Experience authentic Japanese hospitality right here in Sydney
The Japanese are known for their acute attention to detail and generous hospitality. The crème de la crème of the Japanese hospitality industry are the ryokans. A ryokan is a traditional Japanese style inn often with an attached hot spring bath that provides impeccable service to its guests.
Ryokan Gojyuan is Sydney’s very own ryokan located in the eclectic suburb of Balmain.
There’s no way to talk about Gojyuan without mentioning the okami-san or the owner of this inn, Linda. The sandstone building of Gojyuan was built around 1855 and has been in Linda’s family since the early 1930’s.
As you enter its doors you are instantly transported to a different world; to a traditional Japanese inn with modern Australian touches that reflect Gojyuan’s ethos.
Japanese culture was something Linda and her husband loved and enjoyed since before the idea of Gojyuan entered their minds.
Linda, who is still actively expanding on her already vast knowledge of Japanese culture and ryokan hospitality, studied books and observed ryokans in Japan on her journey to realising Gojyuan.
Many of Gojyuan’s fixtures are sourced from Japan; anything from the futon mattresses down to the nails. This sort of dedication to Japanese culture and specifically the ryokan culture, is what makes Gojyuan such a special place.
Sitting in the veranda, looking out to a sandstone and Japanese style garden is first of many beautiful experiences you can have at Gojyuan.
When asked about her landscaping inspiration she answered, “It’s not a traditional garden in the Japanese sense, […] what I really wanted to do is really take advantage of what’s available, and Sydney has sandstone.”
Another highlight at Gojyuan is the ofuro, or bathhouse. A clean, intimate room with showers and a spacious Japanese cypress tub. The fragrance of the cypress fills the room while the tub looks out to a chic, private garden.
For seven years Linda took kaiseki cuisine lessons, learning this technique oriented style of multi-course dinner and the optional dinner here is made in this very style.
After a pampering sleep in the plush futon mattress bed, made by Linda herself with extra care, breakfast is made and served, again, by Linda. A tray of rice, miso soup, vegetables and fish – a very traditional Japanese breakfast for a beautiful and healthy start of the day.
The weekends at Gojyuan is filled with laughter, discoveries and new friends. Linda and her network of Japanese and Japan loving friends host various workshops including tea ceremonies. This is another fantastic way to enjoy the serene space of Gojyuan.
Ryokan Gojyuan embodies the spirit of Linda – traditional, welcoming, impeccably thoughtful… All qualities of a true Japanese ryokan, available right here in Sydney.
Through Linda, Japanese hospitality took on certain Aussie friendliness that also fills the air at Gojyuan