Catherine Defina is the owner and manager of Shizuka Ryokan. Perhaps you have encountered Catherine (who wears red Swedish hiking pants) and her dog Cleo (who wears a checkered jumper) walking around the grounds of Shizuka, or spied her preparing sashimi through the kitchen door. Prior to taking over Shizuka Catherine was pursuing a corporate […]
Author Archive for: CMDefina
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Entries by CMDefina
At Shizuka Ryokan we have an insatiable appetite for Japanese culture. Future workshops include: Japanese cookery, Boro stitching, Sumi-e painting, Calligraphy, Ikebana, Seasonal Yoga Retreats, Sake tasting, Furoshiki, Japanese gift wrapping, Wagashi, Origami, Mizuhiki, Temari, Japanese book binding, Japanese tea ceremony, Kokedama, Kimono wearing, and the ever popular SAORI weaving. On Sunday, February 10, we […]
Maple Viewing: Japanese Traditions Maple Viewing (Momijigari) is the tradition of visiting areas where the maple trees have turned red. The Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) at Shizuka Ryokan are exploding with colour this month. There are a variety of maple species growing at Shizuka Ryokan, in a range of colours—from blood red through to […]
The ancient art of gardening is alive and well at Shizuka Ryokan. Our gardens display a beautiful selection of traditional Japanese plants such as bamboo, ginkgo, persimmon, sakura (cherry blossom), maple, shiso (a herb used in our kitchen), magnolia, Japanese quince and hibiscus. At dusk, the pine trees fill with sulphur-crested cockatoos, and the fruit […]
In Japan, there is a tradition known as shinrin-yoku—or forest bathing. Shinrin-yoku describes the practice of ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’ by spending prolonged periods of time with trees, and engaging with the forest through all of one’s senses. Shizuka Ryokan is set in the rolling hills of Hepburn Springs, so we are perfectly placed […]
Bookings are now closed. There will be a Summer Seasonal Yoga Retreat at Shizuka Ryokan in November 2018. 6pm, Friday 13 July – 2pm, Sunday 15 July, 2018 Find resolve and a tranquil inner space this winter. The Winter Seasonal Yoga Retreat combines the ancient oriental wisdom of seasonal living, yoga practice, macrobiotic cooking and […]
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, typically located near onsen, or hot springs. The first ryokan, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, was founded in 705 A.D. It is considered the oldest hotel in the world. Today, there are more than 50,000 ryokans in Japan.
Hinamatsuri (雛祭), also known as Doll’s day or Girls’ Day, is celebrated on March 3. On this day, platforms—hinadan—are covered with red material and used to display ornamental dolls. The dolls represent the Emperor, Empress, attendants and musicians, in the traditional court dress of the Heian period.
The Traditional Japanese breakfast served at Shizuka Ryokan exemplifies Japanese cuisine. Grilled salmon, hijiki seaweed, miso, pickled daikon radish, umeboshi plum and furikake seasoning are regular features around here. Not only are these foods delicious, they are beneficial to health.
You might be in for a treat—your visit to Shizuka Ryokan might coincide with a local farmers’ market. Farmers’ markets enable personal connections between growers and consumers. By cutting out the middlemen, local growers receive more food dollars and shoppers receive fresh, in season produce which supports the local community. To learn more visit the […]
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