Wakasa Bettei

My first Ryokan experience~

My third trip to Japan, in November 2016, I managed to save enough money to splurge and spend two relaxing nights at a ryokan.  I was going to several places during this trip, but ultimately decided on experiencing the ryokan in Nara and Wakasa Bettei.  The Wakasa hotel offers options to have a ryokan experience, or to stay in a western style room, but I of course choose the ryokan experience.  I have the opportunity to share the marvolous experience with my friend, and I can assure you we were not disappointed.
From the moment the taxi pulled up the front of Wakasa we experienced amazing customer service. Someone came out to get your luggage, and then brought you inside and served you warm yuzu tea (which was wonderful on this chilly, wet fall day).  One point I really loved about this ryokan was all of the little deer details they had everywhere, they truly embraced the Nara Deer spirit!
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Once I was checked in, someone showed my friend and I to our room.  The ryokan area is situated behind the main hotel, and it creates a nice peaceful feeling.  When we got to our room our luggage was waiting, and a member of the hotel staff explained how a ryokan worked.  She went over the dinner and breakfast experience, how the futons would be put out, and explained how to use the onsen.  She then showed us the best way path to experience all of Nara's beauty, and gave us some pointers of when to go to certain places.
Our room key and gift bag, it contained a towel to use at onsen.

The room was spectacular!  It had everything you needed to enjoy your stay, including yukata to wear around. 
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Main area of the room.

Adorable Nara themed tea set!

And now for the main reason I chose this specific ryokan, the private outdoor bath in the room!
Shower area.
The shower area was inside, but it had the door that lead to the outdoor bath.
Outdoor soaking bath.
View from the outdoor tub.

This was amazing after a long day of walking around Nara, and it gives you the option to enjoy a soaking bath privately if going in the public onsen is not something you are comfortable with.  But I highly recommend trying the onsen, when I went to the rooftop one I was the only person in there.   
In addition to the amazing room, we got to experience Japanese style meals for dinner and breakfast each night we stayed.  I got to try a lot of food I have never had the opportunity to eat, and I enjoyed the whole experience.
The first night we had dinner in a private room, and it was a traditional Kaiseki.
Dinner our first night.

Breakfast the next morning was also served in a private room, and was a traditional Japanese breakfast.
Breakfast the first morning.
The second night we ate dinner in the main dining room, but the quality of the food was just as amazing.  We got experience Shabushabu!
Dinner the second night.
Our breakfast the next morning was also in the main dining room, it was a smaller version of the traditional Japanese breakfast we had the day before.
Breakfast the second day.
During our first dinner at the ryokan, the staff went in and set up our futon for us.  I was surprised how comfortable it was to sleep on!
My Futon.
All of the charms of this ryokan made the experience unforgettable. And if I ever have the opportunity to stay at one again I will pick Wakasa Bettei!  If you want an amazing ryokan experience and are traveling to Nara, I recommend staying at Wakasa.  And if you do let me know how it was!     

Amanda Brennan