A Ryokan is a high-end traditional Japanese inn. You can spend a night in a Japanese-style room and sleep on a futon on a tatami, relax in hot baths, enjoy a Kaiseki dinner and a typical Japanese breakfast. This is a unique experience that can only be experienced in Japan. It is advisable to book well in advance as the Japanese rush to do so as soon as they have a little free time. It is an experience that you must live!
The term Ryokan is often translated as ‘traditional hostel’, so many people think that it is cheaper to spend the night in a ryokan than in a hotel, but this is absolutely false. There is a whole service that colors your stay.
Here are some rules to follow when staying overnight in a ryokan
If you are spending the night in a ryokan for the first time, you need to know some codes to respect.
At the arrived
When you arrive at the Ryokan, you are often asked to remove your shoes at the entrance and to take the slippers that are available to you for your movements inside. Your shoes will be placed in a closet by the Ryokan staff.
If you want to walk around Ryokan, you can wear Ryokan shoes (wooden flip flops).
In his bedroom
After checking in, follow the hostess to your room.
When you get to your room, take off your slippers as it is forbidden to walk on the tatami (made of rice straw) with your slippers on.
In your room, you will find an undergarment, the yukata (cotton kimono) at your disposal. You can walk around the Ryokan in Yukata and if it is cold, you can wear the Tanzen (jacket for yukatas) which will also be provided to you at the Ryokan.
Japanese bath or Onsen
Many Ryokans have shared baths, often the Onsen, which is a thermal bath.
The Japanese usually bathe before dinner. Take the towels that are in your room and when you get to the common bathroom, take off your clothes and store them in the locker room. Bathing in a bathing suit is prohibited.
Before entering the bathtub, you must wash thoroughly in the shower. There are soap, shampoo and other products available for this. The bathroom serves to relax and therefore the water is very hot: over 40 degrees.
Dinner and futon to sleep
Dinner will be served by your room manager. After dinner, the manager will return to clean the tray and prepare the Futon.
Dinner is often served in the dining room. While you have dinner, the manager will go to your room to prepare the bed and futon. In this case, we advise you to put your things in a corner.
Do not forget to confirm the time of your breakfast and your departure (normally at 10 in the morning).