Magical Japan

'Ryokan' - Japanese style guest house - For a unique experience of traditional Japanese style accomodation.

'Onsen' - hot spring baths- The ultimate way to relax after a busy day site seeing.


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Magical Japan Tours
  Tel from UK 0161 440 7332
  Tel from USA 1-213-325-2627

itinerary below Ryokan & Onsen Guide

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Ryokan & Onsen Guide

jpanese garden


ryokan japanese style




onsen hot spring bath



Japan Ryokan

To experience the essential essence of ancient Japanese culture, a stay at a Ryokan (Japanese inn) is a highly recommended experience, with high standards of service.

Bedrooms in a Ryokan are usually a large single room with traditional rice-straw 'tatami' matting and ensuite toilet facilities.

Furniture within the room does vary from establishment to establishment, however the rooms furnishings are usually 'minimal' with often only a single low table in the room.

Doors into your room are usually sliding 'Shoji' screens and guests sleep on Futon bedding laid out in the evening by maids.

Your room charge usually includes two meals per day, invariably a simple breakfast and evening Japanese style feast with many wonderful locally found ingredients. Meals are generally served in your room by the maid. (Check itinerary for meal arrangements).

There are a few traditions and rules that must be followed when staying in a Hotel or Ryokan with Onsen. These ancient Japanese customs are part of the experience and charm of staying in these traditional style Inns.

The key rules are that guests remove their shoes at the threshold of the inn and don slippers (provided) whilst in the hallways. These slippers are then left outside your guest room and only barefoot or stocking feet are allowed on the tatami straw mats for obvious reasons.

Guest also usually wear a traditional 'Yukata' cotton robe, which is provided by the Inn during their stay.

Ryokans can be both of traditional and modern style of buildings externally. However internally they all provide a traditional Japanese Inn experience, with high standards of service and efficiency.

Bathing - Rooms are usually provided without a bath in the room (however some establishments do have baths en-suit and these can be requested at time of booking).

Ryokans should not be confused with a Minshuku (Japanese version of bed & breakfast accommodation), as the standard of service, food and decor are not comparable.


A traditional style Ryokan or Hotel which offers Onsen (spa bathing) facilities are generally built on the site of a natural volcanic hot spring. Many different styles of Onsen exist and some claim unique therapeutic qualities.

Onsens specialise in providing a relaxing environment centred around a indoor and sometimes outdoor hot spring. Onsens in Ryokans usually are set around a beautiful garden for their residents enjoyment and relaxation.

'When in Rome do as the Romans do'

Our selection of Onsens offer separate same sex communal bathing for men and women. Bathing in an Onsen differs from western style bathing, as you first must wash yourself with soap and rinse thoroughly in the individual washing cubicles prior to entering the bath water. Small towels are provide for your modesty, as you will be nude in the hot steam baths where you can relax, soak and chat to fellow bathers.

Please note these pictures and accompanying explanation are typical examples of conditions to be expected in a typical Ryokan /Onsen and are for illustrative purposes only.

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