Takayama Travel Blog› entry 5 of 12 › view all entries
April 7th, 2008 – by: Eric
If you are planning to take a long train ride in Japan, make sure to grab a bento box or snack at the train station before your voyage. It's perfectly fine to eat on trains in Japan, and almost everyone brings some sort of food.
We stayed at a traditional Japanese inn, or "Ryokan." These differ from western hotels in that the rooms have bamboo floors, and you sleep on padded matresses on the floor. They also usually include dinner, which is served to you in your room. Originally we booked a cheap room in the hotel, but thanks to Lisa's mom they gave us a free upgrade to nicer accommodations and a fancier dinner. Our room was very nice and comfortable, and dinner was fantastic. We were served 4-5 courses of delicious food, including lots of seasonal vegetables (fern, anyone?) and sashimi. I had my first taste of raw shrimp here, an experience which wasn't as dreadful as I had anticipated. In fact, raw shrimp tastes a lot like cooked shrimp, and the rubbery texture is still there.
The only thing that made me slightly uncomfortable about dinner was the fact that our hostess/waitress would always bend down to her knees before leaving or entering the room. Given that we had multiple courses and she was entering and leaving the room quite frequently, this seemed a bit unnecessary. I understand the traditional aspect of it, but it felt a bit odd to see someone strain themselves over something that really didn't make any difference at all to me!
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