A “Ryokan” is a traditional Japanese guesthouse. By staying in a ryokan you can experience age-old Japanese hospitality and customs. You’ll change into a Yukata (cotton kimono) after taking an Onsen (hot spring bath), and will sleep on a Futon (mattress), put down directly on a Tatami (straw mat) floor. Some Ryokans are in old wooden buildings, and others have modern architecture. Most have “daiyokujo” (a public bathroom).
Onsen/ Hot Springs
Japan is a chain of volcanic islands with natural hot springs found all over the country. Experiencing an onsen is a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture!
Yoshi-ima is a fine artistic wooden structure with an aged garden in Sukiya style. All rooms have tatami mats flooring and have private facilities including hair dryer, towels and yukata. Besides the private bath in your room, you can take a Japanese style public bath. Located in the “Gion” preserved area, an attractive part of the city known as the Geisha and Maiko quarter. All guests are suppose to take off their shoes at the entrance. All guest rooms are in Japanese style with “tatami” (mats) floor and fully equipped with a bath, toilet and Yukata – traditional room wear. There is also a public bath for use. Traditional Japanese dishes are served for dinner and breakfast – with an appetizer, raw and grilled fish, tempura, rice and soup. This beautiful Ryokan is located in Gion district known as “Geiko and Maiko” (traditional entertainers) quarter. There are some famous sites within walking distance.
Located in the centre of Kyoto city, within walking distance from Nishikikoji Market, Gion, Kyoto Ryokan Watazen offers an age old “Kyoto” service appreciated by Japanese & overseas guests alike for nearly 200 years. Experience the real Japanese hospitality at Watazen Ryokan. Watazen is located in the centre of Kyoto. In the surrounding area is a subway station, famous temples, souvenir shops, Nishiki markets and the Gion district. All within walking distance. Watazen also has public bath facilities.
Japanese style accommodation and is one of the few remaining Ryokan’s in Tokyo. It is very quiet despite being in the heart of the city, because it is orientated away from the main road. The inside of the Ryokan has many Japanese antiques so you can fully experience Japanese culture. Only a 10 minute walk from Tawaramachi Station for Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, 10 minutes by taxi from Ueno station and 3 minute walk from Asakusa Station. Rooms have 6 tatami mats with private bathroom.
One of the best places to experience a night at a temple. This temple opened more than 800 years ago. Whilst experiencing a unique Buddhist stay, you can also enjoy the inn’s beautiful garden & Onsen. Fukuchi-in offers the only spa and outdoor bath facilities in Koyasan for exclusive comfort. Meanwhile for spiritual treatment the accommodation holds a daily morning service invites guests to join. During the morning service, the monks recite the fundamental sutra, called “Rishu-kyo”, and perform the chanting of Shingon Buddhism called “Sho-myo”. Don’t miss out on this unique experience!
Situated on the pristine Miya River, which runs through the centre of Hida Takayama. The inn sits next to one of the town’s famous tourist attractions, the red Nakabashi Bridge and is only one minute walk to Sanmachi Traditional Buildings Preservation Area.
The elegant Ryokan Tanabe captures the atmosphere of Edo era Japan. Just 5 minutes walking distance from the JR Takayama Station you’ll find yourself in a convenient location from which to explore this authentic traditional town.
A 7 minute walk from Miyajima Jetty. Located in front of the shore and the beautiful stretch of pine grove. At night, you will be impressed by the reflection on the sea of the lights from across the bay.
Japanese style accommodation on Miyajima Island. Iwaso Ryokan is located within walking distance of Itsukushima Shrine, a world heritage site. The ryokan offers hot spring water from the Wakamiya Hot Spring, cuisine using Hiroshima’s local ingredients and the beautiful scenery of Miyajima, considered to be one of the top three views in Japan.
Onsen, or hot springs, are deeply ingrained in Japanese society. For travellers, onsen can
aspect of Japanese culture. To prepare you for your inauguration into Japanese onsen culture, you need to understand the code of conduct. Whilst it is not limited to these, please do not forget the following points;
- Shower in the wash area before you enter
- Birthday suits only! Clothes forbidden
- Never dip your hand towel in the water
- Never put your head underwater
- Be considerate of other bathers and keep noise to a minimum
- Sit back, relax and let the healing waters refresh your mind, body and soul!
In Japan tattoos are perceived as a sign of the membership to an organised crime syndicate, otherwise known as Yakuza. In general those with tattoos are not allowed to use public bath facilities. However, it is common practice for foreign visitors with small tattoos to cover them with an adhesive dressing when bathing. This is perfectly acceptable and shows respect for the culture and attitudes prevailing in Japan.