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When in Yangon, Stay in a Japanese Hotel and Experiencing the Japanese Culture
When you’re travelling to Yangon, Myanmar, staying in a Japanese hotel offers you a wonderful treat as well as a glimpse into Japanese culture. Not only can you expect friendly and efficient service, you will get to experience something unique. There are a variety of different hotel types in Myanmar – ranging from traditional inns through to large chain hotels. Some are more Westernized than others – keep an eye on the price and the style of the hotel – these will serve as clues.
English: In some Yangon hotels you may find they have limited numbers of English speaking staff. If you do encounter language barriers, be polite; they are very proud and will get embarrassed if
they can’t help you.
Shoes & Slippers: The etiquette in most Japanese-styled hotels is to remove your shoes at the front entrance, leave them in a rack, and then put on a pair of supplied slippers. Once you reach your room, slippers can be removed. Sometimes there can also be another pair of room slippers and even toilet slippers. Whatever you do, don’t go accidentally walking down to reception in the toilet slippers!
Room Size: Like so many things in Japan, rooms will be smaller than what you’re used to, yet full of all necessary amenities.
Futon vs. Western Mattress: One of the main reasons Westerners (particularly men) shy away from traditional Japanese hotels is because they don’t like the thought of sleeping on a futon on the floor. But once people get used to them, many report sleeping better than ever. But if you just can’t hack the idea of sleeping on a futon, many Japanese hotels offer ‘Western rooms’ with regular mattresses.
Tatami Mats: Tatami mats line the floor beneath your futon. They’re soft underfoot and they have a wonderful smell (reminiscent of straw) that apparently helps you sleep at night.
Furniture: Traditional Japanese rooms aren’t really designed for lazing around. During the day the futon is packed away and usually replaced by a low table and cushions with or without chair backs. Larger rooms may have some armchairs but it’s rare to see couches. There will probably be a small side table with a TV and kettle.
Bathrooms: These are usually very small, rarely have baths and are often capsule style. Some hotel rooms have bathrooms with toilets and sinks but no showers – the idea being that you bathe in the onsen (hot spring).
Onsen Kits: Most Japanese hotels, and even some Westernized hotels will provide you with an onsen kit containing a small towel, comb and usually some toiletries (shampoo, conditioner and soap).
Yukatas: These cotton kimonos are provided by the hotel and can be used for walking to and from the onsen. You can also wear them in your own room, much like you would a bathrobe in any other hotel.
Meals: Breakfast is usually included in the price and consists of traditional Japanese fare (fish, soup, pickled vegetables, etc). It will be served either in your room or in the dining room.