Today, we like to write about `Okami-san' of Japanese ryokan. Okami-san of this onsen ryokan `Kasuikyo'(hot spring Japanese hotel), Ms Keiko Ando has been our long time customer. She has been in this business for a long time. She really is a friendly person and sometimes gives us a phone call.
You may know about Okami-Okami, female managers of ryokan, are most important figure, who play significant role in all the business and especially to welcome guests at the entrance.
Katayamazu onsen is one of the most famous hot spring resort and since the new section of Hokuriku Shinkansen opened from this March, it became easier and faster to visit Katayamazu now(approx three hours from Tokyo).
Keiko Okami changes in kimono TWICE a day- at the time to welcome guests and also to see them off. She changes into different kimono each time. Recently, she started to take photos each day of herself in kimono being recommended by her friends.
We hear from many foreign customers where is the place they can see people wearing kimono. You can seldom see people in kimono when you travel Japan, unless you go to see Kabuki or some other Japanese traditional performance. (You can see kimono-like costume at Japanese restaurants sometimes). Keiko-Okami already has hundreds of kimono but she says, she feels like trying something new. Besides, she is very busy taking care of guests, workers, food and everything in the ryokan. She even takes care of the vegetable garden where they grow vegetables for pickles to serve for guests. So kimono is really her `working wear', she says so and she really wish to keep her spirit `new and refreshed'. She wears her kimono so quickly (`Wearing kimono is a lot easier for me than wearing western clothing,' she says). She welcomes guests in kimono she chooses with seasonal motif so the customers can feel the season and enjoy the relaxing time at the ryokan, forgetting the busy ordinary life. She says she is happy to share her photos with us and our customers, and sent us some photos she has taken recently - most of the kimono are from Ichiroya! We are feeling so happy to see these kimono worn again as Okami's costume and can be seen by the guests at the ryokan. It is surprising that kimono look much more gorgeous and chic by matching with her obi and worn by her!
If you are planning to visit onsen in Japan, why don't you try visiting Katayamazu and stay at Kasuikyo. www.kasuikyo.com Keiko Okami will welcome you with her friendly smile, weaing kimono.
We hope you enjoy her gorgeous kimono style photos:
We always wanted to visit Katayamazu-it is now much more convenient to visit the place, so we like to try going to the onsen in near future!