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Back at the ryokan it is time for dinner. Part of the ryokan experience is the traditional Kaiseki meal. This is a very traditional meal that is considered the height of Japanese cuisine. It consists of several courses made up of a dozen or more tiny plates of food. Most of the plates are small, just a few bites.

As you can see, we are wearing cotton house robes called yukata.

This is the next course.

After dinner the maids come in and make over the room. A linen closet in the foyer holds the futon beds and all of the bedding is brought out and the table removed (and fit back into the closet).

Before we retire we went down the hall for our traditional Japanese bath. This is the dressing room area with sink, towels, etc. At Hiiragiya, there are several "bath rooms" and Teri and I had one to ourselves.

In Japan, one washes oneself outside of the tub using these small stools and buckets. All soap must be rinsed from the body before entering the tub, which is for soaking only. This is because the bath water is normally shared by many people.

Here is the bath itself, called a Furo. It is very large, very deep, and made of wood. The water is extremely hot. The wooden planks at the left are used for covering the bath when not in use (to keep the water hot). The hot water is very relaxing. We were ready for bed.

Day 10: Kyoto, Uchita. We awoke to tiny snowflakes outside the window in our garden. In this photo, our futons were put away and the table was brought back out. Although Hiiragiya will serve a "western breakfast", Allyn had to have the Japanese breakfast to have the full ryokan experience.

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