Weekend Getaways: Japan

Since arriving in Japan, I had resisted taking a classic Japanese vacation at a hot-spring mountain resort. Frankly, I was intimidated. Many of the best and most famous hot-spring baths (onsen) are run by ryokans, old-fashioned Japanese inns where customs (and amenities) have hardly changed in more than a century. They have rules about how you're supposed to wear the kimono provided upon check-in, how to behave in the large communal baths and when you can leave the grounds. Adhering to a complex set of local customs didn't sound like my idea of...

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