水曜日, 6月 12th, 2013...4:53 pm

Hoshino Resort Shiroganeya

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Hoshino Resort Shiroganeya
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The Shiroganeya ryokan, or Japanese inn, established in 1624, is renowned for its hospitality and traditional architecture. It is the oldest of the most traditional, well-established inns. As the oldest ryokan in Japan that still houses guests, Shiroganeya has been designated as a tangible cultural property. The Shiroganeya reopened its doors in 2005 in affiliation with the Hoshino Resort, located on the grounds of a famous hot spring.

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Just behind the noren, or door curtain, is the reception area.

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Guests can enjoy some wagashi sweets and green tea while they check in. Time flows by unhurriedly here.

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■Historical background of the Shiroganeya
Founded in 1624, the inn has been in active service for over 380 years. The currently existing two-storey main building and tea room were built between 1818 and 1830, and there are still traces of the construction on the ceiling and in the reception room.

The front reception room was once used as a sitting room. The inn’s hospitality is deeply engraved in the massive beams running up the high ceiling.

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■Rooms at the Shiraganeya
The Shiroganeya has two types of rooms, those in the main building, and those in the new annex. The former are authentic Japanese style rooms with a taste of Kaga culture (Rosanjin Classic), and the latter are modern rooms that feature traditional wooden Kaga architecture, with a harmony of colour and board-lined walls (Modern Kaga Designer).

Walls are either red or blue, the colouring matching the interior of Kanazawa Castle and the Kenroku-en garden. These two colours are representative of walls in Kaga. It is said that in the past, commoners were forbidden to use blue or red in their houses, and the colours acquired the reputation of being only for nobility.

During our time at the Shiroganeya, we stayed in one of the “Modern Kaga Designer” rooms.

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The washroom was painted a calming ultramarine.

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Here is the room in red.

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■Cuisine and dishware
One can enjoy Kaga kaiseki cuisine, conceptualized by the gourmet Kitaoji Rosanjin. Locally grown vegetables and wild plants, along with seafood, are used mainly in the dishes, with the motto: “The first step to cooking is choosing each ingredient in season and using that to your advantage.”

The sakidzuke, or appetizer: Manju shellfish and Japanese peppers, marinated in Kaga soy sauce

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The hassun, named after the dish is it served on, is tasty as well as pleasing to the eye

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The wan-mono, or dish served in a bowl: Matsutake mushrooms steamed in an earthenware pot

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The otsukuri, or sliced raw seafood, was taken from the Japan Sea

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The agemono, deep-fried dish: Shrimp

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The next dish, aimono: A mixture of eel with seamed tofu and vegetables, and rolled tofu skin

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The yakimono: Grilled salted rockfish and marinated mullet roe

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The dainomono: Steamed and wrapped abalone seaweed

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This dish is called sunomono: Hair crab marinated in sweetened vinegar jelly

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Last but not least, the amami, or sweet desert: Ice cream.

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The dishware used is largely local Kutaniyaki ware, a style of Japanese porcelain, and are as beautiful as the food served on them.

■Hot Springs
Of course you must thoroughly enjoy the hot spring if you visit the Yamashiro Onsen. Guests who stay at the Shiroganeya can use it at any time. The baths are fed water directly from the source of the spring via gravity-feed irrigation, and are said to be healthy and beautifying. There are two bathing areas; one area has a large communal bath and includes an outdoor bath, and the other has a communal bath with an inner garden. There a time system in place that determines which bath can be entered by men and women, but the baths are open day and night, allowing guests to enjoy the luxury of soothing warm water at any time.

■Concluding
Well-deserved of its reputation, the Shiroganeya is truly a place where you can forget about your daily routines. Treatment from the staff nears perfection, and guests are able to experience firsthand the “Japanese heart of service.” Come enjoy the relaxation that only the Shiroganeya Inn can offer.

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