Ryokan in Japan

Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 07:28 PM
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Ryokan in Japan

Hi,

Our trip will be 10 days, 9 nights, which we plan to split between Tokyo and Kyoto. We would like to take one night and stay at a Ryokan. I am looking for direction on whether we should choose one with Mt. Fuji views, or one in Kyoto, or maybe someone has somewhere else that they really love. We are a family of 5 (kids are 14, 17, 22). I have read the forums and still do not have a good "feel" on where we should stay.
Thank you for any information.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 07:29 PM
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Forgot to mention we will be in Japan June 14-23rd. If that makes any difference on what anyone would suggest.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 08:53 PM
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I could easily be mistaken, but I don't think there are many ryokan in Tokyo that offer a traditional ryokan experience, and I don't think you'll find any lodging in either Tokyo or Kyoto that offers a view of Mt. Fuji.

With your time frame, I'm not sure you have time for anything other than Kyoto and Tokyo, although of course, that depends on your interests. You might be able to find time for Hakone.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html

You can search for ryokan on booking.com or japaneseguesthouses.com
Here's some info:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2029_reservations.html
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 01:40 AM
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I'm in the midst of planning my upcoming first trip to Japan. Although a bit more days, my main stay is also Kyoto and Tokyo. In between I'm staying two nights at a ryokan in Nagano. Nagano came up as grand nature region, that's why I looked into it. As said, no experience whatsoever yet, but quite content with my itinerary.
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 05:02 AM
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Thank you both! I'll look into both (Hakone and Nagano). We are thinking just one night. For 5, the ryokans can be VERY expensive! But, everything I read says its a not to be missed experience. If anyone has any particular one to recommend, please feel free to do so!!
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 09:32 AM
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I suggest that you go to www.japaneseguesthouses.com and click on Resources, then click and read all of the links under the Ryokans column.

Hopefully, none of your 5 are picky eaters.
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 09:44 AM
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with 5 people you will be in for and experience. Keep an open mind is my best advice for your family and you will enjoy. Check with ryokan about your families personal tastes when you check in and they will do all they can to accommodate your needs. Remember at check in

There are literally hundreds of ryokan between Tokyo and Kyoto and as a family you might want to try one in the Hakone area such as those mentioned here:

http://japaneseguesthouses.com/ryoka...s/?area=Hakone

Also nice place for Hakone info:

http://www.hakonenavi.jp/english/

Aloha!
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 10:08 AM
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imo, you definitely have enough time for another stop besides Tokyo and Kyoto, especially one like Hakone that offers some of the natural beauty of Japan. It is easy to reach on the way between Tokyo and Kyoto, and easy to reach from Tokyo.

Hiroshima/Miyajima combined is a typical third-stop on a first trip to Japan. I can recommend Momijiso ryokan on Miyajima. http://www.gambo-ad.com/english/hote...php?ar=1&id=10

You'll probably want to get a 7-day JR Pass for your trip, so a visit to Hiroshima and Miyajima would have no extra money cost. The cost would be in travel time, about 6 hours total, 3 hours each way between Kyoto and Miyajima. It is an enjoyable trip.

June is a rainy time in Japan. Hirohima and Miyajima are in the Sanyo region of Japan, the sunny side of the mountains region. You might have a better chance of good weather there than Hakone.
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 05:06 PM
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If you decide to include Hiroshima and Miyajima, then I agree with mrwunrfl that Momiji-so is worth considering.
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Old Nov 5th, 2016, 03:51 AM
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If you decide to do your ryokan stay in Kyoto, I can recommend Shiraume - beautiful, luxurious, modern touches but a wholly traditional experience and the building itself has been owned by the same family for 7 generations, was originally a tea house where Geisha entertained guests.

On Miyajima, we loved Auberge Watanabe, a small family run ryokan with a superb location.

In Nara we had a magical stay at Kankaso, right in the heart of the park and next to Todaiji Temple’s Nandaimon (Great Southern Gate).

In all three cases, more than one person has booked and stayed on my recommendation and let me know they had really wonderful experiences, so I feel confident in recommending them. None have been family groups, but all of these ryokans have larger rooms which can accommodation multiple people, if you are happy to share. Some may have screens that allow you to break the room space down into sub-rooms - you'd need to check.

