The 60’s are now in the oh-so distant past but the essence of this magic era still remains. Surrounded by the modern neon glow of Soemon-cho, Kaneyoshi Ryokan hotel continues to exist in this bygone generation.
A dimly lit, smoky lobby awaits you upon entrance, but this is just part of the hotel’s rustic personality and a pre-emptive glimpse into the time warp that awaits you. Though somewhat dated, don’t misinterpret this to be something negative. With the up and coming 2020 Olympics perhaps imagine you’re in Japan during the exciting few years leading up to 1964; the year the Land of the Rising sun last had the privilege of hosting the games.
Stepping into your room you’ll be pleased to discover it’s a more than generous space. Using the classic measurement to gauge a room’s size, the smaller guestrooms have 8 tatami mats, which is a more than fair area at approximately 13.25 square metres. It actually feels larger than that, as the futons are folded away during the day and the whole space is available then as a living and dining area. Of course traditional Japanese rooms are well known for their many alcoves that help extenuate the room’s dimensions. This also provides a space for a beautiful (but sadly plastic) flower arrangement. I bet even the ‘plants’ have come from a distant past.
Though the hotel lingers in past simply opening the curtains and shoji that cover the windows allows you gaze into what is seemingly the future, though of course it’s the present day city of Osaka in glorious Technicolour. Almost central to the Nipponbashi area of the city, the hotel lines the Dontonburi River and is in close proximity some of the most popular areas of Osaka. Within 15 minutes you’ll find yourself in Denden town enjoying the electrical good on offer or even perhaps Kuromon Ichiba, nicknamed the Kitchen of Osaka. The area has it all from boutiques to restaurants and everything in-between. Maybe even the more unusual experience of a Maid Café is something you’d like try. As locations go, some have it and some don’t and Kaneyoshi Ryokan has a particularly excellent position.
Once the day has gotten the better of you and the sheer amount of attractions the area has starts to take it’s toll, then you’ll be in good hands when it comes to retiring for the night back at the hotel. A large public bath is the perfect way to relax and soak away the day’s fatigue. You’ll find a futon has been placed in your room in your absence, which is something I always find convenient. It almost signals the end of the day. In the morning a Japanese breakfast can be requested and I can’t think of a more hearty way to start your day. Breakfast is not the only meal available as dinner is also an option. The third floor lays host to banquet hall and upon entering you can almost envision the generations of the past enjoying a fine meal as the Sake flows.
Dwelling in the past is by no means a bad thing and Japan knows that more than any country. Who’s to say modernity dictates comfort and quality and keeping up with the times is important. Kaneyoshi Ryokan appears to remain in the time of a long past generation but has a place in your present and future.