3 Days and 2 Nights in the Shikoku Region! ~Part 3. Staying In The Luxury Hotel Yamatoya Honten~

This is my second night staying in the Shikoku region. I stayed in a luxury Japanese hotel called Yamatoya Honten in Dougo Onsen, Ehime Prefecture. I had a marvelous dinner and finished the evening by experiencing a Japanese classical “Noh” performance in this hotel.

This article is continued from 2 Nights And 3 Days Trip To Shikoku Region! ~Part 2. Fun & Relaxing Experience At Dougo Onsen~. This articles introduces the hotel I stayed and my wonderful experience there.

The Luxury Japanese Hotel Yamatoya Honten In Dougo Onsen

My tummy is full and now I feel relaxed. I checked into this Japanese hotel called Yamatoya Honten. It wasn’t cheap to stay there, but their quality of service definitely made the price worth it.

This is the entrance. Beautiful and clean!

The entrance hall is classy, but modern…

This hotel is often used for wedding ceremonies.

The hallway to the room...

This is the room I stayed in...spacious and relaxing.

The staff made some green tea as their welcome drink.

The hotel is located in Dougo Onsen (spa town), so it has a bath house available in the facility, but the room has a tub, too.

There are two kinds of Yukata (Japanese garments that resemble a Kimono) for men and women. Wooow I was excited walking around with this...made me feel like I had truly arrived in the spa town!

I’ve heard this hotel has a Noh (Japanese classical drama) stage named Senjuden and the guests can visit there and learn about Noh free of charge. I put Shirotabi (white socks) on my feet and got ready for this unique experience!

I thought this exists exclusively for Noh, but it doesn’t. The actors who play Noh on the stage here also perform at the famous Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima. Once a year, they put on a show there and teach the history of Noh.

Other than the history, they also teach us about the stage itself, the unique masks used in Noh, etc.

This lady with a mask is my wife.

There are two kinds of Tsuzumi (Japanese drums) used in Noh. The one that makes a high-pitched sound is sky-high expensive.

...Although the drum is expensive, they let us touch, hold, and even tap it! Of course my wife took a picture of me holding the drum.

The restaurant has a wonderful view of the stage. If you are lucky, you can see them playing on the stage for about 10 minutes or so.

This is what we had for dinner… Japanese Kaiseki (banquet).

Every one of them was...marvelous!

The appetizer was Wasabi pickled squid, deep fried shrimp, and other small dishes.

The soup had grilled red sea bream in it.

Fresh red sea bream, Japanese horse mackerel, and tuna sashimi.

Deep fried puffer fish! (puffer fish is known as venomous fish, but its chefs are licensed and train for years to cook this particular fish, so it is safe to eat.) The meat is very fluffy and tender...Oh so good!

Udon noodles!

steamed bun of sagittaria (aquatic plant- also known as katniss, or arrowhead).

Beef loin steak with Japanese style sauce.

Dried young sardines on rice, Miso soup, and pickles.

Sliced persimmon and grapes for dessert.

Well, we saw Noh while we enjoyed dinner… I regretted that I didn’t have enough knowledge of Noh so I wasn’t sure what some of the play meant…it could’ve been more fun if I had greater knowledge...

Well, anyway...the Noh we saw was about the renowned Samurai Minamoto No Yoshitsune in 12th century. His bow was left out in the battlefield (which is shameful to Samurais), and the climax scene was when he was about to get his bow back before anyone else finds out. The actors’ dance was breathtakingly beautiful.

Went back to the room after a fantastic dinner and interesting Noh experience...two sets of Futon (Japanese traditional bedding) were waiting for us! Ohhh that was another thing that made me feel like I am in the traditional hotel…!

I heard the sound of people walking with Geta (traditional footwear, resembling flip-flops) outside…it is peaceful sound… Oh, this is such a spa town...

Breakfast the following morning! This is what we had.

Grilled Jako-ten was very good…(Jako-ten is a kind of fish cake- made from small fish caught locally, made into a paste and fried. It is one of Shikoku’s specialties)!!

The stage of Noh has things set up for a ceremony…

I researched after my stay, and found out that Shinto style wedding ceremonies are held on the stage.

Again, it wasn’t cheap to stay in Yamatoya Honten, but their Onsen was good and the food was fantastic! I was beyond happy I chose this hotel.

Oh, and did I tell you that the staff sent my rental car to meet us when we checked out? Maybe it wasn’t a big thing, but I was happy they did it for us…!

→3 Days and 2 Nights in the Shikoku Region! ~Part 4. Matsuyama Castle & Shimanami Expressway~

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Written by 941 (Yusuke Kushii)

I'm working in a technical public relations section of an IT company in Tokyo. I often writes columns about child-rearing and blogs about visiting a number of office tours and nice restaurants.