Ryokan Japan – There are different ways to experience Japanese culture when you travel in Japan but probably the most relaxing one is to stay at a Ryokan. If you don’t know what I’m speaking about, feel free to check this post about what is a Ryokan. Now that you know a bit more about this unique accommodation style, let us introduce the 7 best Ryokan in Japan!
These Ryokan feature region-specific specialties, incredible views, and overall great locations to explore during your stay at these Japanese traditional inns. Follow this guide to see our top Ryokan Japan picks!
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Ryokan Japan #1: Mount View, Hakone
Mount View Hakone is a unique Ryokan due to the water that comes from the hot springs of Hakone, called Nigori-yu, which is famous for having a milk-like cloudiness to it. For a surcharge you can experience this in your own private Onsen, otherwise, it is also enjoyed in the communal hot spring. This Ryokan isn’t named Mount View for nothing, you have an absolutely incredible view of the Yamanashi mountains! In addition, this Ryokan is absolutely praised on how serene it is.
The staff is known to be and reviewed as incredibly professional, often times consulting with you before your stay on a variety of topics such as food allergies for example. Speaking of food, the provided dinner is absolutely beautiful, you will be served a traditional kaiseki course dinner which features ingredients relevant to the season. With easy access to the Ryokan by bus and the very unique type of water that you won’t get anywhere else but in Hakone, this is seriously an incredible pick!
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Japan is the perfect blend of culture preservation and modernism. This is exemplified perfectly here. Hakone Ashinoko Hanaori is an incredible blend of a modern Ryokan nestled into the mountains of the Yamanashi prefecture. This Ryokan boasts some absolutely breathtaking views of Lake Ashi, we totally recommend you secure a room with a private balcony onsen!
With a 2 minute walk from the nearest station, this might be one of the most convenient Ryokan to travel to. In regards to convenience, this Ryokan has a 24-hour service desk that offers a free luggage storage service. Within the area, there are also some great attractions for you to attend. The botanical gardens of the wetlands are about a 9-minute drive away from the resort. If nature is your thing, this is a must-see for you!
“Stay in the Heart of Kyoto”, this Ryokan is dubbed as having one of the most desirable locations for a Ryokan in Kyoto. You won’t find an onsen here but the kind of experience you will get out of this Ryokan is well worth the trade-off, plus, if you really want the onsen experience you can find your way to many onsen towns in Kyoto. Especially with the proximity to Kyoto station.
One of the most beautiful aspects of this Ryokan is the garden, which surprisingly is not mentioned in their description at all! As the reviews pile in on this Ryokan that is gaining in popularity, that might change, but as of now, it seems to be a nice little-hidden gem. There are a handful of stations, temples, and cultural sites near this Ryokan as well. If you enjoy walks this is a great Ryokan to consider.
This Ryokan is a definite step back in time! Some beautifully traditional architecture is on full display here, notice the shoji doors and the tatami floors. Aside from the floors and walls, this Ryokan screams ancient Japan with every accent and detail. Definitely a worthwhile stay for the person who loves a more traditional experience. Yadoya Manjiro is another Ryokan that doesn’t have an onsen but makes up for it with the surroundings. This Ryokan is an incredibly close walk to Kiyomizudera Temple, 5 minutes to be exact, as well as other shrines! See what I mean? Perfect for your inner historian!
The surrounding area has a wide array of shops and restaurants to chose from, however, the nearest station is a 10-minute taxi ride, so it’s definitely best to keep that in mind. The user reviews as well as the booking page claim this is one of the best values in Kyoto and it’s clear to see why. Being that close in proximity to one of Japans most famous cultural heritage sites is such a good deal it’s hard to pass up. After digging through some user reviews, the staff does seem to speak English here, so that deserves bonus points!
This is a Ryokan that totally sells itself. The scenery surrounding this Ryokan is unparalleled, this might be the ultimate combination of every element that has given the other Ryokan a place on this list. When you look at this Ryokan you notice how apparent the staff is. Yeah, not the Japanese garden, not the river view, the staff. This Ryokan has incredible raving reviews about how caring and exceptional the staff was, this is truly a Japanese experience. You can guarantee the staff will make your stay as enjoyable and pleasant as possible. The views, of course, are incredible. Look at that river overlooking the old Japanese town. One of the most beautiful dining experiences you can have can be had at this Ryokan. I personally love the irori table and the onsen provided here!
You can find this Ryokan by taking a mere 7-minute walk from the nearest station or you can take a free shuttle bus to the Ryokan from the station. You have to love the Japanese convenience! This is such a complete experience, the neighboring town is just a quick ride away and you’ll get a real taste of the ancient and traditional Japan!
There is some beautiful nature next to this Ryokan so it’s really nice that they offer free bicycles to ride! Shitanda is another Ryokan that is praised for the customer service and it’s clear to see why, free bicycles and an owner who will stay up at all hours of the night in order to accommodate you when you arrive. While the Ryokan is a bit far from the station clocking in at 18 minutes away, it’s incredibly convenient that there is a free shuttle bus to take you back and forth from the station to the Ryokan.
There are some really interesting historical exhibits to experience when you stay here. I’d recommend the “Lion Dance Ceremony Exhibit”, while you’re out there you might as well check out the other local museums, you won’t be disappointed. Shitanda is another Ryokan that gets convenience points! There is a laundry service and vending machines on site. It should be noted that bathing facilities are shared, so keep that in mind when making your booking.
Absolutely beautiful views await you if you book this Ryokan. With views of the breathtaking Lake Kawaguchi and Mt. Fuji, you can’t get a similar experience anywhere else in Japan. This makes booking your stay very, very easy. This Ryokan is great because there are some very subtle nods of modern design embedded in the Ryokan, but in typical Japanese fashion, they’ve preserved the traditional Ryokan experience.
Don’t think we forgot about the food! You can enjoy your kaiseki dinner to the view of the majestic Mt. Fuji. This Ryokan also offers some nice amenities like a vending machine, karaoke, massages and even a Japanese and Western breakfast buffet. About a 10-minute drive from the station to the site, this Ryokan is totally worth it with the incredible views of Mt. Fuji! Oh yeah, it is highly rated by couples!
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