You always wanted to experience the famous Japanese ryokan but you don’t know which one to choose ? Don’t worry anymore, we will help you to make your choice with a list of the 7 most popular in Japan. This ranking has been made by selected-ryokan.com and all the scores were calculated according to the review of the customers themselves.
Using this ranking system, we believe that the 7 following Ryokan are going to be amazing and according to their pictures, they look absolutely beautiful. But before to start, let’s explain what is really a Ryokan.
What is a Ryokan ?
During Edo period, the borders were closed so eventually, people get bored and started to travel a lot. All these travellers needed a place where to sleep on their way to Kyoto or Tokyo for example so people started to build inns to host them. This type of inn, the so called Ryokan, became part of Japanese culture and they are now famous worldwide.
What is so special with this kind of “hotels”? Well, they are not the usual hotels at all as they follow many Japanese traditions. They have tatami-matted rooms so you sleep on a futon on the floor.
I personally love this way of sleeping, so comfortable. Of course, you wear no shoes inside the ryokan. Most of the time, you should wear a Yukata, a traditional Japanese Kimono. The other special feature is that most of the Ryokan have their own onsen, the Japanese hot spring.
More info here: What is a Ryokan.
Ok, so now as you know a bit more about the Ryokan in Japan, let’s see which ones are the best.
1. Kozantei Ubuya
The Kozantei Ubuya is definitely one of the best Ryokan in Japan. It is located in Kawaguchiko and it has probably the best view you can imagine when you are enjoying your onsen. Indeed, the Kozantei Ubuya is on the banks of the lake Kawaguchi and you can see the beautiful Mont Fuji in front of you. Magical!
2. Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso
Very similar to the previous Ryokan, The Konanso has again a beautiful location and amazing onsen with a view on Mont Fuji. Difficult to pick my favorite between the last two Ryokan, they are both awesome!
Read More: Best Mt Fuji Ryokans
3. Tensui Saryo
As far as hybrid ryokan-hotel accommodations go, Tensui Saryo takes the cake for being the most opulent one there is in Japan.
Located in the remarkable hot spring region of Hakone, Tensui Saryo has some fierce competition. There is no shortage of ryokan accommodations that are truly authentic, located in a prime position, and offer world-class service within an environment unique to Japan.
However, somehow, Tensui Saryo stands out.
In particular, its onsite restaurant boasts breathtaking architecture, with experienced chefs serving seasonal traditional Japanese cuisine. It also boasts a beautiful cypress onsen available for reservations, and some guest rooms also come with their own open-air baths.
The location is fantastic, with it being only mere minutes away from various attractions. The staff is top-notch and the views are just incredible.
Tensui Saryo is a guaranteed memorable stay.
Book It Now: Tensui Saryo
4. Arashiyama Benkei
We leave Kawaguchiko to go to Kyoto and Arashiyama. Famous for its bamboo grooves, the Arashiyama Benkei has been built in the middle of Arashiyama nature, surrounded by trees and grass. Ideal for relaxation and meditation.
5. Momijiya Annex
We stay in Kyoto with the cozy Momijiya Annex, again surrounded by a beautiful Nature.
You can find more Ryokan in Kyoto here: Best Ryokans In Kyoto.
6. Yoshimatsu Hakone Ryokan
We continue our selection of the best Ryokan in Japan with Yoshimatsu, which is located in Hakone. Hakone is a beautiful mountainous area at 2 hours from Tokyo by train. If you want to spend a peaceful night in Hakone, the Yoshimatsu Ryokan is definitely the answer!
Feel free to also check out our list of the best Ryokans in Hakone!
7. Yufudake Ichibo no Yado Kirara
Sustainability is fast becoming a concern amongst the next generation of travelers, so what better way to support the movement and travel comfortably than staying at a sustainable traditional Japanese inn in the mountains of Yufu?
Yufudake Ichibo no Yado Kirara is the epitome of classic cultural elements such as tatami mats and low-rise furniture fused with modern touches including western-style bedding. All rooms are fitted with private semi-open-air baths, so you can soak in the natural hot spring water in the comfort of your room.
There are additional features that elevate the experience here, including a delicious seasonal menu that may encompass a kaiseki meal using only the freshest ingredients, or sukiyaki to warm up your soul in winter.
Guests Tips: It’s a tad too far to walk from the station, so you will need to organize a taxi or time your arrival with the free hotel shuttle bus. If you’re looking to book the larger onsen bath for families, there will be a surcharge.
Book It Now: Yufudake Ichibo no Yado Kirara
I’m sure you enjoyed this selection of the best Ryokan in Japan. I hope you will have the opportunity to spend one night in one of them.
PS: For more options in other cities, feel free to check out our complete Ryokan Collection.