Here's my posts on two of them:
http://www.kaveyeats.com/2013/01/kai...o-in-nara.html
http://www.kaveyeats.com/2013/03/her...n-me-into.html
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Old Nov 8th, 2016, 02:44 PM
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Thank you all so much!! That was exactly the type of information I was looking for!!!
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Old Nov 8th, 2016, 10:23 PM
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Magome in Gifu Prefecture and Tsumago in Nagano Prefecture are picturesque Japanese towns that are located along the historic Nakasendo Highway, a major route between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. Inns are available though they are more rustic and less upscale than those in say Hakone, but offer a step back into Japans past.

http://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-ci...magome-tsumago
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Old Nov 9th, 2016, 05:20 PM
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Hi all! we are going to Japan with another couple who are going to do one night in a ryokan. We are debating on doing our own thing. What's the lure of the ryokan? The one they are staying at has a spa and the baths - except the baths are gender specific so I couldn't enjoy with my husband. They seem very calm and tranquil so maybe that's what you want after a busy few days in Tokyo? I just don't understand the draw for such an expensive cost.
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Old Nov 9th, 2016, 05:25 PM
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@ LJPfeifer -- For a "classic" ryokan, the attractions include the food, the traditions, the attention to detail, the attention to service, etc. Not all places that are called ryokan offer this range of options. Here's some information:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2029.html
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Old Nov 10th, 2016, 01:03 AM
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LJP the attraction for me is to experience something uniquely Japanese. The decoration and materials are not like anything I've seen anywhere else - the tatami mat flooring, the sliding walls and doors made of wooden frames and paper screens, the art work or flowers placed in the tokonoma (alcove area), an amazing kaiseki meal served course by course, the futon beds being made up for you before bedtime and cleared away in the morning, the service and attention to detail...

The gender-specific baths put me off a little too and on our first trip to Japan I made sure to book only rooms which offered an en-suite bathroom, preferably with a hinoki (cypress wood) bath. We did get to experience the baths together in some places though, as they either had a smaller bath available for private booking by a family, couple or group - or in one place as there were no other guests that night, they invited us to use the women's one together. Many places have individual rotenburo that are outdoors, which is marvellous. And of course, many top end ones have rooms with a private onsen bath on the balcony or garden area.

On our subsequent trips I just got braver and used the baths anyway. That soak is too lovely to miss...

http://www.kaveyeats.com/2012/11/sta...se-ryokan.html
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Old Nov 11th, 2016, 07:08 PM
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Am I looking at everything correctly? I keep coming up with 300-500 per person PER NIGHT at each one I have looked at. Family of 5 here...

on a side note, is it worth spending a night or two in Osaka? (regular hotel)
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Old Nov 11th, 2016, 07:17 PM
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Traditional ryokan are not inexpensive. Or perhaps I should put it this way: A traditional ryokan can be quite a splurge. And to put it in yet another way -- you might be able to find something "affordable", but it might not be the experience that makes some of us think that splurging on a ryokan for a night or two makes sense. mrwunrfl and I already mentioned momiji-so on Miyajima; it was the only ryokan I found that I could afford when I visited Japan. I can't speak to current prices.

Whether Osaka is worth a night or two depends on your interests. I had 3 weeks in Japan and did not consider it a sufficient priority to visit at all -- but that's based on MY interests. With only 9 nights, I think you would have to have a VERY specific interest to fit it in. Your call.
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Old Nov 12th, 2016, 01:23 AM
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I would suggest getting in touch with Japanese Guesthouses and asking for their help in recommending a ryokan that can accommodate 5 together, is *relatively* affordable but which will provide a quality ryokan experience - the room and gardens, the baths, the meal...

Also, when you are looking at the per person price, is that based on occupancy of 2? Occupancy prices per person usually drop somewhat as you fit more people into a (larger) room. Not all the way down, because a great deal of the price per person goes towards the kaiseki dinner and equally expansive breakfast.

Personally, I have tried to love Osaka more on two separate trips and each time it's been our least favourite place in Japan. You can easily do it as a day trip from Kyoto but on the other hand, accommodation there is cheaper than in Kyoto, generally.
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Old Nov 12th, 2016, 01:44 PM
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Kavey, I am looking at per person rate. Good idea to call. I don't mind a splurge... to a point! Then, its just ridiculous! hahaha
Has anyone ever done a stay at a Buddhist Temple? Was another thing we were considering (in addition to a ryokan if I can find one).
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Old Nov 12th, 2016, 03:46 PM
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Many of us have stayed at a temple on Koya-san. And apparently, one's choice of temple makes a big difference to one's experience -- and once again, the better ones will count as a splurge. I was pleased to have stayed at Shojoshin-in:
https://japaneseguesthouses.com/ryok...n=Shojoshin-in
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