I can say I spent the best time of my life while living in Tokyo!
It’s been a while and I am missing it!
Missing the perfection of the city, the politeness of the people, the cleanliness of everything around me, the exquisite intricacy of the origami and flower arrangements, the delicious and healthy Kaiseki cuisine, the fashionable Japanese women walking down the Tokyo streets in the middle of the ingeniously built skyscrapers..
And most of all, I miss the traditional Japanese experience at Gora Kadan.
Goran Kadan is a traditional Japanese hotel, probably one of the most exclusive in Japan. Besides that it is a member of “Relais & Chateaux” and that it is located in the best sightseeing spot in Japan “Hakone”, where you can view the gigantic Mount Fuji and experience the traditional Onsen aka natural Hot Spring, it was once the summer house of the Imperial family 300 years ago. Now it is one of Japan’s most luxurious ryokans with 23 Japanese-style rooms, 14 suites and 2 villas, all designed in a minimalist style.
We spent 2 unforgettable nights with Japanese friends, experiencing the traditional Japanese life, from changing your shoes to slippers at the room sliding door, walking on the tatami floor, sleeping on the futon mattress, wearing a yukata (japanese robe).
Our room featured a peaceful sitting area with a stunning mountain view, as well as an in-room private onsen, a must-do experience in Japan. Gora Kadan’s hot spring mineral rich water flows into 2 wells providing many healthy qualities for a super soft skin besides the total wellbeing. An onsen should be followed by a traditional in-room massage, and then a Kaiseki-style dinner that features multiple courses prepared in a variety of cooking methods and requires the use of the freshest ingredients.
Food meets art in this traditional Japanese meal, as chefs do their best to balance the appearance, taste, texture, and color of the various dishes. The meal is served on a low zataku table and it could take up to 2 hours with around 9 course menu, using seasonal ingredients from all over Japan.
Followed by a hot cup of green tea, our day has ended in the futon where we slept like babies, only to wake up to the sound of the nakai-san or the hotel staff, preparing the breakfast in the living room, again on the zataku table.
Unlike the breakfasts we’ve seen in different cities of the world, the healthy japanese breakfast consists of salad, tofu, eggs, seasonal veggies, an assortment of pickles, grilled fish, and the imperative bowls of rice and miso soup. Again sipping our hot green tea while staring out to the great view of the japanese mountains and yellow-maple trees (it was in November), waiting to dig into another day at this wonderful escape, and an experience that is definitely worth remembering.
We left the ryokan with one impression, Goran Kadan is the good life..
Beside the personal photos taken at the facility, the other pictures are courtesy of: http://www.relaischateaux.com/