Nestled on the northern shore of Kyushu, Fukuoka is both a prefecture, and the capital city of the same prefecture the same time. Fukuoka city boasts diversity, culture, and cuisine, while the wider area of the prefecture has silent and serene landscapes, making it a perfect environment for the several ryokans located in the prefecture.

For individuals and couples looking to enjoy a ryokan-style experience—but may not have the time to venture into some of Kyushu’s more rural destinations—there are quite a few ryokans within Fukuoka city as well.

In this blog post, we share the top 9 Fukuoka Ryokans in the city as well as the prefecture; head to one of these and watch all your worries melt away!

Zen-Oyado Nishitei

zen oyado nishitei ryokan in Fukoka, Japanese style hotel

A tiny yet superb Japanese ryokan, Zen-Oyado Nishitei is an oasis of calm in the bustling Fukuoka city. On the first floor, they have an auberge restaurant serving a full-course dinner, while the second floor has 5 guest rooms. You will also enjoy Japanese breakfast—prepared by the Okami herself—in a secluded dining room with a beautiful garden view. 

Zen-Oyado is situated in an elegant house with a Zen and invigorating design. Note that this ryokan retains its traditional Japanese style and does not offer private bathrooms.

It is conveniently located close to the Hakata Station as well as Sumiyoshi Shrine (be sure to visit its elegant wooded park while you’re there). The Kego Shrine and Park are also nearby attractions to visit.

Check price and availability on TripAdvisor

Akizuki Spa Ryokan Seiryuan

Akizuki Spa Ryokan Seiryuan in Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

A luxury onsen ryokan located in the city of Asakura (just a two-hour bus ride from Hakata Station), Akizuki Spa Ryokan Seiryuan offers a blend of traditional charm and modern amenities. This ryokan is housed in a sukiyaki-style structure and has only six rooms. Each room is equipped with its own private onsen—so if a sauna experience is what you’re looking for, this is where to head.

The rooms are adorned with tatami mats and a kotatsu table. Guests can savor delectable breakfast and dinner in private rooms, with dietary preferences accommodated if communicated in advance. To enhance your experience, you can also avail the spa services offered on-site.

Check price and availability on Agoda

Daimaru Besso

Daimaru Besso Ryokan in Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

Founded in 1865, Daimaru Besso is one of the best ryokans in Fukuoka—combining world-class service with an elegant Japanese garden. This ryokan offers a total of 40 Washitsu guestrooms, spread across three main Japanese-style buildings. One building offers views of the Japenese garden, while the other two boast stunning mountainous vistas.

The guestrooms are designed with detail; you can find elegant tatami flooring and sliding Shōji paper doors (framed in maple wood). If you’re looking to unwind, slip into the ryokan’s hot spring baths for complete relaxation.

Daimaru offers plenty of modern services, including a tea lounge, an esthetic room, and even a karaoke bar. It is nestled in Chikushinoshi, right next to a mountain park with the same name. So, this ryokan is the best place to initiate your hiking adventures!

Check price and availability on TripAdvisor

Kyukamura Shikanoshima

kyukamura shikanoshima ryokan in Fukoka, Japanese style hotel

Kyukamura Shikanoshima is a sustainable ryokan within Fukuoka city. Shimomagahama Beach and Katsuma Beach are both under a kilometer away; even when in the room—you can hear the sound of waves if you listen closely! This means you can enjoy sea views and spend time on the beach as well. Additionally, there is an in-house restaurant and free private parking. 

All units are fitted with bed linens, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a fridge. Plus, there is an on-site coffee shop. During your stay, you can enjoy a pool with a view as well as a spa and wellness center. To fully relax, consider taking the yoga classes offered on-site—or perhaps enjoy a walking tour nearby. 

Check price and availability on Booking.com

Roppokan Ryokan

Roppoko Ryokan in Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

Located in Asakura, about an hour from Fukuoka City, Roppokan features an outdoor hot-spring footbath. This overlooks the surrounding nature, providing a truly rejuvenating experience. There are also indoor/outdoor hot spring baths and a sauna, as well as karaoke facilities.

The rooms feature tatami flooring, a seating area and traditional futon bedding. All rooms are air-conditioned and have attached bathrooms. The meals are prepared with seasonal ingredients (you’ll love them!), and vending machines are available for drinks. A coffee lounge and terrace give you the opportunity to take a drink, sit back, and relax.

Check price and availability on Agoda

Yamamoto Ryokan

yamamoto ryokan in Fukoka, Japanese style hotel

Located within Fukuoka city, Yamamoto Ryokan (Hakata) is a traditional city-ryokan, with Japanese-style rooms and authentic Japanese cuisine served for both breakfast and dinner.

With rooms at around ¥10,000 / night (and even ¥5,000 for solo travelers), it is one of the cheapest ryokan you will find in Fukuoka.

The rooms at Yamamoto showcase traditional tatami-mat flooring and Japanese futon bedding, complemented by amenities such as air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. Guests can avail themselves of shared bathroom facilities, internet services, and convenient laundry options.

The ryokan is merely a 1-minute walk from subway Gion station, and Canal City Hakata is a leisurely 10-minute walk away, ensuring a convenient and well-connected stay.

Check price and availability on Booking.com


Nansuikaku Ryokan in Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

Nansuikaku is located in the city of Miyawaka. This ryokan is where relaxation meets historic charm and modern sophistication. It blends traditional appeal with chic furnishings in spacious rooms, ensuring a cozy stay. 

While some rooms have a classic Japanese style, with tatami flooring and futon bedding, those renovated in 2015 offer Western-style with raised beds.

