Essential Information when Staying in Accommodations in Japan

What is a ryokan?

Ryokans are similar to hotels with one exception: they can provide guests with some insight on Japanese culture. They also have cozy atmospheres with many tatami mat rooms.
Some ryokans are historic sites and offer traditionally styled rooms. There are even ryokans that have private outdoor baths.


How to Use a Public Bath

Things to be aware of when using a public bath:

  • Undergarments should be removed before entering the bathing area.
  • Please wash yourself before getting inside the bath.
  • Towels should not be placed in the bath.
  • There is no running or swimming.
  • Recording video, taking photographs, or washing clothes is prohibited.
  • Please wipe yourself dry before entering the changing area.

Taking baths at Kusatsu Onsen(Hot Springs) :Important Information



When reserving a room for one night, many hotels and ryokans also include a dinner and breakfast. Depending on where you stay, meals may be served in your room or in a shared dining area.

If you are served a Japanese course in your room while staying at a hotel or ryokan, the dishes will be brought to you by a female server, often called a Nakai-san. In order to keep your food warm, she will bring you dishes based on how quickly you eat.

At some of the larger hotels or ryokans, dinners can also held buffet-style in a banquet room. Western-style meals are also served at Western-style hotels.

In many cases, Japanese meals are served for breakfast. If this is a problem, you can try asking if there is an alternative Western-style meal.



Japanese-Style Rooms

Please take off your shoes before entering Japanese-style rooms. Please be careful with your suitcases – tatami mats are not made to withstand heavy use. Items found in the refrigerators may not be free. Be sure to check. You are welcome to remain in your own clothes when staying in a Japanese-style room. However, you might find it easier to relax and enjoy your stay if you try on a yukata (they can normally be found in your room).

Yukatas can be worn to the public baths. They can also be worn outside when you go out for a walk.