A gourmet Ryokan experience in Japan

On a recent trip to Japan, Evi-Elli in our Asia Pacific team spent a night in a Japanese Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.

Here she guides us though a lavish nine-course dining experience served at the Ryokan, the highlight of her Japanese adventure.

I was lucky enough to stay at Gora Kadan in the beautiful Hakone area, which is only 45mins from Tokyo yet feels a world away with hot-spring baths and mesmerising views of Mt Fuji .

That evening, after a hot-spring bath I changed into my traditional yukata (indoor kimono) and sat down on the tatami mat floor where I was served probably the best meal of my entire life.

Nine small courses of the most exquisite flavors from red snapper sashimi to mackerel sushi and also a few more adventurous ingredients including conch meat!

Appetizer: Awa millet, matsutake mushroom, prawn, lily bulb yuba with giner soup paste

Hors d’oeuvre: Sushi of saba mackerel, conch meat, karasumi dried mullet roe, prawn, chestnut, petit omlet, friend kuwai vegetable, red clam, cucumber, seaweed, walnut miso paste in a small cup

Soup: White miso soup with ginkgo nuts tofu, seaweed and yuzu citrus

Sashimi dish: Red snapper, tuna fish and squid served with fresh grated wasabi, soy sauce and salted ponzu citrus sauce

Grilled dish: Grilled sawara fish, green pepper and ginger

Small plate dish: Grilled Japanese beef, grilled turnip, pumpkin and sweet green pepper

Steamed dish: Taro, fried tofu ball with vegetable, carrot, kikuna vegetable and yuzu citrus

Rice dish: Steamed rice with chestnut, dark miso soup with shimeji mushroom and wheat bran, assorted Japanese pickles

Dessert: Jelly of pear and grape with custard sauce

Staying in a Ryokan is an absolute must for anyone visiting Japan and it is the perfect way to experience ancient Japanese customs and traditions as well as trying something completely new!