Learn About All Types of Hotels in Japan

Are you planning your next trip to our dear Japan?

Then you must be looking for a suitable accommodation for you.

Well, as there are different types of hotels in Japan, many get confused about which will be the appropriate one for them.

So, to rescue you from the puzzle, today I will discuss all types of Japanese hotels, from luxurious to budget-friendly ones.

Get A Precise Idea About Diverse Types of Hotels in Japan Before Booking!

As Japan is a popular holiday destination, there is a vast range of accommodation types to choose from.

You will find both Japanese style inns (ryokan), western style hotels, and even some unusual ones that you never knew before!

Typically, rates for each person range from less than 2,000 yen ($18) to over 50,000 yen ($436).

Hence, there is always an option for everyone.

Alright, let’s get into the list of Japanese hotel types without any further ado.

Traditional Japanese Hotel

Most people don’t know that there are actually two distinct traditional hotels available in Japan.

First, I will talk about the Ryokans, which you are probably familiar with.

1. Ryokan Hotels

If you wanna experience the traditional lifestyle and hospitality of Japan, staying in a ryokan will be the perfect pick.

They incorporate elements like tatami floors, Japanese-style baths, futon beds, and local cuisine, making them widely famous among foreign tourists.

Ryokan room in japan

The moment you enter a ryokan, you will sense the presence of ancient Japan brought to life.

And, that’s why those people who are keen to know how we Japanese people used to live in the old era come here to quench their curiosity.

Ryokan in Japan

However, what will happen after finally experiencing this type of stay?

Well, a wish to stay here more will be your ultimate longing!!

Anyway, there are various kinds of ryokans, varying in size, style, amenities, etc. Some ryokans are a small, family-run business that consists of a few rooms.

View from a ryokan room

But, the others have hotel-like facilities with hundreds of rooms, private onsens, TVs, mini-fridges, high-end room service, and more.

Especially in Kyoto city, you will find the most attractive ryokans with hot springs, which are extremely popular among couples. But, don’t get a wrong idea like you won’t find them in other cities.

Private onsen in Japanese ryokan

Because of their intense fame, they are found in almost all the big cities in Japan.

Okay, usually, they serve meals with the respective city’s local ingredients, and you won’t be able to resist the taste. They always use fresh veggies, meats, and seasonal specialties to satisfy visitors.

Traditional Japanese meal

While talking about the atmosphere and comfort, ryokans are no less than any luxury. Even some ryokans are surrounded by a tranquil Japanese garden, green mountains, or blue ocean.

During the stay, you will find peace of mind and body that you never experienced before.

Traditional Japanese inn

Now, if you are eager to book one, I suggest you choose one that has hot springs. Because after all the sightseeing, indulging in a hot onsen will be a perfect treat for your body.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost of A Ryokan: 6,000 to 50,000 yen ($52 to $435) per person.
Few Ryokans in Tokyo: The Edo Sakura, Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu, Cyashitsu Ryokan Asakusa.
Few Ryokans in Kyoto: Seikoro, Yoshida Sanso, Garden Ryokan Yachio, Hotel Kitanoya.
Few Ryokans in Osaka: Yamatoya Honten, Kaneyoshi Ryokan, Amami Onsen Nanten-en, Fudouguchikan.
Few Ryokans in Hokkaido: Umino Ryotei Okinawa Nakamasou, Marukoma Onsen Ryokan, Hakodate Hotel Banso, Heiseikan Shiosaitei.

Okay, it’s time to know about another traditional hotel type in Japan that you may not have heard of before. 

2. Minshuku

Minshuku is a family-operated bed and breakfast lodgings of the owner’s house where you have the opportunity to greet local families and live like them.

Usually, Minshuku is found near resorts and tourist spots like ski resorts, mountains, hot springs, and other famous locations. You will also find them in countryside towns or by the sea.

If you are on a tight budget and still want to experience the local vibe of Japan, this is your way out.

 By the way, many visitors think that ryokan and minshuku are the same, but it’s not true at all.

Generally, hotels and ryokans which have their own onsen facility are considered onsen hotels.

Although they have some similarities like minshuku offers tatami rooms with futon beddings.

Old traditional japanese room

Other amenities are also simple. For example, bathrooms are often shared, and you need to fold back your bedding in the morning.

See also  15 Best Kyoto Ryokan with Private Onsen

While talking about in-room facilities, you may expect a small television, table, heater, towel, and tea set. Few minshukus serve only breakfast or no meals at all.

By now, you may guess that they are not as lavish as most of the ryokans. And, if you are looking for high-end facilities and luxury, you may avoid it.

But, if you are interested, I want to share something!

While staying in a minshuku, you will be showered with heartwarming hospitality from the owner’s family for sure.

