The Prices and Benefits of Staying at a Ryokan in Japan

by ebazaar 13 October 2009 One Comment

Your trip to Japan may never be complete and thorough without a night stay at Japanese traditional inns or what they called as ‘Ryokan’ in Japanese language, which is ran by local families for generation. If you’re vacationing in Japan for a few days, it won’t hurt to arrange for yourself one night stay at a ryokan around your visited area at an affordable price. It will be worthwhile since this is something you won’t be able to experience elsewhere in the world.

Ryokan entrance

Ryokan, is where Japan has reigned supreme over their so-called legendary service in terms was developed in the Edo period. At that time feudal lord or locally called as ‘daimyo’ were required to travel to and from Edo every two years for administration and political purposes given that is where the shogunate government is located since 1603. They don’t come alone, but with a whole group of entourage and only all the best ryokan in town are being reserved for daimyo and members of the imperial family. Some of these ryokan existed to this day, generation by generation even though many have been shut down due to high competition from majoring hotel’s establishments.

Staying in a ryokan is the height of both luxury and simplicity in Japan. Ryokan are usually small lodging building, about one or two stories high with about ten to thirty rooms varied in terms of tatami sizes. A typical traditional image of a ryokan is made of wood with tile roof. Certain medium class and most high class ryokan will have an entrance through traditional looking gate with beautifully landscaped small gardens near the entrance too.

Ryokan - Traditional japanese inns: Room's view (Credit:Masae-san)

Nothing can describe the image and atmosphere of old Japan more than these inns, and especially the ones in Kyoto. There, you’ll see gleaming polished wood, tatami floor, tremendous view of Japanese gardens, rice paper sliding doors, sleeping on a futon (a kind of two layer mattress with quilts laid on the tatami floor), people clad in kimono and yukata everyday just like old times and eat traditional Japanese meals – no pasta please. You’ll also have the chance of bathing in traditional Japanese hot tub or hot spring bath and dine like a king in your room!

Traditional japanese inn, ryokan price per stay

Generally, ryokan can be expensive but there are also few affordable ones, with a downscaled service but will definitely give you the chance of sleeping on a futon in a simple tatami room, no frills and sometimes, with a little add-on price, a moderately elaborated traditional Japanese meals. The price is usually per person rather than per room.

Most high class and very expensive ryokan with full price is from ¥50,000 – ¥90,000 (Mostly high class and very expensive ryokan located in Kyoto)

Expensive ryokan price starts from ¥20,000 – ¥45,000

Moderate rates ryokan (and usually the average price) starts from ¥12,000 – ¥20,000

Although there are cheaper ones that starts from ¥5,000 per person and above, but still lower than average.

Where to find Japanese ryokan?

Onsen at ryokan

Practically everywhere in Japan, even in the urban Tokyo but perhaps the atmosphere and condition might be less traditional than the ones you find in hot spring (onsen) resorts in remote places in Japan and in Kyoto. It is said that the best place to stay in a ryokan is in Kyoto and at Onsen resorts, where you will definitely be able to experience the traditional luxury of bathing in thermal baths, including outdoor baths where you can see the sky and other scenery while soaking in hot water. So the next time you go to Japan, don’t forget to make a ryokan reservation.

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One comment

  1. Computer Fan :

    small gardens are nice because you can just fit it in any part of your home, small gardens have that “cute” factor too`~-


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