Nansuikaku also boasts several indoor/outdoor hot spring baths and a massage salon—whether you fancy a soak in the various outdoor and indoor hot spring baths or a massage to unwind, Nansuikaku has got you covered. And in case you rent a car while traveling across Japan, parking is on the house, too.

Check price and availability on Booking.com

Kominka Neri

Kominka Neri ryokan in Fukoka, Japanese style hotel

Kominka Neri is a sustainable retreat situated in Miyawaka. Located under 15 kilometers from the Azenomachi Ehon Museum and Ino Tensho Kotai Jingu Shrine, this ryokan allows you to venture out to these nearby attractions and enjoy the city to the maximum.

An in-house restaurant, complimentary private parking and free WiFi are offered. Each unit at Kominka Neri comes complete with a private bathroom and bath, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and a fridge. Nestled in a geothermal area, the ryokan offers easy access to nearby hot springs for a truly relaxing experience.

And for those seeking adventure, the ryokan provides opportunities for walking tours. There’s even a charming picnic area for those who prefer a day out in the open.

As for price, count around ¥50,000 / night.

Check price and availability on Booking.com

Dormy Inn Hakata Gion

Dormy Inn Hakata Gion in Fukoka, Japanese style hotel

Located just a quick 1-minute stroll from Gion Subway Station, this property is actually a hotel and not a ryokan, but offers hot spring baths, a sauna, and tatami-floored rooms (starting at ¥50,000), similar to ryokan.

The air-conditioned rooms (non-tatami rooms start at ¥20,000) at Hakata Gion Dormy Inn feature modern amenities, including an LCD TV, a refrigerator, and tea-making facilities. Complimentary nightwear and slippers add to the comfort of the stay. And as a bonus, they serve free noodles at night.

Relaxation options abound, with a spacious natural hot spring bath and massage services. The hotel also provides a free launderette, a convenience shop, and drink vending machines. Dormy Inn Hakata Gion is close to the Hakata Station—and notable attractions such as the Canal City Hakata shopping district and the Hakataza theater.

Check price and availability on Booking.com

Fukuoka, a city as well as prefecture known for its cultural heritage, cuisine, and hospitality, is also a haven for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. While the city is known for its vibrant urban life and delicious street food, it also offers a serene escape through its traditional Japanese inns, known as ‘ryokans’. And what better way is there to immerse yourself in the local traditions and unwind than by staying at a Fukuoka ryokan with private onsen? 

If you’re looking to experience the best of Japenese hospitality, keep reading as I’ll share the 6 best ryokans with private onsens in Fukuoka—both in the city and prefecture.

Akizuki Spa Ryokan Seiryuan

Akizuki Spa Ryokan Seiryuan in Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

In addition to being close to interesting attractions and dining options (and 2 hours from Hakata Station, Fukuoka’s busiest station), this ryokan is a great destination to enjoy a massage, restaurant and hot spring bath on-site. Akizuki is a famous Japanese ryokan in a sukiyaki-style house, featuring a wonderful garden and only six rooms—each of which has its own private onsen. Some rooms have a private outdoor onsen while others have indoor onsens.

The rooms have tatami mats and a table with a kotatsu. A veranda, called ‘engawa’, can also be found. They offer delicious breakfast and dinner meals in a private room (if you have allergies, make sure to let them know beforehand). And if you’re looking to make your evening all the more relaxing, consider availing the spa services offered to all guests.

Check prices and availability on Agoda

Roppokan Ryokan

Roppoko Ryokan in Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

Roppokan is situated in Asakura, and is easily accessible from Fukuoka City (almost a one-hour drive). It offers a serene spa experience with outdoor hot-spring footbaths, indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths, and a sauna. The outdoor hot-spring bath is communal and can be used free of charge (separated based on gender), while private indoor onsens can be found attached to some rooms.

The traditional Japanese rooms provide scenic views of Chikugo River. Amenities include air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and attached bathrooms. You can also enjoy massages at this ryokan (and free Wifi). The ryokan features a terrace and karaoke facilities—and there’s a souvenir shop to grab a little something before you head out. 

Dining at Roppokan showcases local cuisine prepared with seasonal ingredients. A free shuttle is available from Chikugo Yoshii Station. The ryokan is a 10-minute drive from the station, 30 minutes from Kurume City, and 50 minutes from Fukuoka Airport.

Check prices and availability on Agoda


Nansuikaku Ryokan in Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel

Located in the city of Miyawaka, Nansuikaku’s sensuous ambiance will enchant you the moment you enter. Nansuikaku takes pride in its indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, ensuring you can indulge in a soothing soak or opt for a rejuvenating massage. What’s more, each guestroom comes with private baths offering rewarding views of the surroundings. The ryokan goes the extra mile with facilities like a massage salon and entertainment options.

The rooms here are a delightful mix of traditional Japanese style, featuring tatami flooring and futon bedding. If you’re up for a more contemporary vibe, you can opt for the newly renovated ones with Western beds and a tatami seating area. All rooms come equipped with must-haves like a flat-screen TV and fridge. 

Check prices and availability on Booking.com:

Akizuki Kuoritei

Embrace yourself for a Japanese tea house-style hot spring inn that will help you reconnect with your true self. Akizuki Kuoritei is situated in Asakura, a one-hour drive from Fukuoka city. I especially love its location: away from regular touristy spots and surrounded by mountains and rivers. So, if you’re up for some beautiful rural countryside scenery and hot springs, this ryokan is where to head!

Traditional rural one-story Japanese-style villas are spread across the property—and all rooms are in their own small villa-style. The rooms are equipped with Japanese-style bedding called futon, as well as a private onsen with a rock bathtub. Although this private onsen won’t provide beautiful outdoor vistas, it has a tasteful interior. There are also large communal onsens a short walk from the rooms. 

