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Japan Accommodations: 5 Best Places to Stay in Japan

Updated on September 23, 2012
Outside a Shukubo Room
Outside a Shukubo Room | Source
A Ryokan Garden
A Ryokan Garden | Source

Japan is a country that offers leisure and business travelers several options in terms of accommodations.

Travelers can choose from traditional Japanese-style inns, western-style hotels, and no-frills hostels and dormitories.

For people seeking to experience the time-honored customs of the country or its modern practices, then the best places to stay in Japan might be the ryokan, minshuku, shukubo, kapuseru hoteru, or love hotels.

For those seeking the familiar comforts found in other parts of the world, then the best places to stay in Japan might be the pensions, business hotels, or the western-style hotels.

These accommodations greatly vary in prices – from roughly Y2, 000 per person per night in low-budget dormitories to about Y30, 000 per person per night in a first-class ryokan.

By being a little inquisitive and bold in trying out something distinctive to Japan, then travelers might be in for a pleasant visit to any of the best places to stay in Japan.

1. Ryokan - Deluxe Japan Accommodation

One of the best places to stay in Japan is in a ryokan.

A ryokan is a Japanese-style hotel that is typically located near a hot springs resort. It is a place to experience the Japanese lifestyle of yore.

A ryokan is fully equipped with tatami, which is a mat used as a flooring material; futon, which consists of both mattress and quilted bedcover that can be used as bed at nighttime and be folded during daytime; and Japanese-style bath, which separates the shower from the deep bathtub.

In a ryokan, guests are treated to elaborate meals of kaiseki ryori, traditional Japanese haute cuisine that highlights local and seasonal foods and served in several courses.

Japanese etiquette related to hospitality is meticulously followed in a ryokan, allowing guests to observe local practices up-close and personal.

Guests can choose between a small, intimate ryokan with only a few rooms and a large, spacious ryokan with hundreds of rooms. They can only choose between a relatively low-priced ryokan and a luxurious ryokan catering to the super rich.

Because a ryokan gives its guests a traditional Japanese experience, it is widely popular among foreigners and locals alike.

However, many guests stay at a ryokan only for a night or two because of its high costs.

The average cost of staying in a ryokan is Y20, 000 per person per night.

Indeed one of the best places to stay in Japan, a ryokan is an indulgence worth a lifetime of memories.

2. Minshuku - a Home-style Japan Accommodation

Somehow similar to a ryokan, a minshuku is certainly one of the best places to stay in Japan.

In a minshuku, guests can expect to sleep in a futon, sit on a tatami, and relax in Japanese-style baths.

They can also eat dinner and breakfast in a minshuku. These meals may include local specialties and in-season fruits and vegetables.

Unlike a ryokan, however, a minshuku is usually family-owned, meaning guests can interact with Japanese family members running the inn.

The average cost of staying in a minshuku is about Y7, 000 per night per person, with some minshuku owners willing to offer lower prices depending on the season or demand for lodgings.

Clearly one of the best places to stay in Japan, a minshuku delights its guest with traditional Japanese living without the high costs of a ryokan.

Shukubo in Koyasan

3. Shukubo - a Japan Accommodation to Strengthen the Soul

Shukubo or temple lodging is one of the best places to stay in Japan for pilgrims or tourists.

This is because shukubo gives people a taste of the simple and traditional lifestyle of Buddhist monks.

In a shukubo, guests can stay in a room equipped with tatami, fusuma or sliding doors, and futons.

They can also eat breakfast and dinner of vegetarian Buddhist monks’ cuisine of tofu, beans, and seaweed, to name a few foods.

The temple’s cultural treasures and gardens are in full display to guests during their stay.

Because shukubo is a temple lodging, then guests can participate in morning prayers that come before breakfast.

Some shukubo are more lavish than the others and can be comparable to a mid-range ryokan.

A stay in a shukubo can cost an average of Y4, 500 per person per night. This rate goes up or down depending on the amenities and offerings of a shukubo.

Definitely one of the best places to stay in Japan, shukubo gives tourists and pilgrims a peek of Japanese Buddhist monks’ ways of life.

4. Kapuseru Hoteru - No-Frills Japan Accommodation

One of the best places to stay in Japan for travelers who value convenience, price, and only the basic necessities of life is kapuseru hoteru or capsule hotel.

A capsule hotel has been common in Japan.

This is because many Japanese, especially the males, prefer staying in a capsule hotel after a late-night drinking spree with colleagues, to immediately rest after a long day’s work, or simply avoid the rush hours in crowded train stations.

True to its name, a capsule hotel has capsules or small, fiberglass spaces that are small enough for a person to sleep in.

The capsule can be safely locked and its occupant can keep his or her belongings in a coin locker.

For safety purposes, staff of capsule hotels maintains separate quarters for males and females. A curtain is provided for in each capsule for privacy.

Foods can be served outside the capsule or through vending machines.

To relax, guests in a capsule hotel can wash up in a shared bathroom, request for slippers and bathrobe to change clothes, watch television, or use the available internet connection.

Average cost of staying in a capsule is between Y3, 000 to Y4, 000 per night per person.

Only one of its kinds, capsule hotels are one of the best places to stay in Japan.

Japanese Love Hotels

5. Love Hotels - a Japan Accommodation to Titillate the Senses

A love hotel may be one of the best places to stay in Japan for people who seek privacy and intimacy.

Love hotels can be easily recognized by their weird and wonderful architecture and color. Some of these hotels even have themes.

They also tend to locate adjacent to one another or along major thoroughfares.

Reception is very anonymous in love hotels, with guests choosing their rooms by pressing buttons and paying for their stay at a one-way window.

Inside the room, double beds, a television offering stimulating programs, and a bath, are typically found.

A rest in a love hotel lasts for one to three hours while a stay starts late at night then lasts till the next day.

Average cost of a stay in a love hotel is Y4, 000, with the rate changing depending on the day and time.

The country’s hush-hush and personal accommodations, love hotels are one of the best places to stay in Japan for those seeking private enjoyment.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

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    • profile image


      7 years ago video~

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @Escape2Paradise Hi there! :) I know, they say Japan can be really expensive. Even the Japanese are aware of that. Hmmm, I think we need to plan well for a trip to Japan, just try to look around where to get discounts or bargains (if there are any, LOL!) :)

    • Escape2Paradise profile image


      7 years ago from Bangkok Thailand

      Japan is a nice place to visit but everything there are so expensive, great hub so I'm vote up for you :)

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @Anne Harrison Welcome :) Thanks for your message. I know that in your home country Australia, there are also plenty of choices in terms of accommodations.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      7 years ago from Australia

      An interesting hub on the various types of places to stay in such a unique country. Thank-you

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @takashi7 You're welcome. Thanks for the recommendations - Kagaya and Sawanoya. I checked out their websites. They seem lovely! Of course they are, they were recommended by a Japanese - you :) Thanks again.

    • takashi7 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you kerlynb for your introduction of hotels of my country,Japan.I don't recommend "Love Hotels""Capsules". I recommend Kagaya for richmen and Sawanoya for not so richmen Please visit Japan and stay Japan style hotel with good hospitality.


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