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Forget your regular old hotels or quirky guest houses — staying at a ryokan is definitely the way to go when you’re traveling to Japan! Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns that have a long and fascinating history. They used to serve as roadside inns for travelers and merchants as much as hundreds of years ago! Nowadays, ryokans are still very much around and dedicated to introducing you to the authentic Japanese lifestyle.

Here we’ve compiled just 14 of the most luxurious ryokans all over Japan that you simply have to check out. From gorgeous interiors, relaxing hot springs, warm and accommodating staff, and mouth-watering meals, we guarantee that a ryokan stay will be the highlight of your trip!

1. Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei

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Kyoto has the most ryokans in the country — and for good reason! The beautiful natural landscapes and amazing selection of restaurants, museums, cafes, temples, and other establishments make Kyoto the perfect place to stay in. Our first ryokan, the Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei, will give you a memorable experience for sure.

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It’s located near a lot of popular destinations, including the gorgeous traditional temples that Kyoto is known for. If you ask, the staff is more than happy to give you some tips and recommendations for sightseeing!

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This gorgeous hotel will make you feel right at home the moment you step in. With warm wooden interiors especially in the onsen and bath areas, Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei is a great place to relax after a long day. It’s also right next door to a brewery where you can get a nice drink to top off your night!

Book It Here: Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei

2. Yoshimatsu

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Up next we have our first pick from Hakone: Yoshimatsu! Located just a short walk from Lake Ashinoko, Onshi Hakone Park, the Narukawa Museum, and so much more, Yoshimatsu is a great place to stay in because of its central location. Guests will love being able to be in so many nearby popular spots, but Yoshimatsu itself is gorgeous enough to be considered a destination on its own!

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With beautifully manicured gardens and koi ponds that will immediately send you into a peaceful state, Yoshimatsu boasts ambiance above all else. They have both private and public onsens (hot springs) where you can relax both mind and body.

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Even more, Yoshimatsu provides awesome massages for its guests! Other amenities include a fun karaoke room and a lovely zen garden.

Book It Here: Yoshimatsu

3. Hakone Kowakien Mikawaya Ryokan

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Our next pick is also from Hakone! The Hakone Kowakien Mikawaya Ryokan is almost too beautiful to recommend. The facade alone will make you feel like you’re stepping onto a royal estate. The incredible traditional architecture is further accentuated by the owner’s attention to detail — we doubt you’ll be able to find a flaw in this place!

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Hakone Kowakien Mikawaya Ryokan is also prized for its location. Here you can see jaw-dropping mountain views while you lounge and have a cup of coffee. Since it’s located in a geothermal area, there are also plenty of hot springs nearby where you can relax.

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Guests love to rave about this ryokan’s meals. The kaiseki-style dinners and breakfast sets are simply to die for. It’s the best way to try new kinds of cuisine that you may not be familiar with. On top of that, Hakone Kowakien Mikawaya Ryokan has its own coffee, shop, bar, and lounge. We could live in this ryokan forever!

Book It Here: Hakone Kowakien Mikawaya Ryokan

4. Yadoya Manjiro

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Our next pick provides the quintessential Kyoto experience. Yadoya Manjiro was built in the Sukiya-style of 1900. Literally meaning “refined,” this style of house is patterned after the aesthetics of traditional tea houses. The Sukiya style is well-known for being elegant while utilizing natural elements such as wood. Today, the Yadoya Manjiro stands as a beautiful modern example of that style. If you want to experience an authentic Japanese-style house with an air of elegance, then this ryokan is definitely for you.

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Even better, Yadoya Manjiro is located near many popular landmarks such as the famous tatami Starbucks, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and more. Located in the Ninnenzaka area, this place is known for being especially picturesque at night, when the streets begin to exude a romantic atmosphere.

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Yadoya Manjiro also prides itself on the hospitality of its staff. As soon as you arrive, the staff will greet you with a traditional tea ceremony! The inn is also conveniently located near a lot of restaurants — but if you ask us, nothing beats the traditional meals prepared by the staff! Do yourself a favor and indulge in Kyoto’s local flavors as featured in this ryokan’s breakfasts and dinners.

Book It Here: Yadoya Manjiro

Want more Japanese inns recommendations in Kyoto? Check out our collection of the best luxury Ryokans in Kyoto!

5. Aburaya Tousen

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This next ryokan takes us to the wonderful city of Nagano in the Chubu region! Aburaya Tousen is a beloved local ryokan known for providing gorgeous mountain views. What’s more, you can enjoy these views all while you relax in the outdoor hot springs! Now that is our definition of paradise.

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Aburaya Tousen is also conveniently located near the Yudanaka Station as well as the famous Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. This is where you can witness adorable snow monkeys (also known as Japanese macaques) playing around or even bathing in their own hot springs! The staff at Aburaya Tousen are so accommodating that they will take you to the park for free.

