Top Ryokan Stays in Japan

The scent of tatami mats is integral to the multi-sensory experience of a ryokan stay.

© Unsplash

The scent of tatami mats is integral to the multi-sensory experience of a ryokan stay.

The scent of tatami mats is integral to the multi-sensory experience of a ryokan stay.

© Unsplash

Top addresses

Tawaraya Ryokan

Considered by many to be the finest ryokan in Kyoto, there is no website and bookings can only be made via telephone or fax for the 18 rooms. Visitors often describe the experience of staying there as “stepping out of time,“ yet rooms come with cleverly concealed televisions and telephones. Prices range from Yen 90,000–150,000 per person per night, incl. dinner and breakfast.

278 Nakahakusancho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto 604-8094, Japan

+81 75-211-5566

Asaba Ryokan

Founded in 1489 and owned by the same family ever since, this rural Relais & Châteaux ryokan with 11 rooms on the Izu Peninsula benefits from the hot springs of Shuzenji. Performances of Noh theatre are also on offer. Prices from Yen 180,000 per person per night incl. dinner and breakfast.

3450-1 Shuzenji, Izu, Shizuoka 410-2416, Japan

+81 558-72-7000, asaba-ryokan.com 

ryokan-garden

A calming, green ryokan garden.

© Shutterstock

Gora Kadan

Situated in the grounds of a former imperial summer villa, this ryokan comes with natural hot springs. But traditional meets modern here: there is a karaoke bar as well as a modern gym. Prices around Yen 140,000 per person per night incl. breakfast.

1300 Gora, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0408, Japan

+81 460-82-3331, gorakadan.com 

Ufufu Ryokan 

On the banks of the Kanu River, on the Izu Peninsula, the best of the seven individually decorated rooms comes with a river view – and private, spring-fed thermal baths. Ingredients from the peninsula take centre stage on the Kaiseki menu. Prices range between Yen 40,000 – 60,000 per person per night incl. dinner and breakfast.

499-1 Tsukigase, Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture 410-3215, Japan

+81 558-99-9700, ufufu.co.jp

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