And, I suggest you go to the Shirakawago and Gokayama villages where you can stay in the gassho-zukuri farmhouse. Even the facilities here are pretty awesome.

gassho-zukuri farmhouse

During winter, there are several things to do here, including watching the illumination at night.

Personally, I like this place a lot that I couldn’t resist recommending it.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost of A Minshuku: 4,000 to 10,000 yen ($35 to $87) per person.

Westernized Hotels in Japan

With the growing fame of Japan worldwide, many people come here not only to travel but also to do business.

And, that’s the reason you will find various types of hotels that follow the western decor.

3. Western-Style Hotel

From the local Japanese brands to well-known western chains, there are a vast number of western-style hotels in Japan.

You can select from the 5-star lavish hotels or even go for the affordable ones.

Generally, these hotels provide settings and comforts familiar to the US, Australia, and European country travelers.

Luxury hotel room japan

Here you will find western-style beds, an air conditioner, a writing desk, telephone, refrigerator, kettle, adjacent washroom, and so on.

Some have an on-site restaurant, spa, gym, entertainment arrangements, etc.

Most of the luxurious hotels are found in big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima.

And the cost differs depending on the location and the rank of that particular hotel.

There is no doubt that these hotels can please everyone because they are finely specialized in handling visitors from all over the world.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost of A 3-Star Hotel: 10,000 to 15,000 yen ($88 to $131) per person.
Approx. Cost of A 4-Star Hotel: 20,000 to 25,000 yen ($175 to $218) per person.
Approx. Cost of A 5-Star Hotel: Over 30,000 yen ($261+) per person.
Few Western-Style Hotels in Tokyo: Park Hyatt Tokyo, The Ritz Carlton, Century Southern Tower Hotel, The Blossom Hibiya.
Few Western-Style Hotels in Kyoto: The Thousand Kyoto, Ace Hotel Kyoto, Noku Kyoto.
Few Western-Style Hotels in Okinawa: Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort, The Ritz Carlton Okinawa, Hotel Moon Beach.
Few Western-Style Hotels in Kyoto: Park Hyatt Kyoto, The Thousand Kyoto, Hotel Granvia Kyoto.

4. Business Hotel

Business hotel rooms in Japan are relatively small but clean and well-kept with attached bathrooms.

Normally, amenities such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush & toothpaste, shower caps, and towels are provided. Most of the rooms come with an air conditioner, television, telephone, hairdryer, kettle, refrigerator, etc.

In most business hotels, you will find a common room on every two or three floors where coin-operated washing machines and vending machines are placed.

You can also use a coin-operated drying machine if available in that hotel.

Some Japanese business hotels even have self-check-in and check-out systems via a machine placed in the lobby. While checking in, you have to pay for the rooms, and then the machine will give you a key that looks like a card.

During check-out, when you will insert the key, the device will inform you whether any additional charges are required. And after making payment (if any), you will receive a receipt and will be good to go. 

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Charge for Single Room: 5,000 to 10,000 yen ($44 to $88).
Approx. Charge for Double Room: 7,000 to 12,000 yen ($61 to $105).
Some Business Hotel Chains in Japan: Route Inn, APA Hotel, Super Hotel, Daiwa Roynet Hotel, Dormy Inn, Toyoko Inn.

5. Pensions

Similar to the minshuku, pension hotels are family-run accommodations, but they are western-style. They portray an elegant image with a personal touch of the owner.

Generally, pensions are found in famous tourist areas and countryside towns.

Rooms are typically simple and furnished with beds, TV, and heater. Most pensions have shared washrooms, but some rooms come with attached ones too.

two bed hotel room

Basic conveniences such as toothpaste, toothbrush, and soap are available in the communal sink area.

Wi-fi may be accessible free, and most pensions at least give a computer with internet connection in the common room.

Typically, the cost per night of these hotel rooms includes two western meals prepared with seasonal local ingredients.

Western-style breakfast

Hence, if Japanese foods don’t go well with your tastebuds, you don’t have to worry about starving.

See also  Capsule Hotel for Couples in Tokyo with Pros & Cons

I will say, while staying in Japan, you can consider a pension hotel as a low-priced option.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost Per Night: 6,000 to 12,000 yen ($53 to $105) per person.
Some locations where pensions are found: Furano, Nikko, Niseko, Zao, Nasu, Urabandai, Karuizawa.

6. Hostels & Dormitories

Hostels & dormitories are housing with the bare fundamentals for any budget traveler.

You have to share bedrooms and facilities with other visitors at a low price.

If you like the company of new people and are comfortable with them, you will have a cheerful time here. Time will fly away in a blink of an eye by gossiping and sharing funny life stories.

This type of accommodation will be more fun if you come with a bunch of your crazy friends. You guys are gonna spend a youthful time fighting and teasing each other all night!

Hostel room in japan
Image Credit: khaosan-tokyo.com

One good thing is that these types of hostels are available all across the country. From larger cities to the countryside, many dormitories are found through Hostelworld.