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Speaking of accommodating staff, Aburaya Tousen will welcome you with a refreshing drink, a sweet treat, as well as your choice of yukata (summer-style kimono). They will go above and beyond to make sure every guest feels as comfortable as possible. Aside from free shuttles to the monkey park, Aburaya Tousen staff can also take you to the nearby station for your travels!

Book It Here: Aburaya Tousen

6. Yorozuya

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Also located in the Nagano area, Yorozuya is yet another ryokan you simply can’t miss. This ryokan’s pride and joy is its variety of onsens. Each hot spring bath is beautiful and will definitely help you relax your mind and body after a long tiring day. Yorozuya’s showstopper is its Momoyama-buro bath. Registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property, this gigantic outdoor bath is set in a beautiful Japanese-style garden. Trust us, you won’t want to miss this experience!

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Yorozuya is a luxury ryokan that features plenty of one-of-a-kind antiques as well as showcasing exquisite artworks done by local artists. Despite its grandiosity, Yorozuya never misses adding a personal touch to their design and services — as seen in the illustrated menus as well as the complementary matcha drinks the staff will serve you upon arrival.

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Speaking of meals, Yorozuya offers a 7-course dinner that is chock-full of delicious dishes representing Northern Nagano. With fresh seasonal ingredients and beautiful presentations, guests are known to come back to this ryokan simply for the meals they serve. Aside from dinner, they also serve breakfast that is equally as delicious and filling.

Book It Here: Yorozuya

7. Yufudake Ichibo no Yado Kirara

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Up next we have our first pick from the city of Yufu in Japan’s Kyushu region! This place is known for having incredible natural scenery that is beautiful all year round — from lush towering mountains to beautiful natural parks. With such an appeal, it’s no wonder Yufu also has some incredible ryokans aiming to maximize the beauty of the place, including Yufudake Ichibo no Yado Kirara!

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Here, you can get a jaw-dropping view of Mt. Yufu straight from your bedroom. If you want a bit of personal space or if you just want to savor this gorgeous view, you can also opt to skip the communal bath and relax in your own private onsen instead. The amazing natural scenery of Yufu pairs perfectly with Yufudake Ichibo no Yado Kirara’s classic interiors.

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If you’re planning on staying here, you also cannot miss sampling the food. The staff uses only the freshest cuts for their seasonal sashimi. Even if you’ve tried sashimi before, we guarantee it will taste even better when prepared fresh by skilled Japanese chefs right here in this ryokan. They also have a variety of different Japanese liquors to pair well with your meals!

Book It Here: Yufudake Ichibo no Yado Kirara

8. Yawaragi-no-Sato Yadoya

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Our last pick from Yufu is the romantic Yararagi-no-Sato Yadoya! This quaint ryokan boasts everything you could ever need to have a comfortable — and memorable — stay. Located only a short walk from the picturesque Yu-no-Tsubo road, the main shopping streets, as well as the Yufuin JR train station, Yawaragi-no-Sato Yadoya is a convenient place to stay if you want to explore the city.

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This ryokan is also perfect for the whole family! They have wide spacious bedrooms as well as a variety of different amenities for each family member to enjoy. Kids particularly like the library, where you can have a relaxing and quiet time being surrounded by great works of literature.

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At Yawaragi-no-Sato Yadoya, their breakfasts and dinners are centered around the local specialty: Bungo beef! This special kind of beef is the pride and joy of the Oita prefecture. It’s a kind of Wagyu known for being especially tender due to its incredible marbling. At Yawaragi-no-Sato Yadoya, the accommodating staff will make sure you get to enjoy every aspect of staying in Yufu!

Book It Here: Yawaragi-no-Sato Yadoya

You May Also Like: The 12 Best Ryokans In Yufuin Onsen Town

9. Oyado Koto No Yume

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Now we’re heading to Takayama City in the Gifu Prefecture of the Chubu Region! Oyado Koto No Yume is one of the most beloved ryokans in this area — and for good reason. Because ryokans love to utilize the specific area’s natural beauty — especially the hot springs — they are often located deep into the countryside.

While that is all well and good, it could also prove to be a bit inconvenient for travelers who still want to stay close to the city. Lucky for you, there are ryokans that aim to please travelers just like that! Oyado Koto No Yume is located just a mere 2-minute walk from the Takayama Station.

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Their traditional Japanese-style rooms are reimagined with a warm modern touch. They have relaxing onsen baths as well as a restaurant serving delectable breakfast. Because of its quality of service, Oyado Koto No Yume is even included in the prestigious Michelin Green Guide of Japan!

