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Facts of Japan - Accommodation types

Updated on August 5, 2011
Room in ryokan.
Room in ryokan.

There are so many varieties of accommodations available in Japan. Apart from typical Japanese and western style hotel, there is some unconventional form of accommodation also available in Japan.

Japanese Style Accommodations

The Japanese style accommodations are usually called Ryokan, Minshuku and Pensions.

The Ryokan are the traditional Japanese inn which used to provide accommodation to travelers previously. Presently, these Ryokans might have changed a little with the style but the tradition has not changed at all. To enjoy living with a traditional Japanese family Ryokans are the best. The room will have a tatami mat, a table with a tea set and a sliding shoji door. The futons will be available for sleeping. The general features of Ryokan are a communal bathing room, a Japanese breakfast and a delicious dinner. The bath house, of course, can be used privately. The service will be friendly and superior.

Minshuku are smaller versions of Ryokan. The services may be basic and the food is family prepared and decently Japanese styled. The bath houses are smaller as well. They can be used privately. Friendly service is its specialty. They are cheaper than Ryokan because they are not as fancy as a Ryokan.

Pensions are more like Minshuku. But they use a western style room. It is also known for its friendly service.

Some old but ryokan but looks amazing.
Some old but ryokan but looks amazing.
Capasule hotel.
Capasule hotel.
Room in one of Osaka's Love Hotel.
Room in one of Osaka's Love Hotel.

Western or Business Style hotels

All major cities of Japan have these five star kind of hotels. They can be International chain hotels or Japanese owned hotels. These hotels feature all the facilities that a western hotel can provide. If the hotel is cheaper, it might not have a restaurant and bar. But they will have vending machines that sell everything. If it is a higher end hotel, there is almost everything available in the room.

Capsule Hotels

There are these kind of hotels in Japan which have a room so small for sleeping alone and they are specially designed for the people who miss the last bus or train. Just for a night’s stay, they provide the room. While many do not entertain foreigners and women, they are comfortable accommodation outlets for emergencies.

Love Hotels

These love hotels are originally established for the young couples to have some privacy for themselves. But slowly it gained popularity with the sex industry. And so these rooms are rented for hourly basis or a overnight stay as well. The rooms will have those romantic concepts and themes for the lovers.

The common meal in Shukubo.
The common meal in Shukubo.

Internet or Manga Café

These places are a latest addition to the accommodation. Of course, they are made for a frugal traveler who will accommodate himself in these internet cafes. They have bathing facilities, private booths. They may not be a great accommodation facility but for as less as 1000 yen, an all night booth can be booked. It is cheaper than a love hotel.


Shukubos are truly temple lodgings. They have no suite rooms. Food is usually served in the room. It is pure vegetarian only. Travelers are generally invited to take part in meditation and prayers. They are ritualistic and peaceful accommodations.

Budget Hotels

These budget hotels are really clean and great looking with drinkable water and great food. The service standard is also high and might cost 2500 to 4500 yen.

Room in youth hostel - Osaka.
Room in youth hostel - Osaka.

Youth Hostel

Youth Hostel is essentially a low cost accommodation like youth hostels in the world. There is no need to become a member and rooms are usually dormitories with 4 to 8 guests in a room. Breakfast is generally included. The room rent is more than a Minshuku but cheaper than a hotel.

Self Contained Accommodation

These self contained cottages and apartments are meant for people who stay longer. Many such accommodations are springing up. The key resorts take major part in these kind of accommodation.

Ski Lodges

These lodges cater to the needs of the skiing tourists. Japan has become a known ski destination lately. And for those people, close to the skiing facilities these lodgings are developed.

Hotels area in Shinjuku district, Tokyo.
Hotels area in Shinjuku district, Tokyo.


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