Accommodation in Japan

In Japan, there is a choice of different accommodation options. Among the various proposals there is the classic western-style hotel or business hotel, the ryokan, which is the traditional Japanese hotel. Then there are the minshuku, which can be compared to our bed & breakfasts (but with the added bonus of dinner). You can then choose to sleep in a Buddhist temple, in a gassho-sukuri (traditional houses with thatched roofs), in the classic hostel, in flats (usually found on sites such as Airbnb) or in a capsule hotel.

Western hotels are the same in every way as ours. Traditional ryokan, on the other hand, provide a room with tatami mats (Japanese mats) and the bed is replaced by a futon (a kind of mattress to be placed on the floor). Usually ryokan rooms do not have an en-suite bathroom, but only a communal one, where you can however find the typical Japanese bathroom, where first you wash yourself thoroughly and then get into hot water baths.

Minshuku are similar to ryokan but more ‘spartan’ and less luxurious.

In Buddhist temples, on the other hand, you have to follow the monks’ rules. Usually (vegetarian) dinner served quite early and ‘curfew’.

NOTE: the rooms in Japanese hotels are quite small, usually a French bed (140 cm wide), but if you are a couple, you can sleep in it comfortably. Each room is then equipped with lots of accessories, such as slippers, yukata (a kind of dressing gown), kettle for hot water and tea, television, hair dryer, toothbrush, soap, shampoo and conditioner, razor. I have probably forgotten something, but as you can see, you will find everything you need.

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