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Oyado Koto No Yume is practically the perfect place to stay if you want to explore the sights of Takayama. After a long day of sightseeing, you will be glad to come home to this hotel’s comfortable interior as well as their special tea ceremonies in the evenings.

Book It Here: Oyado Koto No Yume

10. Takayama Ouan

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In Takayama City, you also shouldn’t miss visiting Tayama Ouan. It was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor back in 2014, which should be enough proof that this ryokan doesn’t play when it comes to hospitality and service! Takayama Ouan has your choice of public or private baths — perfect for those who want to relax away from the presence of other people. This ryokan’s private family baths also boast incredible mountain views that will have you feeling rejuvenated in no time.

You May Also Like: The 12 Best Ryokans In Japan With Private Onsen

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You will feel transported back in time as soon as you step through its doorsteps. The charming traditional interior will make you feel right at home. With warm and welcoming owners, it’s no wonder Takayama Ouan’s guests are known for going back to this place over and over again.

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What we love most about Takayama Ouan is its variety of amenities. Aside from the onsens, they also have a beauty salon where you can get pampered, get a fun makeover, or even relax under the skilled hands of trained masseuses. This ryokan is also known for its restaurant that serves local specialties, especially the region’s tender beef.

Breakfasts are served buffet-style, with over 60 kinds of dishes to choose from! If that’s not enough, Takayama Ouan also offers free sake, liquor, tea, Yakult, and more. From 10:30 – 11:30 PM, guests can also enjoy their own late-night bowl of ramen noodles — for free!

Book It Here: Takayama Ouan

11. Ryokan Tanabe

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Our last Takayama pick definitely won’t disappoint. Among all the ryokans on this list, Ryokan Tanabe perhaps boasts the most history. While it was founded over 90 years ago, its authentic Hida Takayama-style architecture will draw you in and make you feel like you’ve stepped into centuries past. With latticed windows and warm lighting, Ryokan Tanabe definitely looks the part of a building that rightfully belongs at the center of the Takayama Historic District.

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Known for being a convenient base for sightseeing adventures, Ryokan Tanabe is located near the train and bus stations, as well as some city staples like the Old Town and morning market. Guests can enjoy the various amenities found at this luxury ryokans, including onsens made of cypress wood as well as beautiful Japanese-style rooms.

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Here you can also enjoy a massage upon request! The Ryokan Tanabe staff will go above and beyond to make sure you feel as pampered as possible during your stay here.

Book It Here: Ryokan Tanabe

12. Sensui

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Our next three picks take us over to Kinosaki Onsen! This place is pretty special — it’s a small town in Japan that’s famous for having beautiful ryokans and hot spring baths. In fact, it’s even been voted as the best onsen town in Japan! Kinosaki Onsen is known for having a variety of different onsens that are foreigner-friendly. One of the best places to stay here would be Sensui!

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Sensui is a great ryokan stay that’s located in the quieter areas of the city’s hot-spring district. When you stay here, you automatically get a free pass per night to visit any of the 7 onsens located near this ryokan. Unlike most onsens, the hot spring baths you’ll find here also cater to patrons with tattoos!

You may have heard that tattooed people are not allowed in onsens, but this custom is slowly starting to change. Slowly but surely, onsens are getting more accepting of patrons with tattoos, as seen in the local onsens in this area.

You May Also Like: Onsen Etiquette – 20 Rules & Manners You Should Know

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If you’re staying at Sensui, you also cannot miss out on the meals they serve. Guests note that Sensui’s delicious menu is what makes it stand out from other ryokans. They utilize only the freshest of local ingredients to showcase the flavors of their region.

Often, they will feature local delicacies such as sweet Matsuba crabs (snow crabs) and mouth-watering Tajima beef, a special kind of Wagyu harvested from Japanese Black cattle.

Book It Here: Sensui

13. Onishiya Suishoen

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Up next we have this lovely ryokan from Kinosaki Onsen: Onishiya Suishoen! This is one of those places that just completely transform at night. The warm lighting evokes the color of candlelight, turning this spacious ryokan into a cozy little getaway.

Guests love to walk around the compound and explore the different garden spots. The inner garden features a koi fish pond that just completes the picturesque vibe of this place.

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Like in any hotel arrangement, the staff will play a big role in your experience. Here at Onishiya Suishoen, the service is pretty much flawless, with staff members always ready to give you recommendations for popular spots around the city as well as accommodate just about every need you might have. Onishiya Suishoen also features a free hotel shuttle bus that you can take to different spots around Toyooka, especially the variety of onsens in the Kinosaki onsen area.

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Onishiya Suishoen’s service shines especially during meal times. Serving both breakfast and dinner, this ryokan offers a wide variety of Japanese dishes for every meal. To complete the experience, the staff will also tell you all about each dish, what it is made out of and how it is cooked, as well as what sauces or sides go with it. By the end of the dinner, you won’t just feel full and satisfied, you’ll also have new knowledge about Japanese cuisine!

