Ryōkan range from budget inns to high end establishments, with most falling into the ¥20,000 – ¥30,000 pp/pn bracket. This price includes both an evening meal and breakfast in amazing surroundings. Travel the country with your Japan Rail Pass and sample ryōkan hospitality from Hokkaidō to Kyūshū.
What to expect
Staying in a ryokan can seem like an intimidating experience as Japanese etiquette is followed, but forgoing your hotel for a night of ryōkan relaxation is something you won’t forget for all the right reasons:
Futon - Your bed with most likely be a traditional futon on the floor of your room, laid out by the ryōkan staff while you are at dinner. They are very comfortable, honest!
Tatami - Your room will be decorated with the famous tatami reed flooring and perhaps paper screens too.
Baths - Many ryōkan are attached to an onsen in which you can bathe before your meals to unwind.
Yukata - Yukata are the light cotton kimono-style robes wore around the ryōkan. Provided in your room you can wear them throughout your stay, to the baths and to dinner, simple!
Kaiseki - Your stay includes dinner and breakfast, kaiseki cuisine is usually provided, which is an exquisite multi-course meal of fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from the local area.
A run-through of an average stay
Things follow the same pattern during a stay at any ryōkan and will be different to what you may have experienced in other hotels around the world. To feel more comfortable with your surroundings we suggest reading this Ryōkan Guide for a heads up before you go.
Enjoy your trip!
photo Richie Johns / François Rejeté