a ryokan is a traditional japanese inn that has tatami mat floors and shoji screen wall partitions. at a ryokan, dinner and breakfast are included and you are served at a low table in your room. after dinner, they move the tables aside and throw down your futons on the floor.
the food was, in a word, submlime. dinner was about 17 million courses and every dish was delicate and uniquely flavored. now i understand when the giggly japanese actresses on iron chef says, "oh, it tastes like spring in my mouth." anyway, i took a bunch of pictures of every course and will put up a real post when i get back. but here are few pictures to tide you over in the meantime.
here's the first course at dinner:
shrimp and uni (sea urchin) in the bowl on the top left. sashimi in the square bowl on the right. the tray: dried, shreded sardines in the black globe thing, fried clam, a merengue (sp?) thing in the clam shell, baby bamboo shoots with dressing and a cherry blossom bud branch, and then a fried bean with fish filling. yum.
here's a little bit of the breakfast:
Smoked fish, rice, pickles. That was about 1/3 of the breakfast.