Ryokan Tokyo – Ryokan are traditional Japanese hotels where you can stay all the while immersing yourself in the local customs and lifestyle. Staying at a ryokan is one of the best ways to discover the extremely rich and diverse Japanese culture.
If you’d like to have more in-depth details about what ryokan are, I invite you to read my blog post on the best ryokan in Kyoto where I discuss things more thoroughly. In this blog post, I’m rather going to list the best ryokan in Tokyo, according to customer reviews (sources will be the Selected Onsen Ryokan website as well as other online booking platforms) and tell you about my own experience at the Homeikan Ryokan in Tokyo.
Best Ryokan in Tokyo – Takemine
Let’s start this list with this rather modern hotel that has terrific interior decoration. If you just take a look at the Takemine hotel façade, you can already feel its “vibe”.
The Takemine has a very convenient location; it’s in Shinjuku which is easily accessible by all transportation means. The hotel has a very modern style but maintains a certain authenticity that makes you want to try it.
Best Ryokan in Tokyo – Kamogawa Asakusa
The Kamagowa is located in the very popular district of Asakusa in Tokyo. If you’re staying there, you can easily visit the beautiful Sensoji temple and the “Thunder Gate”, the famous Kaminarimon. It’s quite a sight, especially by night.
The Kamagowa ryokan has a less modern style. It’s a bit more traditional than the Takemine; there are tatami mats all over the bedrooms and baths are made of wood. You’ll definitely enjoy your showers there!
Best Ryokan in Tokyo – Asakusa Shigetsu
Still in Asakusa district, there’s this nice local ryokan that is not too expensive for those of you who are on a budget. It’s got a terrific view of the Tokyo Skytree and you’ll be able to enjoy it while you’re soaking in your bathtub! *__*
Best Ryokan in Tokyo – Ryokan Fuji
The Ryokan Fuji is in not on Mount Fuji but definitely in Tokyo, near the Koiwa station, in the north-east of Tokyo. It is located a little bit further from the city center than the three previous hotels, which could end up being an advantage because the surrounding area is much quieter. Although the hotel’s beautiful and quiet garden has probably a lot to do with this.
Let’s end this list with the Homeikan, the ryokan where I stayed and which will be our focus for the upcoming part of this blog post.
Ryokan Tokyo – My Stay at Homeikan
The Homeikan is one of the most traditional ryokan in Tokyo. It is located in the Hongo district which is known to be the center of knowledge and Japanese culture. As a matter of fact, many Japanese scholars and researchers used to stay there. It’s also in that district that you find the prestigious Tokyo University, more commonly known as Todai (an abbreviation of Tokyo daikagu).
Once you get to Homeikan, you’ll have to fill in a few forms and give your passport reference at the front desk where you’ll spot the representation of a bird with burning wings just above your head, if you’re careful enough to see it!
It’s actually a phoenix and it’s not there by mere coincidence. The name Homeikan is not derived from the English word “home” but from the Japanese word “ho-u” which means phoenix. “Me” means shiny and “kan” refers to an inn. So Homeikan is the shiny phoenix’s inn, so to speak. Smart name, right ? 🙂
What I liked most about Homeikan is the fact that everything is made of wood which gives a very pleasant feel to the whole place. You’ll also meet a nice Kappa at the entry hall; it’s a kind of frog that’s present in a lot of Japanese myths. I’ll tell you more about it in a blog post about Kappabashi street in Tokyo.
Your stay at a ryokan always starts by taking off your shoes at the entry hall to put on a pair of slippers. You’ll find many to choose from there. Don’t forget to do that; it’s a mark of disrespect in Japan to step inside a house with your shoes on.
Someone will then escort you to your room. This was mine, but of course rooms will vary in size according to the number of people staying there.
Here’s a bigger room that’s more suitable for a family for example.
You’ll obviously sleep in futon beds which are very comfortable and could even be beneficial for your back. You’ll also find Matcha and Japanese tea-making supplies:
Yukata dresses will be at your disposal. They are traditional Japanese garment, something like dressing gowns worn after a bath or simply indoors. Speaking of baths, here’s what Homeikan baths look like:
Homeikan Japanese baths are in the bottom floor and of course, there’s one for men and one for women. You’ll come across a first room with a lot of baskets where you can put your clothes and your yukata. You can then access the bathroom, in your birthday suit, just to be clear.
You’ll have to shower before getting inside the bath.
It was a little too hot for me but you can adjust the temperature to your liking by adding cold tap water.
Don’t worry, this is just me teasing you before bathtime! :p
Last but not least, you’ll get to taste this delicious Wachoshoku, a traditional Japanese breakfast that will be directly delivered to your room!
Let’s top it off with this short video of my stay in Homeikan Ryokan Tokyo.
If you liked the Homeikan, you can book a room online on this website: Homeikan Ryokan Tokyo.
That’s it for this Ryokan Tokyo Top 5 guys! I hope you liked this blog post and that it will help you choose the most convenient ryokan in the Japanese capital. If you have any suggestions or questions, please leave them in the comment section below!
Talk to you all very soon,
PS: For more traditional inns in other cities, feel free to check out our Ryokan Collection.