We decided to do a couple of nights in a fabulous hotel on the southern island of Kyushu, in Karatsu. Definitely a step up from our days in either Hiroshima or Kyoto. The hotel was quite a walk (yes, we could have taken a cab…) - about 30 minutes from the train station. And cold weather set in - brrrrr - so we braved high-thirties and stiff ocean breezes. Perhaps this is pre-penance?
Anyway, the ryokan was Yoyokaku, and met every objective. Cool tatsumi-mat room for us, attentive staff, breakfasts that were like 8 courses, a hot bath, and an adventurous evening meal which was delish!
Shabu Shabu dinner
Set in a Japanese garden, sunrise…
Also, they had bikes for us to wander around town. Bonus! We biked to the castle (which was oddly lacking any english descriptions - atypically).
Also, we went bowling! Had the same feel as a US alley, except for Hello Kitty ball :-)
The creme de la creme (at least for me) was the tofu smorgasbord lunch at a famous tofu restaurant. Again, tons of courses, fresh lovely warm tofu, fried, etc. It was totally amazing! FO, for sure.