During your stay, you can enjoy free breakfast as well as an on-site restaurant. There are plenty of amenities, including yukatas, a Japanese tea set, and a minibar. However, there’s no convenience store nearby, so you’d want to bring along all your necessities.

Check prices and availability on TripAdvisor

Daimaru Besso

Daimaru Besso Ryokan in Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

Established in 1865, Daimaru Besso blends world-class service with the beauty of an elegant Japanese garden. Daimaru spans three Japanese-style buildings—namely, the Heian-tei, Taisho-tei, and Showa-tei wings. Collectively, the ryokan accommodates guests in a total of 40 Washitsu (Japanese style) rooms.

The guestrooms feature refined tatami flooring and sliding Shōji paper doors framed in maple wood. For ultimate relaxation, guests can indulge in the ryokan’s hot spring baths. (Note that the family baths require booking for private use beforehand). Daimaru also adds modern amenities to the traditional inn, such as a tea lounge, an esthetic room, and even a karaoke bar. Nestled in Chikushinoshi, adjacent to a mountain park bearing the same name, Daimaru Besso becomes the perfect launchpad for your hiking adventures.

Check prices and availability on Booking.com

Harazuru no Mai

Harazuru no Mai Ryokan in Fukuoka, Japanese style hotel with private onsen

Harazuru no Mai is nestled along the picturesque Chikugo River in the city of Asakura. Whether it’s a river-view suite or a mixed Japanese-and-Western-style room,  every guest room in this ryokan is equipped with hot spring baths. (And because each room has its own private hot spring bath, this ryokan does not offer a public/communal option). Baggage storage, a gift shop, and Japanese meals (e.g. wagyu steak) are other amenities you can enjoy here.

During your stay, consider sampling the local dining scene, with nearby restaurants like Yakitori Honjin Farm Station Basaro Bakery just a short stroll away. Also, take time to explore historical sites, such as the Akizuki Castle Remains.

Check prices and availability on Booking.com

Final Thoughts

Whether they’re located in the beautiful countryside of Fukuoka Prefecture, or conveniently located near the vibrant Fukuoka City, these 5 ryokans will make your stay unforgettable with their private onsen and amazing rooms! From the timeless charm of Akizuki Spa Ryokan Seiryuan to the historic elegance of Daimaru Besso, each ryokan is full of history and has a unique story to tell.

But before I let you book your favorite ryokan, here are a quick few tips to consider while choosing your Fukuoka ryokan with private onsen:

  • Consider the location. Do you prefer a ryokan in the middle of nature, more difficult to access, or one near the urban city?
  • Check the variety of rooms available; some ryokans offer traditional Japanese-style rooms, while others provide more modern Western-style accommodations. My recommendation is to go with Japanese-style rooms!
  • Review the details of the private onsen. Is it an indoor bath, outdoor bath, or both? Some ryokans have specific rooms with a private onsen, while others may have communal baths that can be reserved for private use.
  • Establish your budget and look for ryokans that align with it. In general, rooms with private onsen have a relatively high price.
  • Book ahead of time – some ryokan can be REALLY popular -, and be sure to communicate any dietary restrictions beforehand.

Good luck with choosing your ryokan, there are only good choices!

Finally, you got the chance to visit Nara. But now you’re wondering where you should stay. No worries, I’ve got you covered here with the best ryokans in Nara!

Nara, the historic charm of Japan, features a plethora of attractions to lure the history buffs. And attractions aside, its diversity of accommodation options is also worth mentioning. Here, you get to book lavish hotels, alluring waterfront accommodations, and more. But the highlight remains the Nara ryokans, as touring Japan and not enjoying the experience of ryokan is something you will regret for the rest of your life, especially in a city as culturally rich as Nara!

If you think the same and want to learn about the best ryokan to book in Nara and near Nara, this guide is for you. We’ll dive deeper into the 10 best ryokan in Nara, exploring the key details of each to help you make an informed decision. Let’s dive in!


Rating: 4.4

Price: $130-150

Official Website: https://www.asukasou.com/english/

Book On: Booking.com

First on the list is Asukasou! Nestled in the heart of a Japanese city, Asukasou is a traditional Japanese-style inn. It’s located just an 18-minute walk from JR Nara station and offers both the typical Japanese futons and Western beds.

The highlights of the rooms include the Tatami mats, exotic wooden furnishing, and the traditional shoji sliding doors, adding a touch of Japanese vibe. And amenities here are worth drooling over. You get to pamper yourself when enjoying massage services, diving into the on-site public baths, or enjoying the privacy in the exclusive family bath.

The best part? At Asukasou, you can dip your hands in a mouthwatering multi-course kaiseki dinner by booking a Japanese-style guest room. But that’s not all!

This ryokan is situated near the top tourist attractions, including the utterly famed Nara Park, where you get to play with Japanese deer and explore the well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage site, Kofukuji Temple! Other attractions can be easily accessed via transportation facilities accessible in close proximity.

What Guests Have to Say?

“It was really fin staying here, especially the public bath on rooftop was worth it. We booked a tatami-room and it was way to expansive than we thought with a scenic garden view – all what we needed for a perfect stay!”

View more on TripAdvisor

Tsukihitei Nara

Rating: 4.5

Price: $150-180

Official Website: http://www.nara-ryoutei.com/tsukihitei/en/

Book On: Booking.com

If you want to enjoy your Nara tour when staying close to nature, I’d suggest booking this ryokan right away! Located in the Kasugayama Primeval Forest, Tsukihitei is just 400 meters away from the renowned attraction, Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Other close attractions, including Todaiji Temple and the JR Nara Train Station and Kintetsu Nara Train Station, are also a 10-minute drive away, offering you easy access to the city landmarks.

