I called Sawanoya Ryokan ‘home’ when I stayed there in 2010 from the 5th to the 13th of June.
How did I end up choosing this local inn over many others? The reviews I read were – and still are – pretty consistent: it’s budget-friendly; it’s located in a quiet and safe neighborhood; the surrounding areas are steeped in culture.
My personal take-away is that even though Sawanoya Ryokan is tucked in a quiet neighborhood, what with downtown proper at least 30 minutes away by train, its location abounds with little surprises. I lost count the number of times I stumbled into a stationery shop, a plant gallery, a coffee shop, a pet shop, and so on. Believe it or not, I even caught a glimpse of the royal princess one night when I was out for my walk! The street I was on was lined with people, with necks craning as if waiting for someone. It turned out they heard the royal convoy was passing through so they decided to wait. Their efforts were rewarded.
Pulling myself away from the ryokan’s dining area is a challenge in itself because it’s so comfortable there! Once your co-travelers are gone for the day, silence descends on the room, and it’s tempting to just sit around and read a book. But I didn’t. And your host, Isao Sawa, won’t let you, especially if he sees it’s a beautiful day outside. If you can’t decide where to go, he’ll gently make suggestions, tell you how to get there, and even say how much it’ll cost.
So, are you planning to visit Tokyo in the near future? I’m excited for you! Book a few nights at Sawanoya Ryokan, make your next trip unforgettable, and let us know how it goes!
Note: Photos were taken using the Moto Razr’s camera feature. Some images may appear sharp, but dark because the phone doesn’t have an automatic flash.