Explore Japan on foot
Ryokan are Japanese inns offering Japanese-style rooms. There are many different types and styles of ryokans and their quality can vary greatly according to the price. Many offer full course traditional dinner and breakfast. Ryokan can be found in also most areas in Japan, including in the heart of large cities as well as in the remote countryside.
A minshuku is usually a small, wooden, Japanese-style building. The building is generally not very big, and the rooms are Japanese-style but not as large as the rooms in Japanese ryokans. While the building and rooms are usually clean and comfortable, the rooms and hallways are sometimes dark and a bit drafty. A minshuku tries to project a “homey” atmosphere and guests are served home-style Japanese cooking. Minshukus are generally inexpensive and the owners pride themselves on their friendly, personalized service.
Stay in a renovated Japanese home located in a neighborhood in Kyoto or Kanazawa and feel like a native. Your machiya townhouse is only rented out to one group at a time so you will have the entire house to yourself or your group. This is a great way to relax and feel Japanese culture.
A great way to experience traditional Japanese culture is by staying at a shukubo, a Buddhist Temple lodging. While the style of accommodation can sometimes be very basic the cuisine is often very good. The temple monks serve vegetarian meals known as shojin ryori, and at most temples guests are welcome to attend the early morning prayer ceremonies.
Staying at a Japanese home is probably the best way to meet and get to know the Japanese people and learn about the local culture. At a Japanese home, guests have the chance to eat home cooked Japanese food, discover the local culture, and interact with the local people. Your room may be Japanese or Western Style.
There are two main kinds of Western Style hotels in Japan: business hotels and regular western-style hotels. Regular Western-style hotels are similar to hotels found in most Western countries while business hotels cater to business people who are traveling and simply need basic accommodation.