Accommodation in Japan is unlike anywhere else, spanning eastern and western styles and original options such as capsule hotels and temple stays. Experience heartfelt hospitality, known as omotenashi, at thousands of lodgings across a country that seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modern marvels. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of a ryokan, experience the opulence of a luxury hotel or explore wellbeing at an onsen, accommodation in Japan offers something for everyone. Let’s explore the unique features, cultural nuances and top recommendations for an unforgettable stay in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Traditional Accommodation in Japan

When it comes to experiencing the essence of Japanese culture, traditional accommodation options are a must-try. Capital city Tokyo offers a wide range of old-school lodgings, particularly in historic areas like Asakusa. Stay in a ryokan in Kyoto’s ancient Gion district, where you can experience the beauty of geisha culture, or opt for a temple stay in the serene surroundings of nearby Arashiyama.

Elegant Ryokans

Ryokans are traditional inns that offer a quintessential Japanese experience. Classic inns are made from wood with sliding paper doors and views of elegant gardens. Often the only furniture is a low table where you sit on cushions to drink green tea (served on arrival) and eat your meals. Enjoy a multi-course kaiseki, a traditional Japanese gourmet feast. Even breakfast is an adventure featuring rice, miso soup, fish, pickles and seaweed. In these accommodations, you’ll typically find tatami mats instead of regular flooring. These mats are comfortable to walk on and are used as a base for futon beds, which are rolled out for sleeping. With matted rooms, futon beds and exquisite kaiseki meals, are the perfect glimpse into the country’s rich heritage.

Rejuvenating Onsens

Traditional accommodation in Japan often feature onsens. These natural hot springs are believed to have healing properties. Relax and rejuvenate in communal baths, surrounded by breath-taking landscapes. Onsens usually feature separate male and female bathrooms, sometimes with set bathing times. You’ll shower (very important) before getting into the large hot bath to relax. If you’re looking for something more discreet, some ryokans even have private baths in the rooms, or (if you’re really lucky) on balconies with Mount Fuji views.

Tranquil Shukubos

Shukubos, or temple lodgings, allow visitors to stay within the serene grounds of Buddhist temples. The room style is like a ryokan - you’ll sleep on futons in tatami mat rooms, share communal baths and eat multi-course feasts for dinner and breakfast. The difference is you’ll be served shojin ryori vegan meals and you’ll be encouraged to participate in early morning chanting and ceremonies with the monks. Experience Zen meditation, enjoy vegetarian food and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of these spiritual retreats. You can find temple lodgings in Kyota and in Koya-san, a pretty village in the mountains a few hours outside of Osaka.

Homely Minshukus

For a more intimate and homely atmosphere, minshukus are the perfect choice. These family-run guesthouses offer comfortable rooms, home-cooked meals and the opportunity to interact with locals, providing a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.

Cosy Machiyas

Machiyas are traditional townhouses that have been converted into accommodation. With their unique architecture, historical charm and modern amenities, these rentals offer a blend of tradition and comfort.

Modern Accommodation in Japan

If you’d prefer a more contemporary stay, Japan has a wealth of modern accommodation options to choose from. In Osaka, select a stylish establishment in the bustling Namba district, or a budget-friendly capsule hotel in the vibrant neighbourhood of Dontonbori. Hiroshima offers a captivating blend of storied significance and modern development. Consider staying in a contemporary hotel near the Peace Memorial Park to discover the city’s poignant history.

Hospitable Hotels

Japan boasts a wide range of hotels, catering to all budgets and preferences. From luxurious five-star establishments to budget-friendly business hotels, you’ll find comfort, convenience and excellent service throughout the country.

Capsule Hotels

For a truly unique experience, try staying in a capsule hotel. A television, a shared bathroom and coin lockers are usually provided. Capsule hotels are often equipped with amenities such as communal lounges, saunas and entertainment facilities. Karaoke anyone?

Unusual Accommodation in Japan

Sleeper Trains

For a way to travel and sleep simultaneously, consider staying on an overnight train. Japan’s luxurious sleeper cars offer comfortable beds, dining options and breath-taking views as you traverse the country. Overnight buses also combine transportation with overnight accommodation. Services are available between many cities and are particularly economical along the most popular routes, such as Tokyo to Kyoto. Seating ranges from regular bus seats to private compartments.

Camping and Glamping

Japan’s stunning natural landscapes make it an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts. From national parks to remote islands, camping grounds are available throughout the country.

Farm Stays

Experience the charm of rural Japan by staying on a farm. Engage in agricultural activities, savour farm-fresh meals and learn about traditional farming practices while enjoying the warm hospitality of your hosts.

Mountain Lodges

If you’re more a fan of natural landscapes than city skyscrapers, Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is a paradise for nature lovers. Stay in a cosy lodge in the ski resort town of Niseko or opt for a farm stay in the picturesque countryside to experience the region’s natural beauty and warm hospitality.

Whether you want to soak up Japan’s city skylines or get away from it all at a traditional temple, speak to one of our specialists today to create your bespoke itinerary in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Contact one of our Japan specialists