On Friday, June 30th, I stayed at the Waqoo Horyuji Hotel in Nara prefecture. Located on the approach to the World Heritage Site of Horyuji Temple, Waqoo Horyuji is a hotel that is a modern interpretation of a shukubo (temple lodging). Waqoo also has properties in Shiga, Chiba, and Osaka prefectures.
I arrived at the Waqoo Horyuji around 4:40 pm to check-in. The check-in process was seamless as informational pamphlets were given to me, with some needing to be filled out, while the hotel staff looked up my reservation. While filling out these pamphlets, I was given a cup of cold green tea as a welcome drink. Shortly after checking in, at 5 pm, I attended a Japanese culture talk show in one of the hotel’s wings. The show was presented via a slide show presentation about the history of the area and the nearby temple. The presentation ended at about 5:40 pm when I returned to my hotel room to unpack and relax for a little while.
Next on the itinerary was dinner. There were a few time slots available and I choose the 6:30 pm time. The dinner was served in a traditional Japanese style known as Kaiseki, which consists of many small dishes. The eight-course dish was absolutely delicious and featured Japanese staples such as sashimi, sushi, shabu shabu (a type of hot pot), and miso soup.
The hotel room at Waqoo Horyuji is in a Japanese style that is considerate of foreigners. The room features beds on an elevated wooden platform with flooring made of tatami mats. After a good night’s sleep, breakfast was served at 8 am and featured rice, miso soup, tamago (rolled omelet), and salmon.
My experience at Waqoo Horyuji was great and I would highly recommend a shukubo-style hotel to anyone wanting to experience authentic Japanese lodging.