Book It Here: Onishiya Suishoen

14. Kinosaki Onsen Ryokan Tsubakino

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And finally, we have this 3-star ryokan from the Kinosaki Onsen Town. The Kinosaki Onsen Ryokan Tsubakino provides a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city’s busy streets. Its main building and annex are connected by a cool underground passage. The buildings are done completely in a traditional Japanese style that will have you feeling zen as soon as you step through those doors.

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Kinosaki Onsen Ryokan Tsubakino’s luxury comes from the small personal touches done by the owner and the staff. Everywhere you look you will notice portraits of the kind smiling stone Ksitigarbha, a bodhisattva that is traditionally believed to look after the welfare of travelers according to Buddhist beliefs. These were done by the late owner of this hotel himself, in the hopes that guests would find peace and solace within this luxury ryokan’s rooms.

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Because of its size, guests would be very comfortable staying at this ryokan. There are plenty of beautiful gardens where you can simply sit, relax, and enjoy the natural scenery. There are also a lot of nearby places where you can do more active activities like cycling or skiing during the wintertime.

Finally, Kinosaki Onsen Ryokan Tsubakino also makes sure to utilize fresh seasonal and local ingredients in their menus, especially featuring succulent crabs and tasty beef dishes.

Book It Here: Kinosaki Onsen Ryokan Tsubakino

15. Zaborin Ryokan

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Our next ryokan is located in Niseko, a popular resort area in Hokkaido. While this place is certainly beautiful all year round, it’s especially popular during autumn and winter! The amazing mountain views just transform into fiery red wonders during autumn, and then into snow-capped winter wonderlands the next season. This area is also popular for sports like skiing and sledding, so you also have that to look forward to if you choose to stay here.

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One of the most beloved ryokans in Niseko is the Zaborin Ryokan. Everything about this place will make you feel like you’ve been transported into paradise. If you want a private and quiet trip all while enjoying gorgeous views of nature, then Zaborin is definitely the perfect ryokan for you.

From their decor and ambiance, you will definitely get to appreciate the beauty of the area. They have floor-to-ceiling windows that will give you unobstructed views of the outdoors, as well as stone onsen baths that will keep you warm even during the coldest nights.

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The staff doesn’t skimp on any detail. They’re here to provide you with the best experience possible — you will find your guest room stacked with different kinds of teas, snacks, and even skincare products! With its relatively simpler interiors, you wouldn’t necessarily expect a place like this to serve such incredible food.

And yet Zaborin is known for serving multi-course meals prepared with high-quality local ingredients. Each piece in the tableware is also hand-crafted, unique, and hand-picked from their expansive collection. Every detail of your stay here at Zaborin will make you want to come back for more.

Book It Here: Zaborin Ryokan

16. Fuji Onsen Yumedono

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Our last ryokan pick takes us to one of Japan’s most famous landmarks: Mt. Fuji! While ryokans are a bit rarer in major urban cities like Tokyo, occasionally you will find hidden gems — especially in certain districts with incredible natural scenery such as in the Shizuoka prefecture where Mt. Fuji is located.

Known as the tallest mountain in Japan, it’s considered one of the country’s 3 sacred mountains. Trekking and hiking remain popular activities here — something you could try when you visit!

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The luxury ryokan Fuji Onsen Yumedono offers amazing views of Mt. Fuji. It’s located just a short ride away from Lake Kawaguchiko, Nagasaki Park, and Oishi Park, so you definitely won’t run out of things to do in this area. This ryokan features perfectly maintained gardens as well as in-room onsens so you can have a bit of privacy.

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The incredible service and delectable menu items keep guests coming back again and again. With spacious rooms and staff that will wait on you hand and foot, staying at this ryokan will make you feel pampered and rejuvenated for sure.

Their kaiseki-style seafood set is especially sought-after because of the quality of fresh ingredients they use. Their traditional breakfasts are also delightful, serving up a variety of different dishes for you to try every morning.

Book It Here: Fuji Onsenji Yumedono

We hope you enjoyed our article on the 16 best ryokans you can book all around Japan! Which ryokan caught your eye the most? Let us know in the comments!

There is nothing like booking a ryokan for your trip to Japan. You will be fully immersed in the traditional architecture and culture. The service is always fantastic, even above and beyond what regular hotel staff do. And to top it all off, most ryokans come with relaxing hot springs as well as fabulous multi-course meals. Go treat yourself and book a ryokan stay now!

Want recommendations of beautiful Japanese inns in Tokyo? Check out our collections of the best luxury ryokans in Tokyo and the most beautiful luxury ryokans in Osaka!