Introduction to Ryokan
Ryokan are a traditional style Japanese Inn, some of which have been operating for more than 100 years.
A Ryokan provides rooms with tatami mats and sliding paper doors with futon style beds on the floor, indoor and, often, outdoor hot springs and a multi-course Japanese meal.
Ryokan are a popular type of accommodation throughout Japan that are famous for their exemplary hospitality and attention to detail to ensure visitors feel completely relaxed and rested – a concept that is known as ‘Omotenashi’ service.
Some Popular Ryokan Destinations in Izu
A good way to think of Ryokan is as a place to experience an exceptional full-course Japanese ‘Kaiseki’ meal at a restaurant where guests are able to spend the night and soak away their worries in a healing hot spring.
It is a slightly different concept to that of a traditional Western hotel and for many first time visitors it can be a little bit difficult to fully understand – it may take a few visits to truly understand how much of an outstanding experience it is.
Things to do & See
MEALS - JAPANESE KAISEKI
Typically Ryokan offers kaiseki ryori (a traditional Japanese multi-course meal) with hot green tea.
The course will present a selection of food from the surrounding region.
At most Japanese ryokan a night's stay will include 2 meals - dinner is typically a traditional Japanese multi-course meal normally made up of 9 courses that is prepared by the chef from local, seasonal ingredients.
ROOMS - TATAMI & SHOJI
Ryokan in Japan generally provides a room with tatami flooring and a futon mattress - for some visitors to Japan sleeping on the floor may be a new experience.
Traditional ryokan rooms also normally include Japanese paper shoji sliding doors and a small table with cushions where you can enjoy traditional green tea.
ONSEN - HOT SPRING
Ryokan rooms will not typically have a shower or a bath as the whole experience centers around the onsen hot spring located on the premises.
After you enjoy a relaxing onsen bath you can lounge in the large, open communal space in the traditional Japanese Yukata provided and enjoy a refreshment.
Wherever you choose to stay there will be a male and female onsen available.
In some cases, the Ryokan will rotate the onsen hours of use for males and females.