Coming to the rooms, each of them is well-adorned with traditional Japanese theme styling. You get to enjoy futon bedding, shoji screens, woven-straw floors, and, in short, all that you have to see and cherish in that charming Doraemon house.

Other amenities include en suite bathrooms, a refrigerator, a hair dryer, and all the amenities one could wish to get. Including amenities the ryokan included for women customers: milky lotion, cleaning milk, facial lotion, and make-up remover.

It doesn’t end at this; the food here offers another level of experience. From Japanese-style breakfast to the set meal course dinner, you will drool over both meals.

What Guests Loved the Most?

“We booked Sakura, the largest bedroom in the ryokan and let me admit it was just amazing. We got excellent amenities and everything from hospitality to room service contributed to making our staying experience worthwhile.”

Mikasa Hotel Nara

Rating: 3

Price: $90-100

Official Website: http://www.naramikasa.com/lg_en/

Book On: Booking.com

If you are someone who always enjoys excellent views, I’m sure Mikasa Hotel Nara is the ryokan that you should consider booking. The beautiful building of the ryokan stands on Mt. Wakakusa’s slopes. From here, you can overview the entire city of Nara at a scenic glance. Moreover, it has easy access to the popular city highlights, including Kyoto and other major cities, such as Osaka.

Offered room types are three: Rooms with Open-air Batch, Rooms with a View, and Standard Rooms. You can enjoy ceramic open-air batches, a private cypress, and a well-set terrace with seating. Amenities are toilet utilities, yukatas, and bath robes. Besides rooms, Mikasa has got two bathhouses: Tempyo no Yu and Komyo no Yu.

Coming to the cuisine, we have multiple options here. For the main dinner, you get to enjoy a course of kaiseki-ryori meal, Iga Beef, Hotpot Cooking, and more such Japanese dishes.

What Guest Loved the Most?

“I have experienced living in multiple accommodation, as I visit Japan often. But Mikasa was something that hit me differently. Their delish menu, amazing facilities at bathhouses and worth mentioning guest room amenities were the reasons why.”

Kotonoyado Musashino

Rating: 4.7

Price: $300-400

Official Website: https://www.kotonoyado.com/

Book On: Booking.com

Next, we have one of the most historic ryokans of Nara, Kotonoyado Musashino! On stepping inside, you will feel like you are time traveling back into ancient Japan. Every detail, from the thoughtful decor and wooden flooring to the tatami mats, will add to make your stay even more enjoyable.

What sets it apart from other ryokans is the welcoming greeting by the well-trained staff and the welcoming tea service and floral arrangements that are enough to give you insights into how amazing time you will spend there. After that, you will be given Yukata, traditional Japanese clothing, to put on before entering the exotic guest room.

Other highlights are the public and private onsen with amazing amenities. These are where you can relax for a while while getting rid of all life worries that are stressing you out. The cuisine of this ryokan features delectable delicacies that ensure a fine dining experience. This ryokan is located near the Todaiji bell, so you can hear it ringing when enjoying the stunning sunset views. Just imagine how alluring it would be!

What Guests Have to Say?

Their services are unexpected, especially the Kimono services for women and the cuisine is also delectable.”

Ando Hotel Nara Wakakusayama

Rating: 4.2

Price: $200-210

Official Website: https://andohotelnara.com/en/

Book On: Booking.com

Another spot with one of the three most picturesque night views of the entire city, Nara! The beautiful landscape of the Ando Hotel blends perfectly with the Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple, and Mt.Wakakusayama.

Regarding the room types, we have multiple options: twin bedrooms, double bedrooms, suites, and even family rooms. Each room features a 50-inch LED, a minibar, and picture-perfect views. The bath experience is also unforgettable, with the rooftop baths and public paths.

Ando Hotel also offers unique experiences for their guests, including Night Sky Tours, Fishing, Firewood Chopping, and Bonfires. Lastly, ryokan’s cuisine revolves around a mixture of traditional delicacies with a modern twist.

What Guests Loved About This Place?

“I am always behind night views and delish cuisine and this ryokan served me the best of both things. I highly recommend Ado Hotel for your Nara adventures!”

Wakasa Bettei

Rating: 4.2

Price: $200-250

Official Website: https://wakasa-bettei.com/lg_en/

Book On: Booking.com

Just a 10-minute walk from the north side of Kintetsu Nara Station, you come across a spectacular ryokan building adorned with the name Wakasa Bettei. In total, there are 12 guest rooms with attached baths. Depending on the room you choose, you can also get semi-open-air baths, open-air baths, and even baths made from hinoki cypress.

Out of all the things, this Nara ryokan has private onsen features; the best part is the fourth floor, where you can enjoy picture-perfect vistas of the Great Buddha Hall and Mount Wakakusayama.

Moreover, the meal here is also well-loved by the guests. It’s actually a Yamato Kaiseki meal that’s served in private or semi-private rooms as per your instructions. Everything about the meal is amazing, be it the delectable taste, or the tempting presentation.

Nearby highlights include the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art, government landmarks, and Todai-ji Temple.

What Guests Have to Say?

“The best thing about my stay here is the hospitality that I found appreciable. Their meals were also drool-worthy. The batch experience, I haven’t enjoyed such a calming time anywhere else. It was worth the money for sure.”

