What is a Ryokan? Like a Western-style inn, maintaining the special, atmosphere and appearance is more important than providing the latest modern conveniences. 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.
Japan has eight beautiful regions rich in culture and diversity. Select a region to explore and view available ryokans.
High in the mountains of western Toyama Prefecture lies the village of Ainokura. Like Shirakawago in Gifu Prefecture, Ainokura is known for its Japanese thatched-roof farmhouses. The buildings are called "Gassho-Zukuri" or "hands-in-prayer," and there are about 20 Gassho-Zukuri in this village. Most of these houses were built between the end of the Edo Period and the end of the Meiji period but the oldest dates back to the 17th century. These unique buildings were used for the production of silk, once one of Japan's major exports. In 1995 Ainokura was listed as a World Heritage Site, and it has attracted many visitors from all over the country. Tourists can visit the Ainokura Minzoku-kan (Ainokura Folklore Museum), a Gassho-Zukuri that has been converted into an exhibition of local folklore items.
Welcome to Goyomon, a thatched-roof "Gassho-Zukuri" style of farm house in Ainokura. Goyomon is a quaint, historical type of accommodation full of character and perfect for the guest who wishes to experience traditional Japanese culture. All 3 guest rooms are traditional Japanese-style and there are indoor baths for both women and men (same gender only). Local river fish and fresh, seasonal vegetables are served throughout the year. Snow Warning: There is a lot of snow in Ainokura...
Welcome to Yomoshiro. This Gasshou-Zukuri minshuku is a part of a world heritage site. This area gets an incredible amount of snow in the winter time. Here you will have an authentic Japanese experience. Yomoshiro is made of one building with four guest rooms and it is run by a warm welcoming family. Dinner there features vegetables that is collected by the father from the surrounding mountains and is prepared in the style of a traditional Japanese family.
Welcome to Choyomon. It is a part on the UNESCO world heritage site, Ainokura. It is a small Gasshou-Zukuri home with four rooms with a maximum capacity of 20 people. It is run by a small welcoming family that speaks good Japanese. Cuisine there changes from season to season, but it always features local vegetables. You will eat together around an irori or a traditional Japanese fireplace.
Welcome to Nakaya. This Gassho-Zukuri ryokan is a part of Ainokura world heritage site. It has three rooms and it is run by a worm welcoming family. Since you will be staying within the site you will be there to take pictures before most of the tourists show up. Cuisine there is a mix of ingredients from the local mountain and the local river, so it changes from season to season.