Planning a trip to Japan!?
Well, there are some amazing accommodation options that offer rich experiences other than the super famous capsule hotel! While we didn’t try that one when we went we had the opportunity to try FIVE others!
~Here are five accommodation options when traveling to Japan~
1. – Hostel –
While there are a variety of great places to stay in Japan some hostels are going above and beyond. These are perfect for the solo traveler because you will meet people from around the world that you hang out with, share travel advice and possibly tour with. In other parts of Asia hostels are extremely budget friendly however in Japan they might still set you back a little. If you’re traveling in a pair or group I would recommend exploring other options as they might even be more affordable. For us when we went as a traveling couple, we chose to stay at an exceptionally cheap hostel slightly outside of Tokyo. It was $25/night which helped cushion our budget for some of the more exciting places!
2. – Ryokan –
A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn. Aspects of the Ryokan that are most notable are the structure, meals and traditional onsens that are included. Ryokans typically have sliding doors and tatami mat floors. The bedding is a futon that is rolled out at nighttime for the guests. It is very common for dinner and breakfast to be included in the price of staying at the Ryokan, which is great news if you’re traveling on a budget, not to mention that these meals are brought to you and served on a low table in your room. An onsen is a natural hot spring. It is quite common that the Ryokan will have a bathing area that is fed by one of these natural springs. The place that we stayed at was in Nagoya. This was such a beautiful mountain town and super serene.
3. – Monastery –
Not everywhere Japan you can stay in a Monastery however, it is common to find these options! I particularly recommend staying in the one in Koyasan . It is a small and quite remote place where you are able to see many statues, monuments and temples. In fact it has 117 temples in a relatively small area. Our stay at the Monastery was complete with tatami floors, sliding doors and futon beds. In the mornings you are welcome to join the Monks in ceremony before taking part in a them for a full vegetarian breakfast ‘mess hall’ style. This is included in your accommodation fee.
4. – Guest House –
While there are the more traditional guest house styles such as the Ryokan, there are of course small guest houses that seem to almost be an apartment style. We stayed at a guest house in Kyoto that was simply a one room plus one bathroom unit in an apartment building. This was not the most breathtaking accommodation however the guest house included the use of bicycles to tour around Kyoto, which is really one of the best modes of transit . There is definitely a benefit of staying in a guest house that is ‘off the beaten path‘ and perhaps in a more residential area. We were able to have one of our most memorable meals at a local Okonomiaki house just by stumbling upon a small restaurant quite far from anything touristy.
5. – Mount Fuji Hut! –
If you are not planning to climb Mount Fuji then you likely won’t be staying in one of these huts! They are definitely not the most glamorous but if you’re hiking up in a cold, rainy night this will be your saving grace! We climbed Mount Fuji during the night to attempt a summit for sunrise. Unfortunately, the night was full of rain and wind . . . in fact it was declared a typhoon! Stopping in one of these huts for a few hours of solace with a cup of noodles felt like heaven!
What do you think? Would you like to test out one of these places to stay while traveling through Japan? Would you be interested in some city guides for places that we visited? Let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to make some!