very nice.
The rooms were spacious, well-appointed, and clean, and we encountered not one insect. The baths, both private and communal, were clean and very pleasant. The ryokan itself was in a stunning area of Japan, surrounded by mountains, close to a river, and near a ropeway to the top of the Japanese Alps. The price for a very comfortable room with a private toilet area and shower plus two fairly substantial meals was reasonable.