Tips and tricks for finding a hotel room in Japan for your family



If you’ve had a search for family rooms in Japan, you’re probably becoming more and more exasperated trying to find something that will suit all of your requirements. Before we get started, it’s important to understand a few cultural differences that will explain the headaches that you have been getting:

Hotel Sizes

Japanese hotel rooms are smaller than what we are used to in Australia. Fair enough given the massive difference in population vs land mass between our country and theirs! Chances are, if you’ve found a super cheap hotel room that will sleep 4-5 people, it is probably too good to be true and one of the main reasons is that is is a very small room! To be fair, there are some lovely family hotel rooms in Japan, especially Tokyo, pictured here is the Keio Plaza.


You might have come across a twin share room that is 2 x single beds for your family of 4. If your kids are under 6 then this is why! It is very common for Japanese parents to share a single bed with their child under 6 so that is what all online searches are going to produce for you. I’d warrant to say that Aussie parents probably don’t want to sleep in a single bed with their child, so it’s best to check with the experts about what the bedding situation is before confirming your reservation! Further to this, it is important to understand that, more often than not, the bedding in a triple or quad hotel room will all be single beds (sometimes king single beds).

Apartments & Interconnecting Rooms

Multiple bedroom apartments and interconnecting rooms are going to be few and far between in Japan. We can certainly search for these for you but in the likely case that there aren’t any available, we could recommend that you request adjacent rooms or have a look at a few of the other options that we will talk about below!


Western Hotel Rooms in Japan: Is it really possible to fit a family of 4 in a 15m2 room in 2 x semi-double beds?

Mimaru Hotel

The short answer is no; while this may be OK for a lot of Japanese families, it’s certainly not an ideal situation for an Aussie family! What is a semi-double bed, you ask? It’s basically a king single bed. There are many new hotel chains popping up with multiple options for families traveling from overseas and one that we can recommend is the hotel chain Mimaru. Mimaru offers studio apartments with a self-contained kitchen in Tokyo, Kyoto, and *coming soon Osaka! They can sleep up to 5 adults and also offer a large number of interconnecting rooms!


Japanese-style Inns (Ryokan): are these a good option for my family?


Most definitely!! Once you move outside of larger cities, why not take the opportunity to try a traditional ryokan. We highly recommend booking a ryokan stay in hot spring towns and rural areas; highly recommended cities to do a ryokan stay are Hakone, Kawaguchiko, Takayama, Miyajima, and Beppu (to name a few). In most places, you will be sleeping on futons on tatami (mattresses on bamboo flooring), though please feel free to ask us about Japanese/Western combination rooms where you would have a Western bedding section & a Japanese bedding/sitting room section! At a traditional ryokan, you can expect to be looked after like royalty and you will generally have access to relaxing hot springs (onsen) on-site with full course Japanese cuisine served for breakfast & dinner! As you are traditionally sleeping on the floor in a ryokan, and housekeeping put away the futons during the day so that you have a space to relax,  they generally can fit many more people in one room.


Machiya: Living like a local!


If you’re wanting to experience a Japanese house with multiple bedrooms, a self-contained kitchen and easy access to local attractions. Please ask us about Machiya that we can offer in Kyoto, Kanazawa & Takayama. These 1-3 bedroom houses are perfect for your large family and actually don’t always cost an arm and a leg for the additional space. Centrally located with local support offered, you can really have an authentic experience and feel like you’ve moved to Japan for a short while!


Contact JTB, the Japan Specialists, to assist with your family trip to Japan.

If any of the above accommodation options seem like a fit for your family, please don’t hesitate to contact us at JTB to find the perfect accommodation option for your trip to Japan. We can tailor-make an itinerary to suit your needs!

Mar. 2020 accommodation Family Hotel Onsen Ryokan

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