Simplicity of the Practice | Zen Monk Ryokan

Narrated by: Joseph Goldstein

A ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that typically features tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear nemaki and talk with the owner. Ryokan have existed since the eighth century A.D. during the Keiun period, which is when the oldest hotel in the world, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, was created in 705 A.D. Another old ryokan called Hōshi Ryokan was founded in 718 A.D. and was also known as the world’s second oldest hotel. Such inns also served travelers along Japan’s highways.

Ryokan are difficult to find in Tokyo and other large cities because many are often much more expensive compared to modern hotels and hostels. As elsewhere in the world, hotels have become a standard in Japanese urban tourism. Nonetheless, some major cities do offer ryokan with competitive rates. Traditional ryokan are more commonly found in areas with natural hot springs, and in recent years, many ryokan have been redeveloped to their original style, particularly by resort chains Hoshino Resorts, whose first ryokan opened in Karuizawa in 1914.

Bare knowing Continuous Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein

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