A ryokan has communal baths, tatami-matted rooms and public areas where people can roam around wearing kimonos. It is one kind of a traditional Japanese inn. Ryokans have been in existence since the eight century. Around the same time, the oldest hotel Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan was also created.
Despite being so old, these establishments are relevant in today’s time as well. interestingly, one of the ryokans went viral recently. known as ‘My Cat Yugawara’, this ryokan is located in the hot spring town Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture.
At Yugawara, the guests are offered a trial package which allows them to live with cats.
The inn’s owner Akihiro Ochi said that many a times, people want to live with felines. However, their living condition doesn’t allow them to do so.
At the inn, people can spend their entire day with a cat as if they are a family. The whole experience is just incredible.
Ochi said the cats and the staff are like a family. They know about the behavior and personality of every cat at the inn.
The cats in My Cat Yugawara are by no means working. Everyone within My Cat Yugawara are family and best friends. We even sleep and eat together. We are not operating for profit. A huge portion of our income goes to maintaining the facility, including feeding the cats and maintaining their health.
The trial package allows the guests to stay with the cat from 5:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. in the morning. the guests are not supposed to leave the cats unattended. The guests will be given a cat only after completing a session in My Cat Yugawara café.