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Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/12 18:39
I was researching gifts and mustard seems well-received. (Curious, is it not readily available in Japan? ) Was planning on bringing a small assorted gift box for my ryokan hosts and double checking to see if customs might be a problem. My research shows processed and jarred should be fine. Just want to make sure.
Thanks!
by Jeff (guest)  

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/13 16:03
Yes, mustard should be fine. No meat, no fresh fruit/vegetable so no red flags.

Many (specially French) mustards are readily available but eg Sweet Bavarian mustard is not.

I wonder though why youfd bring a present for a ryokan host. A Ryokan at the end of the day is a hotel, itfs not like a home stay.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/13 17:01
They will think it very strange that youfre giving them a gift, since theyfve only done what youfve paid for.
by Gregalor rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/14 20:39
Thank-you for the feedback. This is one of the homes in Ainokura and I thought it similar to a Bed & Breakfast here in the states. I did not realize it was a more professional arrangement. Not wanting to cause any awkwardness, I will reconsider.
by Jeff (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/14 21:15
What is your accommodation exactly classified as? "Ryokan" can be a traditional Japanese inn (of high class sort) often with meals served in your room or in a private dining area, often equipped with natural hot spring "onsen" bath. Another use of the word "ryokan" seems to be for a small, family-run, inexpensive/budget Japanese style inn, often just with breakfast, no dinner served. If it is "minshuku," it would be a small family-run B & B style. But those are all professionally-operated accommodation, so unless you know the owner family or have some personal ties, gifts are not necessary. If it is an airbnb style of private individuals renting out a room in their own house, closer to home stay, then it might be a different story. But even so, those are run like business.
by c (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/14 22:00
Another use of the word "ryokan" seems to be for a small, family-run, inexpensive/budget Japanese style inn, often just with breakfast, no dinner served.

I've never heard of such a use although I'm Japanese. Is it like "Sake" or "Hentai", which only foreigners say in specific (wrong) ways?
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/14 23:00
@... guest

Well there are some accommodation that call themselves Ryokan, but are definitely very far from the image of a luxurious place. And much closer to an inexpensive, family run , business hotel. I had the impression that they are cheap hotels BUT with tatami rooms. I guess that the transition to a minshuku is fluid.

Here a few examples:

https://travel.rakuten.co.jp/HOTEL/41724/41724.html
sansui-ryokan.jp

I guess that kind of Ryokan was meant by the PP.

However no present needed there either. Itfs a hotel at the end of the day.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/15 07:05
We have frequently given little gifts especially at the smaller places that we have stayed at, and the hosts have always been very appreciative. I can remember one sent us a post card a few months later to practice her english, and had a little drawing of the gift on it. But bear in mind giving things to japanese often triggers the obligatory return gift which can become a bit awkward. These days we just tend to take over some of our koala chocolates which are probably very sweet for their tastes but they are novel enough, and also small enough to not stress anyone out.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/15 10:07
LikeBike and .. (guest),
Yes, that's the kind I meant when I said budget places, thank you. I am Japanese and was surprised - maybe it was a few years ago - to see the word "ryokan" to refer to these types of budget, down-to-earth places.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Gift for ryokan hosts 2018/10/15 20:40
Thanks for the feedback. Very much looking forward to the experience.
by Jeff (guest) rate this post as useful

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