Kasuga Hotel

Rating: 4.2

Location: 630-8213 Nara, Nara, Noborioji-cho 40 , Japan

Price: $200-300

Official Website: https://www.kasuga-hotel.co.jp/en/

Book On: Booking.com

Here we have another one of best ryokan in Nara, the Kasuga Hotel. It’s nestled in the beautiful city of Nara within walking distance from Kintetsu Nara Station.

Kasuga Hotel offers different accommodation options for guests: a standard Room with authentic Japanese accommodation vibes, a Japanese-style room with an open-air bath featuring a cozy and expansive atmosphere, and lastly, a Japanese-style and Western-style room with an open-air bath. In the third category, rooms, you can choose between tatami mat or western bedding.

Here, you get to enjoy two different bath adventures: an open-air bath with picturesque landscape views and a public bath with an open-air bath and waterfall-like baths.

Kasuga Hotel is located at the city’s most convenient place. From here, you can access both the inter and intra-city attractions with ultimate ease.

What Guests Have to Say About It?

“Overall we enjoyed staying here. What my partner loved the most was the quick responsive room service and the authentic Kaiseki Cuisine meal they offered us.”

Sarusawaike Yoshidaya

Rating: 4.1

Price: $250-300

Official Website: https://www.nara-yoshidaya.co.jp/lp/reserve_en/

Book On: Booking.com

Facing the Sarusawa-like Pond, Sarusawaike Yoshidaya can be your go-to ryokan in Japan if you love waterfront views. This place is where modern and ancient Japanese living styles got mixed up. Some rooms boast wooden flooring, and others the tatami one. The bedding is also Western style, with some beds being lowered to add a welcome twist.

Each room features a private bathroom with a plethora of amenities, including futons, wall paintings, and more. The Japanese cuisine delicacies they serve are prepared especially with the seasonal spices and tempting presentation. However, the menu is specific for each room type.

The attractions in proximity include all the renowned sites of the city within just 20 minutes walking distance. To name a few, we have Kohfukuji Temple, Tōdaiji Temple, and Kasugataisha Shrine.

What Guests Loved About This Place?

“This ryokan is at ideal location, perfect for sightseeing, their staff was super attentive, rooms were spacious, and the food was also excellent.”


Rating: 4.6

Price: $180-190

Official Website: https://tubakisou.net/about-tsubakiso_2.html

Book On: Booking.com

Built back in the 1930s, Tsubakiso is a historic ryokan located near Todaiji temple, Nara Park, and Kasuga Shrine. Moreover, the Kintetsu Nara station is only 5 minutes away. In short, this ryokan is at a prime location with convenient access to popular attractions.

Accommodation options on offer are twin rooms and apartments. Rooms here are pretty expansive, with a focus on each and every detail. The main highlights are the futon bedding, tatami flooring, LCD, air humidifier, a low table with floor cushions, and more.

The best part about this ryokan is the owner-made breakfast. Either Japanese style or Western, the breakfast delicacies cooked with love and perfection will surely leave you licking your fingers.

What Guests Have to Say?

“Overall stay was worth it. We loved the breakfast owner cooked for us and enjoying our breakfast with stunning views used to be the must activity in the morning.”

Ryokan Kosen Kazeya Group

Rating: 3.7

Price: $70-100

Official Website: https://www.ryokan.com.hk/h otel/jp/ryokan-kosen.en-gb.html

Book On: Booking.com

Last but not the least. If you are looking for a ryokan on a budget, I recommend checking out this one! It’s located just a 6-minute walk from the famed Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Kosen offers three room types: Twin Room, Quadruple, and Triple Room, with LCD TV, private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and more.

It also features a hot public bath where you can have fun relaxing and chatting with other guests. Coming to the meals, every day, a set-menu Japanese-style breakfast is served either in your guest room or dining room.

Nearby attractions are the Kofukuji Shrine, Nara National Museum, Todaiji Temple, and Isuien Garden.

What Guest Love the Most About This Ryokan?

“It’s hard to mention only a few things, as my stay was overall amazing. I enjoyed dipping in the hot baths, enjoying delish breakfast, and the room service is also excellent with polite staff members.”

Nagano is known for its snowy mountains, rural Japanese villages, and natural scenery. Nestled somewhere within these picturesque landscapes is a collection of traditional Japanese inns—known as ‘ryokans’—perfect for a serene escape! What sets these ryokans apart are their exclusive private onsens, allowing guests to rejuvenate with an intimate experience.

If you’re heading to Nagano and can’t figure out where to stay—and are seeking a truly immersive experience—you’ve landed the right spot! In this blog post, I list the top 10 Nagano ryokans with private onsen that will provide you with a stay you’ll reminisce about for years to come.

Wafu no Yado Masuya | View on Booking.com

Featuring beautiful Japanese-style rooms, Wafu-no-Yado MASUYA is a clean and contemporary ryokan in Yamanouchi awaiting your arrival. It features private (in-room) onsens, semi-open air, made of Japanese cypress wood, as well as private outdoor hot spring baths.

Here, you can book spacious rooms with Japanese-style futons or twin Western-style beds complemented by tatami-mat flooring. As a part of your stay, you can devour Asian breakfast and multi-course dinner meals served in private dining rooms. 

Masuya offers a sauna room as well as a powder room. Women can choose from 50 colorful light Japanese robes, called yukatas, and can also participate in a flower-pressing cultural activity—a speciality of this ryokan’s proprietress.

Needless to say, Masuya is famous among women for all its feminine touches!

Hotel Saginoyu | View on TripAdvisor

Embrace lakeside luxury at Hotel Saginoyu, a century-old onsen ryokan situated on the bank of Lake Suwa. Seven of its 49 guest rooms have their own private open-air hot spring baths, where you can let your worries melt away in a secluded paradise. Guests can also enjoy the onsen coming from the ryokan’s own spring source at its public open-air baths.

