Holidaying in Japan just isn’t complete without a cultural stay in Japan’s traditional ryokans. From their elaborate dining and refined old-age room decor to the display of Japanese customs, there’s just so much you can experience during a ryokan stay. Even though a night in a ryokan may come with an expensive price tag, here’s why digging into your budget for it is going to be totally worth it.
1. Stay in a traditionally styled Japanese room
If there’s one thing ryokan are famous for, it would be the understated elegance of their traditionally styled Japanese rooms, with tastefully furnished with tatami mats, sliding paper screens and low wooden tables. These rooms are also often decorated with oriental ornaments and elements to give guests the full cultural experience of living in a Japanese home back in the days. Most rooms would also have a great view over exquisite gardens, making your stay an aesthetically pleasing and soothing one.
2. Enjoy impeccable hospitality and service
We’ve all heard about how polite and friendly the locals are in Japan, and you will experience this first-hand during a ryokan stay. The staff will pay exceptional attention to every detail, from the cleanliness of your room to the plating of your dinner when it’s served. You’ll be assured to know that your comfort and enjoyment is the top priority.
3. Indulge in Japanese breakfast in bed
Enjoy the full ryokan experience when you opt for a delectable Japanese-style breakfast and/or dinner that are sure to tantalise your taste buds!
Most ryokans usually serve the traditional Japanese cuisine known as washoku , which is rice with a side of miso soup and other dishes. Often, the side dishes are seasonal local specialities, from fish and vegetables to seafood. Immaculate attention will be paid to every dish. It’s more than just an unparalleled sensation to your palette, but also a feast for the eyes.
The best part? The staff at the ryokan will serve it right to your bedroom! You don't even have to worry about fixing your hair before breakfast.
4. Dress up in a Yukata
While you’re staying in a traditional Japanese home, ryokans will help you look the part!
Yukatas, also known as summer kimonos, are casual Japanese garments perfect for lounging around in your room or the ryokan gardens. They are unlined and typically comfortable and easy to put on. Your ryokan experience won’t be complete without donning on this traditional wear.
5. Take an onsen bath
You definitely can’t miss this if you’re staying in a ryokan. Since most ryokans are found in hot spring resorts, you can expect to find onsen baths that will keep you rejuvenated and refreshed during your stay. These therapeutic hot spring waters could be individual private ones attached to your room or communal ones shared with other guests. Either way, no ryokan stay is complete without taking a dip in the calming waters of an onsen.
Are you sold on a ryokan stay? We sure hope so! Alternatively, check out some other unique accommodation options in Japan you can also try!