Traveling is a means to leave your reality in order to learn about another world. That could mean seeing different popular interior designs, public manners, fashion, Sunday routines, and even the weather. We are leaving our space to take part in another for a small amount of time. Many people do that by physically stepping into an area and doing something, such as eating at a local market or hiking up the side of a volcano. But, there are also people who do the complete opposite! There are people who travel to stay in a hotel all day. That’s right: a hotel staycation!
In Japan though, why do a hotel staycation when you can stay in a luxurious ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn)?
| Why staycation?
First, let’s discuss why you should have a staycation in the first place. After all, you’re going to a new location, shouldn’t you spend your time and energy going to the sights every blogger has urged you to visit?
No! A staycation is about the freedom to breathe and relax while enjoying the most of what travel has to offer. The excitement of traveling is still there because you’re in a new location! Additionally, the pressure to see all the sights and the hassle of getting there washes away when you allow yourself to enjoy the moment and do nothing. #selfcaretravel
Consider staying a night in Yomoyama, a ryokan hidden between a river and mountain in Niigata prefecture. Its location is the perfect place to relax and perhaps have a social media detox. Most ryokans on average have onsen (hot springs), tatami mats (traditional Japanese flooring), yukata (casual summer garments), and kaiseki cuisine (cuisine consisting of very small, intricate dishes). This ryokan decided not to be average by also shining bright in the night.
Bright beams of purple, blue, pink, and more shower the outdoor theater while music pours out into the dining room. While guests dine, staff dance to traditional music. During my stay, the staff who awed us with their dance were the same ones who checked us in and greeted us before we enjoyed our kaiseki dinner. The cherry on top is perhaps the fact that males are supposed to dance to these songs, but the female staff danced the entire thing!
Not only do you have evening entertainment, you also have (1) two karaoke rooms to sing to your heart’s content, (2) a beautiful bar with the perfect blue hues, (3) an indoor and outdoor hot spring open 24 hours, and (4) a corner to enjoy some complementary herbal tea.
How did I spend an entire day in a ryokan without feeling claustrophobic or bored?
I went through a cycle of soaking in the hot spring, taking a moment of peace (and hydration) while drinking herbal tea, reading that one book I told myself I’d read immediately when I bought it years ago, sipping green tea in my beautiful tatami room while watching the river flow outside my window, taking a walk around the large ryokan, taking pictures for Instagram because everything is “インスタ映え” (Insutabae: Instagramable or literally “Instagram Shine”), singing a couple of songs, and repeating.
Hot tip: bring your book to the outdoor hot spring bath! The river right below the bath provided just enough ambient white noise. If you’re scared of getting your book wet, you should check out the room with heated floors. In this area, you can chat with your friends, read your book (without the dangers of getting it wet), or simply nap!
Whatever you decide to do, it’s your choice, so it’s the right one! Do what you want without any outside expectations.
Check out STAY JAPAN to book a stay in Niigata and enjoy the same experience as Teresa.