The ryokan offers a range of facilities, including a gallery of Japanese-style paintings as well as a courtyard with footbath. Tip: If you don’t prefer your room to be filled with light in the morning, request an east-facing room as the windows don’t have light-blocking curtains.

Matsumoto Jujo | View on Booking.com

Journey to the historic Matsumoto and discover the elegance of Matsumoto Jujo, offering both Japanese and Western-style accommodation areas. From an inner courtyard view to mountain and garden vistas, there’s plenty to marvel at.

There are indoor/outdoor hot-spring baths that can be reserved for private use, excellent cuisines, and incredibly spacious rooms. Some guests appreciate the personalized welcome notes they receive on arrival, making them feel at home.

While you’re in the city, don’t forget to satisfy your inner history buff at the Matsumoto Castle and Matsumoto Folkcraft Museum, only a 10-minute drive away from this Nagano onsen ryokan.

Aburaya Tousen | View on Booking.com

Another Nagano onsen ryokan in Yamanouchi is Aburaya Tousen: a luxurious contemporary Japanese-style accommodation. Here, you can choose from 11 types of hot-spring baths—these are mostly outdoor onsens, and offer wrap-around mountain views you’ll absolutely love.

You can also choose between Western-style and Japanese-style rooms (with tatami-mat flooring and traditional futons). Delving into seasonal local dishes at their private dining rooms is a must—and if you’re in for a drink or two, there’s also a quaint rooftop with a bar!

At the end of the day, you can curl up around the fireplace in the lounge. Even better, treat yourself to a (reservable) massage at their “bed rock bath” sauna. 

Kose Onsen | View on Booking.com

Get lost in the verdant green depths of the national forest at the Kose Onsen Hotel. Housing natural hot-spring baths in the tranquil hills of Kose, this ryokan with private onsen offers a serene retreat. Enjoy the luxury of solitude by making a reservation to privately use the hot spring bath (free of charge). All you will hear is the rustling of trees and the gushing of river water as you immerse yourself into a hot bath.

Once done, devour seasonal dishes prepared with fresh ingredients by the hotel chef. The rooms have a seating area, TV, and electric kettle, and private bathrooms are fitted with a bath and shower as well as free toiletries.

Shimaya | View on Booking.com

A budget traveler’s pick should be Yamanouchi’s Shimaya Ryokan, which is the most affordable pick on our list. It is a family-run accommodation with four floors—and no elevator. If you have mobility issues, be sure to request a room on one of the lower floors.

Here, you can enjoy wifi, parking, essential toiletries, and yukata robes as a part of free amenities. A traditional, reservable private onsen can be enjoyed at a fraction of the price of an in-room onsen—so you can snag a relaxing experience without creating a hole in your pocket. The best part? This outdoor onsen overlooks the Nagano mountains!

A traditional kaiseki multi-course dinner as well as breakfast, served in their retro-style dining room, can be arranged at an additional fee. If you want to explore the area, Shimaya offers free transfers to the Jigokudani Monkey Park as well as tourist information pamphlets for guidance.

Sakaeya | View on Booking.com

Nestled in the center of the Shibu hot-spring area is Sakaeya—a modern traveler’s dream, and definity a splurge. If you’re willing to spend to have the ultimate experience (with a kaiseki breakfast and dinner included), this Nagano ryokan with private onsen is where to head. You will first be greeted with a complimentary sweet snack and green tea, setting you in the right mood for a memorable stay. Later, you can enjoy an on-site indoor/outdoor hot-spring bath (yukata robes are available), followed by relaxing in the lounge.

All the rooms are Western-style, fully air-conditioned, and have private bathrooms. Some special rooms with private onsens—remodeled just recently—have a modern Japanese design and sleek patio exteriors. If you’re celebrating, this Nagano onsen ryokan offers room decorations (at an added cost) and celebratory messages on dessert plates. You can also relax with a massage at the sauna or take a cold waterfall bath.

Be sure to grab a little something—reminiscent of your travels—from the souvenir shop before heading out!

Onyado Hishiya Torazo | View on Booking.com

Teleport to the Edo-era amidst the wooden interior and traditional decorations of the Onyado Hishiya Torazo. Fun fact: This Nagano ryokan with private onsen in the Shibu hot-spring area has been operating since the 1840s and has been run by 13 generations! It features two indoor onsens as well as one picturesque stone outdoor onsen that can be reserved for private use.

The rooms are air-conditioned and have shared bathrooms with private toilets. There is also a shared lounge area with a tea station. A unique experience here is making paper crafts at the Origami Gallery. And if these aren’t enough to remind you of the memorable time spent here, you can always grab some traditional items from the on-site souvenir shop.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa | View on TripAdvisor

Escape the city and take a deep breath in the picturesque town of Karuizawa. Ref: the ryokan of Hoshinoya Karuizawa, nestled in a richly forested mountain setting. Spend a day on the woodland trails and treat yourself to seasonal cuisine. Finally, enjoy spa treatments inspired by Zen precepts, and watch your worries melt away in a cypress-bath soak in the privacy of your room.

Whether you want to chill in the library or have a champagne in the evening to enjoy a nightcap, the amenities of this Nagano onsen ryokan have a little something for every type of traveler. Such luxury also equates to higher costs, though!

