accommodation in japan

Accommodation in Japan

In addition to western style hotels the traveler in Japan has a variety of choices for accommodation.-

Ryokan
There are over eighty thousand ryokan (traditional inns) in Japan.  There is drastic variation in price from one ryokan to the next.  The main factor is how famous the ryokan is.  Although ryokans in Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, and other larger cities offer very nice stays, there are also many fantastic ryokan in the countrysides.  The natural surroundings and charm of these inns   can create a very warm and relaxing atmosphere for guests to enjoy.

In a ryokan, it is common practice to serve guests green tea as well as breakfast and dinner in their rooms.  The maid, who serves these meals, is usually dressed in a yukata (cotton traditional kimono).  One of the essential ryokan experiences is the communal bath.  

Minshuku
Minshuku are ryokan.  However, they are more modest.  They are also generally cheaper and include less attentive service.  Guests must put out their own bedding and clean their own rooms.  Many minshuku are just family homes that are being run as guesthouses for extra money, similar to American bed and breakfasts.  This means that it is usual for minshuku guests to adhere to early curfews and be careful to respect the other residents.  In return, the hosts will be very kind.   

Youth Hostels
Although youth hostels are not nearly as abundant in Japan as they are in other countries, they can easily be found around scenic sites, like Buddhist temples, and in the large cities.  Travelers can save money by presenting JYHA or IVHF cards.  Prices are similar to those of hostels that can be found in the west.  These are dormitory-style lodgings that offer community facilities and enforce strict curfews.  Hostels are cheap and offer opportunities to meet interesting fellow travelers.   

Capsule Hotels
Capsule hotels are a prime example of how the Japanese have learnt to use limited space efficiently.  They are usually located close to railway stations and cost about four thousand yen per night.  Guests get enough room for to lie down and maybe sit up.  The fibre-glass interiors of the capsules are equipped with built-in televisions.  These hotels are mostly for men and few admit women.

If you are planning a trip to Japan a stay at a countryside ryokan could be a nice break from life in the city.