- available room types: Japanese-style, mixed style
- size: 6-12 Tatami (approx. 10-20m2)
- room rate: 10,000¥ – 30,000¥ (reference only)
Ryokan is a traditional accommodation in Japan. The floor is made of tatami and a quilted Japanese-style mattress called “Futon” is laid out on the floor to sleep on. Ryokan are mostly found in sight-seeing areas and hot springs. Ryokan in the city are not very common. With room rates about 10,000¥ to 30,000¥ it is not a cheap accommodation but a stay at a Ryokan is a good experience of Japanese traditional culture.
There are open-air bath and large bath facilities at most Ryokan. You can feel the natural landscape and a large bath which is also a part of the fun of this unique inn. In relatively reasonable Ryokan meals are served in a buffet style, whereas seasonal and healthy light meals called “kaiseki” cuisine is common in luxury Ryokan types. Dining styles include using table and chair, or sitting at a traditional Japanese table either on tatami or on a bench directly embedded in the floor. If you want to use a private room, additional charges apply. Also you may use a banquet hall for groups. Other facilities, such as a small shop are available in most cases.
Rooms at a Ryokan are mainly furnitured in Japanese style, which includes a table on the tatami floor and seat cushions called “Zabuton”. Often sweets and tea can be found on the table as a greeting of hospitality. When guided to the room the Futon is not laid out. While guests are taking their meal in the dining hall, the room staff will lay out futons for the night. Guests who visit a Ryokan for the first time might be surprised when returning to their room after dinner. For those who want to experience a stay at a Ryokan but not sleep on a Futon, there are some accommodation offering also Japanese-Western style rooms equipped with a bed. Nevertheless, rooms like that are very rare and and not available in every Ryokan. A “Yukata” (Traditional Japanese wear) will be prepared for every guest. Some people might feel a slight discomfort wearing a Yukata when not used to it, but this is also a good chance to experience Japanese culture while staying at a Ryokan. There are Ryokan where guest rooms are not equipped with a bathroom and toilet. Please note that in this case guest are asked to use the public bath and shared toilets. Generally there are no non-smoking rooms in a Ryokan but the rooms are cleaned from smell.
Important notes when staying at a Ryokan
- Wearing shoes in the guest rooms is prohibited. Guests are asked to take off their shoes before entering the rooms.
- When using the public bath, wearing a swimsuit or taking a towel in the bath tub is not allowed. Moreover, please note that there are cases where entering the bath is prohibited for people with a tattoo. Valuables should be stored in a locker.
- In hot spring facilities guests are charged with a special tax for entering the hot spring.
- In some rooms traditional Japanese partitions called “Fusuma” (sliding door) can be found. Please note that it is very easily torn because it is made out of paper.