Hotel Housei | View on Booking.com

Traveling with a group? Hotel Housei is where to head for an in-room onsen—especially if you’re on a budget. This Nagano onsen ryokan is another one of Yamanouchi’s gems. The rooms are Japanese-style and offer beautiful mountainous vistas. The in-room onsens resemble a mini indoor public onsen, with attached showers as well as a large hot-spring fed bath for soaking.

You can enjoy free shuttle service to nearby attractions (including the Jigokudani Monkey Park), and local handicrafts can be purchased from the souvenir shop. You can also grab your favorite goodies from the vending machine and, when needed, seek assistance from the 24-hour front desk.

A lot of visitors skip ryokans. Maybe they’re not sure what they’re about, or the price seems a bit high. But let me tell you, this is a classic Japanese experience you don’t want to miss. A night in a traditional ryokan is your own slice of Japanese history and hospitality.

A ryokan is essentially a traditional Japanese inn. Think of it like a step back in time, a chance to live the same way people in Japan did centuries ago. These places have been the backbone of Japanese accommodation for hundreds of years, and staying in one is your ticket to really experiencing the heart and soul of the culture.

Entrance to a ryokan in Osaka, Japan

If tatami floors and sleeping on a futon are unknown territory for you, don’t fret. That’s why this guide is here: to give you the lowdown on what to expect, what to do, and how to enjoy every second of your ryokan stay.

So, are you ready to trade that standard hotel room for a slice of Japanese tradition? Awesome! Let’s roll out the futon, slide the shoji doors open, and step into the tranquil world of ryokans. Get ready to experience Japan in a way you’ve never done before.

What Is a Ryokan? From Ancient History to Modern Luxury

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s tackle the big question: what is a ryokan, anyway?

Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns, their roots stretching back to the Edo period, around the 1600s. These places were a haven for weary travelers, offering hot meals and a warm futon at the end of a long day’s journey. But they weren’t just pit-stops; they were also meeting places, where news and stories from across Japan would be exchanged.

So, how does a ryokan differ from your run-of-the-mill hotel? Well, think less of a Marriott, and more of a guesthouse run by your Japanese grandma. There’s an emphasis on simplicity and tranquillity, and a level of hospitality that goes above and beyond what you’d normally expect. You get to sleep on futon beds rolled out on tatami mats, eat traditional Japanese meals, and even relax in an onsen, or hot spring bath, if you’re lucky.

Different Types of Ryokan

There’s a fair bit of variety when it comes to ryokans:

  • You’ve got your city ryokans, perfect for those who want to dip their toes in the tradition without straying too far from the urban hustle and bustle. These places usually have a more modern twist, blending the traditional with the contemporary.
  • Then there are the onsen ryokans, which are often found in the countryside, near natural hot springs. These are your go-to places if you’re after a spot of relaxation, with communal or private baths fed by the thermal waters.
  • And finally, there are the countryside ryokans, for those really wanting to escape the city noise. These places are often found in small towns or rural areas, surrounded by nature, and offer an experience that’s as traditional as it gets.

Each type of ryokan has its charm, and there’s one to suit just about every traveler. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a relaxation seeker, or someone who just wants to try something different, there’s a ryokan out there for you.

Navigating The Choices: How to Pick Your Perfect Ryokan

Alright, now that you’re on board with the whole ryokan experience, let’s chat about how to pick the right one for you. With a myriad of options available, it can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but don’t worry – I’ve got your back.

  1. Location, Location, Location:
    It’s an old real estate saying, but it holds true for ryokans, too. Want to wake up to the sounds of nature in the countryside or prefer the bright lights of the city? Your preference will dictate the type of ryokan you should be considering.
  2. Pricetag:
    Ryokans range from budget-friendly to wallet-busting luxury. Set your budget before you start looking. Remember, most ryokans include two meals (breakfast and dinner) in their price, so factor that in when comparing costs.
  3. Amenities:
    Some ryokans are traditional in every sense, offering the bare essentials, while others are more like modern hotels with free Wi-Fi, en-suite bathrooms, and TV. Make a list of what’s non-negotiable for you.
  4. Mealtime:
    The food at a ryokan is often a highlight. You can usually expect a multi-course dinner and a Japanese-style breakfast. Some places offer the choice between Western and Japanese breakfasts.
  5. Onsen Availability:
    If you’re all about those hot spring baths, make sure to choose a ryokan with onsen facilities. Not all ryokans offer this, particularly those in cities.

Room Types: Traditional vs Modern, Size Matters

In terms of rooms, you’ve got a couple of options. The most traditional rooms come with tatami mat flooring, futon beds, and a low table for meals. Then, there are more modern rooms, sometimes with Western beds and furniture, that still retain a Japanese aesthetic.

inside a tatami-floored room inside a ryokan in Gifu, Japan
Ryokan in Gifu, Japan

And size? It can vary. Some rooms are compact, perfect for solo travelers or couples, while others are more spacious, accommodating families or larger groups. Check the room size (it’s usually measured in tatami mats) before you book.

How to Find and Book a Ryokan

There are various platforms where you can find and book your ideal ryokan, from global giants like Booking.com and Expedia to Japan-focused sites like Japanican and Rakuten Travel. And yes, English is typically available on these sites, so no need to dust off your Japanese dictionary.

When booking, keep an eye on the cancellation policies. Some ryokans are strict with changes and cancellations. After all, it’s not just a place to sleep, it’s an experience, and they are preparing for your stay well in advance.

In the end, choosing a ryokan comes down to what you’re looking for in your stay. Don’t rush your choice – take your time, weigh up your options, and you’re sure to find a ryokan that feels just right for you. And remember, the aim is to enjoy the experience, not just the destination.

