Kamesei Ryokan - a traditional Japanese Inn in Nagano
As part of the experiences Japan Custom Tours includes on its trips around Japan, and a request that we frequently get, is a stay at a traditional Japanese inn or ryokan. One of the more traditional properties that we visit is the Kamesei Ryokan in the small Nagano township of Togura/Kamiyamada.
Located approximately 30 minutes from Nagano city (by train and taxi), Togura/Kamiyamada is a small onsen (hot spring) town in the countryside. This rural setting provides a different view of the country for our guests.
While ryokan come in many shapes and sizes, often they are modern buildings and occasionally high-rise buildings and not dissimilar to western hotels. Kamesei is a more traditional inn, dating back over 100 years and provides an opportunity for our guests to stay in tatami mat rooms, sleep on futons, enjoy a soak in the hot spring baths and feast on keiseki meals of many different types of Japanese cuisine.
One aspect of Japanese inns that some people do not like are the Spartan conditions in some ryokan; sleeping on futons, shared toilet, shared bathing and the fact that for onsen baths you need to be naked, sometimes with strangers. Because of this, Tyler Lynch (the current owner of Kamesei) has upgraded several of the rooms to provide private showers and even private onsen baths (and the rooms have private toilets as well.
To see what these upgraded accommodations are like, we have two videos, provided by Tyler, that walk you through these "deluxe" rooms. These are the ones we typically book for our JCT guests. Click on the image to play the video.
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