Nowadays it is so common to go to Japan and stay in a hotel and then go around trying to learn about the country and its people. How about staying in an authentic Japanese inn called a ryokan?
These were started in the Edo period (1603-1868) when Japanese travelers stayed in ryokan (inns) built along the highways. A typical ryokan has rami-matted rooms and communal baths. Visitors can wear a yukata and talk with the owner while lounging in the public areas.
Today they are usually located in scenic areas in the mountains or beside the sea. They are expensive compared to hotels so you don’t see many in the cities. The local Japanese are now using hotels for urban tourism. You would definitely find a stay in a ryokan an experience in itself.
While some ryokan have been modernized there is a resort chain that redeveloped the ryokan to their original style. Hoshino Resorts has several locations that cater to a variety of tastes.
Their flagship resorts are the Hoshinoya resorts which are the ultimate in luxury. Their vision is “Discover the Ultimate Japan Experience” through Japanese resorts that are a mix of traditional Japan and contemporary style delivered with the famous Japanese hospitality.
The first ryokan they opened is a secluded mountainside hot springs resort located an hour by bullet train from Tokyo. It is in Nagano Prefecture. It is surrounded by mountains and forests where you can enjoy their hot spring baths and extensive spa treatment.
You can take a private boat ride to Hoshinoya Kyoto which is located beside a river in Arashiyama. This is an amazing place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city in Japan’s ancient capital and soak in their culture and tradition while enjoying this relaxing retreat.
This resort is in a remote island in the southern part of Japan in the Taketomi Island. It boasts of pristine white sand beaches and corals reefs.
So if you want a luxurious and cultural experience try the Hoshinoya resorts. You won’t be disappointed!
・112 Things to Do in Kyoto, a City of Culture, Tradition, and Breathtaking Beauty, in 2018
・30 Modern Hotels and Traditional Ryokans in Kyoto for a Gorgeous Stay in 2018
・Relax and Enjoy Nature at Beautiful Bosenkan Ryokan, Gifu