Why Stay at a Ryokan?

  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?
  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?
  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?
  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?
  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?
  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?
  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?
  • Why Stay at a Ryokan?

What is a Ryokan?

What is a “ryokan”? What is the difference between a “ryokan” and a “hotel”? Many think that “hotel” translated into
Japanese is “ryokan” but it is not that simple. There is a similarity between “ryokan” and “hotel” in that they both provide
a private space of relief for a night to weary travelers traveling through foreign cultures but there are also striking differences.
By far the biggest difference is the methods through which the guests experience the Japanese-style hospitality or
“Omotenashi”.
At a “ryokan”, a dedicated guest attendant displays her expertise on “Omotenashi” culture by serving a full-course
dinner either in the room or the private dining space. Even if your place of lodging is made of traditional Japanese
wood construction, if your stay only comes with breakfast then such an accommodation facility, although wooden
in its structure, is a “hotel” and not a “ryokan”. For without the evening meal, there is no need for the guest attendant
to introduce herself by serving welcome green tea to the guests soon after the check in. Furthermore, there
will be no travel enrichening communication between the guests and the guest attendants over ryokan’s specialty
dishes served dish by dish. In other words, what makes a stay at an authentic ryokan so valuable is that the guests
are lavished with centuries-old "Omtenashi" techniqueit by the guest-attending specialists. Lastly modern Japanese
lifestyle has become thoroughly Westernized to a point where a "ryokan" is one of the few places visitors to Japan
may experience truly authentic Japanese tradition and culture.
Please keep in mind that when you are making a reservation through the Online Travel Agent you may think you are
reserving a room but you are in fact reserving a meal plan which comes with a room. You are purchasing the rights
for a Japanese tradition of serving two meals to the guests. Therefore if you have accompanying children of any age,
it is important that you include all of them in the count of the total number of guests.
If you would like to experience authentic “ryokan” while in Takayama please consider staying at Honjin Hiranoya Kachoan.