The Ryokan Rundown: What to Expect

Alright, you’ve chosen your ryokan – great job! Now, let’s run through what you can expect when you step foot into this unique slice of Japanese culture.

The Arrival

Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted with a bow and an “irasshaimase” (welcome). Check-in is usually at a low desk in the lobby. You’ll be asked to take off your shoes at the entrance (don’t worry, they’ll keep them safe for you), and you’ll be provided with slippers. You’re entering a different world now – embrace it.

Room with a View

Ryokan rooms typically have a minimalist charm. You’ll find tatami mat floors, shoji (sliding paper doors), and maybe a tokonoma (an alcove for displaying art). The centerpiece is a low table where meals are served if you’re dining in-room.

Arai Ryokan in Shuzenji Onsen, Izu Peninsula

In terms of the layout, your room will likely change from day to night. During the day, it’s a living space with the low table at the center. At night, while you’re at dinner, staff will transform the room, moving the table aside and setting up your futon bed on the tatami floor.

Futon 101

Speaking of futon, let’s talk bedding. This isn’t the Western-style futon you might be thinking of. A Japanese futon is a thin mattress laid out on the tatami floor, topped with a fluffy, duvet-like covering. Don’t knock it ’til you try it – many find sleeping on a futon incredibly comfortable.

Culinary Delights

One of the highlights of a ryokan stay is the food. Dinner is often kaiseki-style, a traditional multi-course meal showcasing seasonal and local ingredients. It’s a feast not just for your stomach, but your eyes too. Breakfast is typically Japanese-style with rice, fish, miso soup, and pickled veggies.

Onsen Etiquette

If your ryokan has an onsen (hot spring bath), there are a few rules to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to wash thoroughly before entering the bath – it’s a communal space, so cleanliness is important. Also, most onsens are enjoyed naked. Don’t worry, though – they’re usually segregated by gender. If you’re shy, some ryokans offer private onsens or “kashikiri” for your use.

You’re all set! A stay at a ryokan is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Just remember, it’s about embracing a different pace of life and immersing yourself in the culture. So, take it all in and enjoy every moment.

Ryokan Recommendations: Where to Immerse Yourself in Tradition

Alright, time for some name-dropping. I’ve got a handful of ryokans that I’ve either visited myself or had good buddies give them the thumbs up. Check these out for an unforgettable ryokan experience:

Tokyo: Hoshinoya Tokyo

Nestled right in the heart of the buzzing city, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a sanctuary of tranquility amidst the chaos. Its charm lies in the masterful blend of traditional ryokan ethos with a modern urban aesthetic. It’s a bit of a splurge but definitely worth every yen.

Kyoto: Tawaraya Ryokan

Step back in time at Tawaraya Ryokan, an establishment that’s been serving travelers for over 300 years. It’s renowned for impeccable service, exquisite cuisine, and a serene atmosphere. The location is a real winner too – just a short stroll from downtown Kyoto.

Hakone: Hakone Ginyu

For an onsen experience to die for, make a beeline for Hakone Ginyu. This ryokan features rooms with private open-air baths overlooking the stunning mountainous scenery of Hakone. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Kanazawa: Motoyu Ishiya

If you’re looking to explore the historic city of Kanazawa, Motoyu Ishiya is your ryokan of choice. With a homely vibe and a delightful on-site onsen, it delivers a uniquely personal and relaxing experience.

Takayama: Wanosato

Wanosato is an 160-year-old ryokan set in the picturesque countryside of Takayama. With only eight rooms, it offers an intimate experience, complete with kaiseki dinners featuring locally sourced ingredients.

So, whether you’re a city slicker or a mountain trekker, there’s a ryokan waiting for you. And remember, these are just starting points, there are countless ryokans out there, each with its own unique allure. So, get out there and discover your personal slice of traditional Japanese hospitality.

Final Words: Dive into the Ryokan Experience

There you have it, folks – the lowdown on the traditional ryokan experience in Japan. From the deeply rooted history and the types of ryokans you can find, to the finer details of etiquette and recommended spots to stay, we’ve covered the full spectrum.

Now, it’s over to you. Are you ready to swap the familiar comfort of a hotel for the charming authenticity of a ryokan? To trade in your usual vacation routine for a cultural adventure that goes beyond tourist traps? I hope so because, let me tell you, it’s a decision you won’t regret.

FAQ: Your Ryokan Questions, Answered

Still got a question mark hovering over your head? Don’t fret. Let’s tackle a few of the most common ryokan-related queries:

  1. Can I wear my yukata outside my room?
    Absolutely. Feel free to stroll around the ryokan premises in your yukata. Some people even wear them out to local festivals or to grab a bite nearby.
  2. Can vegetarians/vegans enjoy kaiseki cuisine at ryokans?
    Yes, but make sure to notify the ryokan in advance about your dietary restrictions. They can prepare a vegetarian or vegan-friendly kaiseki meal.
  3. Are tattoos allowed in onsen baths?
    In many places, tattoos are still associated with Yakuza, Japan’s organized crime syndicate, and are often not permitted in public onsen. However, many modern ryokans are relaxing these rules or provide private onsen facilities.
  4. What if I don’t speak Japanese?
    While it’s true that not all ryokan staff will be fluent in English, many ryokans in popular tourist areas are accustomed to foreign guests and can communicate effectively.
  5. Are ryokans kid-friendly?
    Definitely. Staying at a ryokan can be a great cultural experience for kids. Just bear in mind that the serene atmosphere of some ryokans might not be suitable for very young or energetic children.

The ryokan experience is all about embracing the unfamiliar. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, opening up to new ways of living, and enriching your understanding of the world. So go on, take the plunge. The world of ryokans awaits you.