More Japan: How do you nap in a ryokan?
October 7, 2015 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Since Maximian is asking about Japan just down the page, and since we'll be traveling there with our (older) daughter at that same time, and since my question regards ryokan as well... Thought I'd better ask: How does one stretch out and nap in a ryokan (during the day)? Since the bedding is brought out in the evening, I'm wondering what to do if I want a brief respite or a horizontal read before the bedding is available.
posted by ecorrocio to Travel & Transportation around Japan (5 answers total)
It probably depends on where you'll be staying, but I'm sure any ryokan would be more than happy to leave your futon in your room either laid out or folded in a corner if you ask them to.
posted by misozaki at 5:30 PM on October 7, 2015

Best answer: It's kind of a tough one - you are expected to arrive between 3 and 5, during which time you relax in your room, drink tea and watch television or whatever and go and have a bath. You're expected to be ready for dinner by 5:30. Sometimes dinner is served right in your room, so they won't likely want to lay out a futon. If you eat in the dining hall, the bedding is brought out between 5:30 and 7:00. Anyway, I typically just stretch out on the tatami with a zabuton as a pillow or something.

In the morning breakfast is typically served between 7 and 8. After breakfast I like to go and have another bath or take a walk around the neighbourhood. Checkout is at 10 or 11.
posted by Nevin at 5:39 PM on October 7, 2015

I've stayed in three low-budget and one high-budget ryokan and in all of them the futons and other bedding was kept in a closet in one of the rooms, such that we could pull it out if we wanted to. I don't know if this is the case for all ryokan.
posted by telophase at 5:44 PM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'll caution you about just removing the futons from the closet and setting them up on your own. Telophase is correct that they are stored in the closet in the room, but that does not imply that they are there for you to remove as you desire. Many ryokan have strict rules about how, where, and when things happen, and taking your bedding out in the middle of the day may not be OK with them.

You should absolutely ask beforehand.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:29 PM on October 7, 2015

I tend to agree with yellowcandy. It may seem funny, but ryokan staff can be pretty anal and pretty bloody-minded. For better or for worse, Japan is a country with a fairly strong sense of etiquette and process.
posted by Nevin at 8:32 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

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