When visiting Tokyo, one of the best ways to experience old-style Japanese hospitality and shitamachi culture is by staying at a Ryokan traditional Japanese inn.
Tokyo doesn’t have a lot of Ryokans as Kyoto does, but there are some great options to choose from.
These ryokans offer a unique and authentic experience, with tatami floors, futon beds, and communal or private baths.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the best ryokans in Tokyo, highlighting their unique features and what sets them apart from the rest.
From traditional ryokans passed down through generations to the new crop of modern interpretations with cutting-edge design and world-class service, these accommodations offer a glimpse into the rich culture and hospitality of Japan.
Key Take Aways
- Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns that offer a unique cultural experience.
- They typically have private tatami mat rooms with futon bedding
- Some ryokans also provide kaiseki meals, which consist of multi-course dishes prepared using fresh seasonal ingredients.
- Guests are usually provided with cotton yukata robes to wear during their stay at the Ryokan.
- Many Tokyo-based ryokans can be found in historic areas such as Asakusa and Yanaka neighborhoods
- Luxury Ryokens often feature beautifully landscaped gardens.
- A Japanese breakfast is usually included in your room rate (though best to double-check)
- Guests should remove their shoes before entering the guestroom
Ryokan Areas In Tokyo
Here are a few of the best areas for finding ryokans in Tokyo:
The historic area of Asakusa is a popular area to stay, with its major shrines, traditional shops, and lively atmosphere. It’s also home to excellent ryokans, such as Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa and Cyashitsu Ryokan Asakusa. These ryokans offer a mix of traditional and modern amenities, including private hot springs, Japanese-style rooms, and English-speaking staff.
Just next to Asakusa, Ueno is another neighborhood with a rich cultural heritage, thanks to its many museums and galleries. It’s also a great place to stay if you’re looking for a ryokan, with options like Katsutaro Ryokan and Edo Sakura Ryokan. These ryokans offer a peaceful retreat from the busy streets, with cozy rooms and traditional Japanese meals.
Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s busiest neighborhoods, with its towering skyscrapers, neon lights, and endless shopping and dining options. Despite the hustle and bustle, it’s still possible to find a serene ryokan here, such as Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku. This ryokan features a rooftop hot spring with stunning views of the city, as well as Japanese-style rooms and a restaurant serving local cuisine.
Tokyo’s upscale shopping district, Ginza is known for its designer boutiques, high-end department stores, and luxurious restaurants. It’s also home to some of the city’s most exclusive ryokans, such as the 5-star Hoshinoya Tokyo which offers a truly indulgent experience, with spacious suites, private hot springs, and personalized service.
Tokyo has a small but growing number of ryokans, each with its own unique charm and character. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious escape or a look into old-style Tokyo hospitality you’re sure to find a great ryokan (or 5) in our list.
Here’s our pick of the best traditional Japanese inns that tokyo has to offer.
Onsen Ryokan Yuen Bettei Tokyo Daita (Best Overal Ryokan Experience)
Onsen Ryokan Yuen Bettei Tokyo Daita is a new luxurious traditional Japanese inn in Setagaya with great access to the Shibuya area. It is our pick for the best overall Ryokan experience in tokyo with its stylish minimalism, outstanding onsen, and Japanese cuisine it offers the complete experience in a great location.
This ryokan is a perfect blend of traditional Japanese culture and modern amenities featuring a beautiful indoor hot spring bath, which is an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of exploring the city.
The rooms at Onsen Ryokan Yuen Bettei Tokyo Daita are spacious and elegantly designed with traditional Japanese tatami flooring and futon beds.
Onsen Ryokan Yuen Bettei Tokyo Daita is in a quiet residential area, which gives you a peaceful environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, it is still conveniently within walking distance of the nearest train station, which gives you easy access to the major tourist attractions in Tokyo.
Hoshinoya Tokyo (Best 5-Star Ryokan)
For a true splurge, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a new and luxurious Ryokan-style hotel in Ginza with great access to Tokyo Station. While it may not be as cheap as other accommodations featured, You’ll love its focus on traditional Japanese culture with modern twists.
The rooms utilize minimalist yet sophisticated design elements such as cedar bathtubs and tatami mat flooring mixed with high-tech amenities like voice-controlled lighting and automated curtains.
Another point of interest is their exclusive tea ceremony experience which includes an original blend made just for guests at Hoshinoya Tokyo by artisanal tea purveyors Maruyama Nori Tea Company.
Lastly, they offer a signature “boat trip” service where You can take a ride along the Sumida River while enjoying views of iconic landmarks such as Skytree Tower and Asakusa Temple – giving you a different perspective on this vibrant city.
The Edo Sakura Ryokan
The Edo Sakura Ryokan offers a unique and authentic experience in a Machiya-style townhouse in Asakusa.
One of the standout features of the Edo Sakura Ryokan is its small but beautiful garden which is meticulously maintained and gives you a peaceful oasis in the middle of the bustling city.
They also have a wonderful semi-outdoor private bath that you can bathe in while looking out over the Tokyo sky
Cyashitsu Ryokan Asakusa
Yet another great place in Asakusa is Cyashitsu Ryokan which gives you a unique and authentic Japanese experience, with tatami mat floors, futon beds, and a traditional Japanese-style bath with a small garden and views of the Sky Tree.
They also offer traditional Japanese activities, including calligraphy lessons, and tea ceremonies, and can help you book kimono experiences in the area.
The simple Japanese breakfast served is also a highlight.
Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu
The charming Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu is another Japanese inn in Asakusa. It boasts a prime location, just a few steps away from the iconic Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise-dori shopping street.
You’ll love its gorgeous rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views of the Tokyo Skytree and the surrounding area. You can enjoy a cup of tea or sake while taking in the breathtaking scenery.
The ryokan’s rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated in a traditional Japanese style, with tatami floors, shoji screens, and comfortable futon beds.
There’s also an open-air bath, perfect for a relaxing soak after a long day of sightseeing.
Takanawa Hanakohro (Best Ryokan Garden)
Takanawa Hanakohro – Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa Annex is a luxurious ryokan with a beautiful Japanese garden in the convenient Shinagawa area. This ryokan offers traditional Japanese-style rooms with modern amenities.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with tatami mats, futon beds, and beautiful views of the surrounding gardens which you are free to stroll through.
The ryokan also offers dining options, including a Japanese restaurant and a French restaurant. The Japanese restaurant serves traditional kaiseki cuisine, while the French restaurant offers a fusion of French and Japanese flavors.
The ryokan is near and owned by the same company as the large Shinagawa Prince Hotel, so while you don’t get that same family-run style as many of the Ueno and Asakusa Ryokan’s offer, you do get a great design and access to world-class amenities.
More: Takanawa Hanakohro Review: Best Ryokan Near Shinagawa & Tokyo Bay
Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku (Best Ryokan In Shinjuku)
Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku is a luxurious Japanese-style inn in the heart of Tokyo. The ryokan features a beautiful onsen (hot spring) that is open 24 hours a day, providing guests with a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
The onsen is on the top floor of the ryokan, offering stunning views of the city skyline.
The rooms at Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku are spacious and elegantly decorated with traditional Japanese furnishings. Each room features a private bathroom with a deep soaking tub and a separate shower.
The ryokan also offers a top-notch traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast served in-room or in the stylish communal dining area.
The location of Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku is ideal for exploring Tokyo. The Ryokan is just a short walk from Shinjuku Station, which offers easy access to many of Tokyo’s top attractions. You can also explore the local area, which is home to many shops, restaurants, and bars.
The wonderful Andon Ryokan is a modern and styling take on the traditional Japanese guesthouse in the vibrant neighborhood of Asakusa. The Ryokan offers cozy and comfortable rooms with tatami mats, futon beds, and beautiful paper screens. You can enjoy communal baths (men’s only or women’s only), a rooftop terrace with stunning city views, free Wi-Fi access throughout the property, and complimentary breakfast served daily in the dining area.
It also features unique artwork and decor from local artists that add to its welcoming atmosphere. Its location gives you easy access to popular tourist destinations such as Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Shopping Street, Ueno Park & Zoo; while being conveniently close( 5mins walk)to Minowa subway station makes it accessible for business travelers too. With its peaceful surroundings combined with all modern amenities Andon Ryoukan promises an unforgettable stay in Tokyo.
Ryokan Katsutaro is a traditional Japanese inn Asakusa district that has been in operation since 1950 and offers guests a unique and authentic Japanese experience.
The rooms at Ryokan Katsutaro are traditional Japanese style with tatami mats, futon beds, and shoji screens. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning and heating, as well as a private bathroom.
The staff at Ryokan Katsutaro are friendly and welcoming and are happy to provide recommendations for local restaurants and attractions. There’s a common area downstairs that’s great for getting information on attractions and planning the day’s activities with some help and suggestions from the staff or fellow guests.
Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa
Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa is a traditional Japanese inn and our pick for the best overall stay in the historic Asakusa district. The ryokan features 35 guest rooms, each designed in the classic Japanese style with tatami mat flooring, shoji paper screens, and futon beds.
You’ll love its rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views of the Tokyo skyline and is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing.
It also has a bathhouse, where You can soak in the hot springs and enjoy a traditional Japanese bath experience. It can be booked for private use in 30-minute blocks.
It’s also known for its traditional Japanese music performances, which take place in the lobby many evenings. You can enjoy the soothing sounds of the shamisen, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument while sipping on a cup of green tea.
It’s also conveniently near many of Tokyo’s top attractions, including the Senso-ji Temple, Nakamise shopping street, and the Tokyo Skytree.
Kimi Ryokan (Best Ryokan In Ikebukuro)
If you want to stay in Ikebukuro, Kimi Ryokan is a small but charming ryokan that offers a unique and authentic Japanese experience that is hard to find elsewhere in the city.
The rooms at Kimi Ryokan are cozy and comfortable, with traditional tatami flooring and futon beds. The ryokan also has a bathhouse, or sento, where You can soak in hot springs and relax after a long day of sightseeing.
One thing to note is that Kimi Ryokan is a bit more rustic than some of the other Ryokans on this list. The facilities are clean and well-maintained but don’t expect the same level of luxury as you might find at a high-end hotel. That being said, the charm and character of this ryokan more than makeup for any lack of amenities.
The Sum Up
If you are heading to Tokyo and want to experience the traditional side of the city, staying at a ryokan is a great way to do so.
From the luxurious Hoshinoya Tokyo to the wonderful hot springs at Onsen Ryokan, there are plenty of ryokans to choose from in Tokyo. Each one offers something different, whether it’s a serene garden, a rooftop terrace with city views, or a traditional Japanese-style room with tatami mats and futon beds.
Of course, staying in a Ryokan isn’t for everyone. Some travelers may prefer the convenience and familiarity of a Western-style hotel. However, for those who are willing to try something new and immerse themselves in Japanese culture, a Ryokan stay is an unforgettable experience.