Ryokan is a traditional accommodation style in Japan unlikely to be found in any other countries.
More than just a place to sleep, you have the opportunity to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality, and elements such as tatami floors, futon beds, Japanese style baths and local cuisine. All these things make this a great way to experience uniquely Japanese lodging.
Staying in a ryokan is also a way to experience Japan's Omotenashi culture.
Omotenashi is a thought of hospitality that goes well beyond the standard refrain of “customer first”. Friendly staff like “Okami” (“landlady” of the ryokan) welcomes guests warmly, and in some ryokans, sweets and tea can be found on the table in your room as a greeting of your stay.
“Yukata”, a casual version of “Kimono”, were first made as clothing to wear in steam baths in the 800s. Over the years, it has evolved into casual clothing to wear at home. It also branched out and became fancy clothing to wear to Matsuri held during the summer.
In Ryokans, “Yukata” will be prepared for every guest as loungewear. Some people may feel slight discomfort in wearing a Yukata, but this is a good chance to experience Japanese culture!