What exactly is a “ryokan”?
This is the generic term for a traditional Japanese style inn. Inherent within the expression are the traditions of warm hospitality, quality cuisine and tasteful surroundings. Ryokan have been an integral part of the Japanese culture of leisure and indulgence for hundreds of years.
What does “shizuka” mean?
The Japanese term for tranquility, shizuka represents the concepts of peace, reflection and harmony. Together, it embodies the atmosphere and ambience deliberately created for guests staying at Shizuka Ryokan.
How authentic is Shizuka Ryokan?
In Japan, ryokan range from the legendary centuries-old inns of the ancient capital of Kyoto to the luxurious modern resorts in mountainous hot spring regions. Australia’s only fully aunthentic ryokan, Shizuka Ryokan compares very favourably to its inspirations and role models in Japan in respect to both the quality of its services and the authenticity of the facilities. Despite being set in Australian bushland, Shizuka Ryokan unobtrusively melds with its environment. Its few concessions to its location – such as the lounge, fireplace and barbeque deck – also merge with the pure Japanese guestrooms to create a truly tasteful setting to enjoy the very best of two distinct yet very complementary cultures.
Is the ryokan appropriate for non-Japanese guests?
Absolutely. In fact, most of Shizuka Ryokan’s guests are from Australia, keen to experience true Japanese culture and hospitality at first hand. Some of these guests may have traveled to Japan, some enjoy Japanese cuisine or other facets of its myriad culture and many visitors are simply curious to experience a truly unique one-of-a-kind environment. A small minority of guests are Japanese residents of Australia who are perhaps feeling a little homesick for tatami flooring, futon bedding, home style cuisine and shiatsu massages. Shizuka Ryokan also attracts international visitors from many countries, particularly China, South-East Asia, Europe, the Americas and New Zealand.
Is it an appropriate place for children?
Shizuka Ryokan is fundamentally an adult retreat, offering tranquility and respite from the rigours of modern life. Accordingly, the absence of televisions and telephones from guestrooms is considered by guests to be a distinct advantage. Beyond the extensive range of spa treatments, there are intentially few other activities on offer within the retreat itself. Accordingly, it is not an appropriate place for babies or children. In the interests of all our guests, please understand that Shizuka Ryokan cannot accept bookings for babies and children under the age of 16.
Can you cater for any special dietary needs?
Shizuka Ryokan offers its guests traditional Japanese cuisine served in an authentic environment. We prepare a home-style multiple course Japanese banquet dinner which may be served in guestrooms in true ryokan style as well as a choice of Japanese or Continental breakfasts. We are happy to discuss and accommodate special dietary requirements when advised well in advance of the arrival date.
What does a Japanese breakfast consist of?
The authentic tray of delicious Japanese breakfast favourites, carefully selected to balance flavour, texture and appearance includes some delicacies not commonly offered in Australia. The home-style Japanese breakfast platter includes the following types of dishes.
- Baked atlantic salmon, lightly basted with a caramelized teriyaki glaze
- Slices of traditional tamago-yaki Japanese omelette, hand made with sake, dashi stock and mirin
- Vinegarette salad of wakame seaweed and cucumber, finished with freshly roasted sesame
- Hijiki seaweed gently simmered with shitake mushooms and seasonal vegetables
- Yamamomo mountain peach, served whole with seed
- Sukiyaki infused pumpkin, topped with black sesame seeds
- Pickled and crunchy daikon radish slices
- Blanched green vegetables, mixed with a sweet and nutty sesame paste
- Rich white miso soup, complete with wakame seaweed, shallots and tofu
- Premium steamed japonica rice
- Furikake rice topping, comprising toasted seaweed, sesame seeds and dried fish
Can I hold a special celebration at Shizuka Ryokan?
Shizuka Ryokan has been the proud and happy host to a variety of special celebrations including weddings, anniversaries and even proposals. Small corporate groups have also booked the entire retreat for meetings and residential workshops. Feel free to call our experienced event organisers to discuss your ideas.
Do you accommodate small groups?
Shizuka Ryokan’s six guestrooms each normally accommodate double or twin share couples, thus providing a maximum capacity of up to 12 persons. Thus, the retreat is the perfect setting for small groups. With the added attraction of the in-house spa treatments, Shizuka Ryokan is often chosen for indulgent “girls’ weekends”.
An additional bonus of booking out the entire ryokan is that greater flexibility and services can often be obtained for the members of a group booking. This feature attracts specific interest groups, such as Yoga or Ikebana class members, who can also take advantage of the whole property to perhaps undertake classes or workshops in a very appropriate setting.
Do you host corporate functions?
Corporate groups can conduct a range of functions, including small conferences, meetings, retreats and workshops in an unusual yet private environment. These tailor-made residential events may be arranged through the proprietors who are experienced in the organisation of a wide range of events.
Can I use your spa services if I am not staying at Shizuka?
The wide ranging menu of spa services is often a highlight of a stay at Shizuka Ryokan. Indulging in these services whilst in residence enables guests to fully relax and enjoy the after-glow in the privacy of their own guestroom after experiencing perhaps a facial or body wrap. Accordingly, we strongly urge intending guests to book spa treatments at the time of their original accommodation booking. Whilst we must ensure that our house guests receive their preferred services, there are sometimes limited opportunities remaining for non-residents to enjoy such services in periods of lower demand such as mid-week. Non-resident day spa visitors are however not eligible for the $10 per hour discount routinely provided to resident guests. Day spa enquiries are welcome.
Has Shizuka Ryokan been featured in the media?
Shizuka yokan is quite known and respected throughout Australia and indeed internationally. The retreat has been featured in virtually all major travel lifestyle magazines and television programmes in Australia. It has also been profiled on Japanese television on a number of occasions and was named in the English edition of “Marie Claire” magazine as one of Australia’s top three spas.
Do you host any cultural events or residential workshops?
Shizuka Ryokan occasionally hosts cultural and residential events and workshops which feature aspects of Japanese arts, culture and cuisine. Your suggestions and enquiries are welcome.
How can I keep up to date with activities and offers?
This website offers a subscription form to Shizuka Ryokan’s informative newsletter.
How do I get to Shizuka Ryokan?
Located in central Victoria, Shizuka Ryokan is conveniently located from most centres. It is just over one hour’s drive from Melbourne airport and only about 75 minutes from the city centre. We do not recommend the use of GPS systems in this locality. This website offers a travel map and directions.
Can I smoke at Shizuka Ryokan?
For both health and safety reasons, Shizuka Ryokan is a non-smoking environment, including within the guest rooms and their adjoining courtyard gardens. Additionally, please respect the reality that we are located in a very fire prone bushland setting and therefore we ask you to ensure that any cigarette, butt or match is totally extinguished and appropriately disposed, including in outdoor areas and in and around our grounds.
As Shizuka Ryokan is truly unique, we understand that you may have other questions or comments. If this website doesn’t answer all your questions, please feel free to contact us directly. We would be more than happy to assist.
+61 3 5348 2030