What is a Ryokan? Ryokans are the best way to experience Japanese culture and enjoy the true comforts of Japanese hospitality and service.
Hot springs have a very long history in Japan, and they are an intimate part of Japanese culture. There are over 3,000 "onsen" ,or hot springs, in Japan. Many can be found at the ryokans available on Japanese Guest Houses.
The Japanese diet is based on fish, poultry, eggs, rice,… Therefore if you are vegan you might have a hard time finding suitable meals. If you are planning to stay at a Japanese Ryokan the challenge to find a Vegan-Friendly Ryokan might soon give you a headache. So here is our shortlist of Vegan-Friendly Ryokans and Shukubos (temples).
Yudanaka Onsen is mostly popular for Snow Monkeys which bathe in nearby hot spring baths. Yudanaka Onsen Seifuso is the best ryokan in the area if you are vegetarian or vegan as they can serve you a variety of different meals. (please tell your ryokan expert that you are vegan or vegetarian while making your reservation.
This Traditional Ryokan was built in 1890. You can find very eccentric sculptures throughout the ryokan and guests can relax in a variety of hot spring baths.
Yudanaka Onsen Seifuso serves fresh, seasonal Japanese cuisine to their guests. In the winter, please arrive early as the road leading up to the ryokan can be covered in a lot of snow.
Hakone is a famous hot spring resort but when it comes to vegan-friendly Ryokans only a few options are available. Hakone Kowakien Ten-yu is a luxurious modern ryokan offers vegan-friendly meals to their guests. The concept of Hakone Kowakien Ten-yu is the harmony of authentic Japanese hospitality and nature. You can watch the sunrise while bathing in an open-air onsen (hot spring) bath with panoramic views. In addition, all rooms come with their own private open-air bath. In the evening, you will enjoy a beautifully presented and delicious Japanese-Western meal. Vegetarian and Vegan guests are welcome though advance notice is required. Check-in time is between 15:00 to 17:00 and check-out time is before 11:00 am.
It is not always easy to find vegan or vegetarian cuisine in Japan however, there is a place where vegans will be more than welcome: Koyasan. Koyasan is one of the best places to experience an overnight stay at a temple lodging (shukubo) where you can get a taste of a monk’s lifestyle by eating vegetarian monk’s cuisine (shojin ryori) and attending the morning prayers. Shojoshin-in is a large traditional Buddhist Shukubo temple. It is one of the oldest temples on Mount Koya (Koyasan) – built 3-years before Kongobuji Temple. Shojoshin-in has Japanese style guest rooms as well as a “Hanare” (private guest residence with a private bath and toilet), Japanese style gardens, and a pond. Shojoshin-in is a Vegan-Friendly Temple since they serve Shojin Ryori (monk’s cuisine). The early morning service is followed by a short tour of the temple’s treasures (in Japanese). Shojoshin-in usually performs a fire ceremony at 13:00 though it is not every day so please ask for it during check-in. This temple has a great location at the beginning of the tomb-lined pathway to Okunoin, making it convenient for a late-night stroll. Originating as a thatched hut built by Kukai more than 1,150 years ago and once the second-largest temple in Koyasan after Kongobuji, today it boasts attractive 150-year-old buildings, including a large wooden structure with rooms overlooking a small garden and pond. In total there are 21 rooms at Shojoshin-in.
Ainokura is a pretty village in Toyama prefecture. It’s not as popular as Shirakawa-go which makes it more attractive for travelers looking for a more peaceful experience. Ainokura is known for its Japanese thatched-roof farmhouses known as “Gassho-Zukuri” or “hands-in-prayer.” There are about 20 Gassho-Zukuri thatched-roof farmhouse minshukus in the village. For more information about Ainokura please see our travel content partner Japan-Guide.
Yomoshiro is a great Vegan-Friendly minshuku. Here you will have an authentic Japanese experience. Yomoshiro has four guest rooms and it is run by a warm and welcoming family. Dinner there features vegetables that are collected by the innkeeper from the surrounding mountains and prepared in a traditional Japanese family-style. We are sure you will have a great time.
For more details, have a look at our Special Meal Requirements page.
Please tell your ryokan expert all of your meal requirements while making your ryokan reservations.
Hyogo-ken Chijitoroku Ryokogyo 3-609
(Hyogo Prefecture Travel Agent License Number 3-609)
10-5-401-1-(2) Sakae-machi, Kawanishi-shi, Hyogo-ken Japan
Part of the Rediscover Group of Travel Companies Rediscover Japan Co., Ltd. (Japanese Guest Houses)
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