An Exclusive Experience
People often visit ryokan for its peaceful and comfortable atmosphere. Ryokan often take great pride in their beautiful gardens, arts, baths and other common areas for their guests to enjoy. Be sure to take advantage of the various facilities during your stay.
One of the most popular things to do at a ryokan is to indulge yourself in a hot bath. Usually the ryokan’s baths are supplied by a hot spring (onsen), although ryokan tend to have nice large baths even if they are not supplied by a hot spring. For more information on Japanese baths, see our page on how to take a bath.
At a Japanese ryokan, one of the highlights is dining on “kaiseki” (a traditional, multi-course dinner). Indeed, many Japanese think of a ryokan as a place to dine on “kaiseki” rather than as a type of accommodation. What exactly is kaiseki? The term “kaiseki” means hot stone in a kimono fold, and it is believed that Zen priests would tuck hot stones wrapped in towels next to their stomach to cure their hunger pangs during their morning and afternoon prayers (the term “kai” means a fold in a kimono and “seki” means stone). In this way it was believed that only a small amount of kaiseki would be enough to take away your hunger. Originally, kaiseki was a simple, vegetarian meal served during the traditional tea ceremony. It was thought the tea would taste better if the guests were not so hungry. Today kaiseki is no longer a strictly vegetarian meal but may also include both meat and fish. One kaiseki dinner can consist of anywhere from 6 to 15 different kinds of food.
After a nice hot bath, many travelers enjoy taking a walk around the ryokan’s garden or neighborhood. In some traditional onsen resorts, such as Kusatsu, Dogo, Shibu, Kinosaki or on Miyajima, it is a common sight in the evenings to see ryokan guests strolling around town in their Yukata and Geta (wooden sandals) enjoying a walk.
However some larger ryokan will be accommodating groups and events. They often include additional restaurants, bars, karaoke rooms, kids rooms, shows and shops on their premises.
The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.
It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...
Years after years we have selected the best specialists about Japan. They have at least lived a minimum of 10 years in the country. They are here to answer all your questions and to make your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training & teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Noriko was born in Nagoya. During her childhood she moved around Japan following her father’s office transfer. She especially liked her time in Shizuoka, facing Mt Fuji. She now lives in Minoo (in the suburb of Osaka). Noriko graduated from Hiroshima university. She’s been to Malaysia, Thailand and Europe (Germany and Bulgaria). Her hobbies are hiking, reading and surfing.
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