Just pack your bag and hop from one dormitory to another while exploring our delightful Japan.

By the way, the hostel rooms layout varies from place to place, yet a double-storied bunk bed is mostly common in a dormitory.

Few hostels provide Japanese-style rooms with futon beds and tatami floors. Normally, you have to share rooms with 4 to 8 people, often gender separated.

Japanese style room in hostel
Image Credit: khaosan-tokyo.com

However, some hostels may have private rooms, but you have to pay a few thousand yen extra. Toilets and washrooms are shared, yet few rooms come with adjacent ones.

Meals, especially breakfast, usually are included with the hotel price, but if not, you may have to purchase them. You can even prepare your own meal in a common kitchen, in case they have this facility.

Shared kitchen in hostel
Image Credit: khaosan-tokyo.com

Almost all the hostels have a joint room for travelers to hang out, which is usually equipped with a TV and PC.

Be noted that many hostels & dormitories, mainly outside the large cities, follow strict curfews. Even a handful of hostels have a lock-out period when all the guests are required to be in their respective rooms.

In Japan, Youth Hostels operate over 300 hostels across the country.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost Per Night: 1,500 to 4,000 yen ($13 to $35) per person.
Hostel in Tokyo: Imano Tokyo Hostel, UNPLAN Kagurazaka, Time Sharing Stay Asakusa, Toco Tokyo Heritage Hostel.
Hostel in Kyoto: Khaosan Kyoto Guest House, Gojo Guest House, HARUYA Umekoji, Guest House YULULU.
Hostel in Osaka: Hostel Q, Air Osaka Hostel, The Stay Osaka Shinsaibashi, Peace House Sachi.

Japanese & Western Style

Available in both western and Japanese styles, you may consider vacation rentals too.

7. Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals (minpaku) have become a thriving business in Japan. Properties with a single room to an entire house are offered for rent.

These are an excellent alternative to hotels, especially for a larger group of visitors and families who need huge space.

In Japan, Airbnb and other companies offer platforms where you can rent a private home for your vacation.

You have many options to choose from modern apartments in Tokyo to traditional machiya houses in Kyoto.

Vacation rental house in kyoto

Also, there are several farmhouses for rent in the countryside that will make you feel like living the life of a local Japanese.

It sounds extremely fun, right?

And, of course, most of them come along with all the amenities that you have in your own home like the kitchen, washing machine, and so on.

Ensure to store the garbage properly cause Japan has strict recycling and rubbish rules. And it is considered disrespectful not to do it appropriately.

It may happen that you are gonna fall in love with our culture and start to live here for a long time. Well, who is to blame, it’s the charm of our country.

Okay, as expected, the prices of houses differ depending on the property and location.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost Per Night: 5,000 to 70,000 yen ($44 to $612).
You may rent from: https://www.airbnb.com/japan/stays

Unique Type of Lodgings in Japan

Apart from technical advancement, we Japanese also have creative minds. And the following ones are such examples.

8. Capsule Hotels

Did you ever live in a small box?

Well, maybe it seems silly to hear, but we Japanese are quite pro when it comes to innovative thinking. And the capsule hotel is one of the examples.

These hotels have boxy rooms that are also called sleeping pods.

Capsule hotel in japan

The standard size of a capsule room is about 2 meters long, 1.2 meters wide, and 1 meter high.

On the first hand, capsule hotels were dedicated to busy office workers, but now tourists appreciate them as they are comparatively cheaper than most other hotel types.

See also  A Complete Guide to Capsule Hotels in Japan

However, premium capsule hotels are recently opened in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto with a bit higher price.

Japanese capsule hotel room

Although most of the capsule hotels are for only men, there are also many hotels that accept female guests. They offer gender-separated sleeping floors or buildings for men and women.

Wait, wait!!

Does that mean you can’t stay with your partner in this hotel?

Okay, don’t worry at all.

In case you are traveling with your bae, there are a few capsule hotels for couples in Tokyo that you may choose from.

capsule hotel sleeping pods

Ohh, I forgot to tell you the basic amenities of these hotels.

Each capsule comes with a light, alarm clock, a built-in radio, and sometimes a TV. A curtain or shutter door is used in the entrance for privacy, but it can’t be locked.

Washrooms and showers are shared among the guests, and several capsule hotels have their own restaurant, laundry facilities, vending machines, lounge, entertainment room, and so on.

Inside the room of capsule hotel

Hence, if you are interested in experiencing a unique type of accommodation, you may go for these tiny Japanese hotels.

However, if you have severe claustrophobia, you should avoid these hotels.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost Per Night: 2,500 to 6,000 yen ($22 to $52).
Some Capsule Hotels in Tokyo: Nine Hours Narita Airport, First Cabin Haneda, The Millennials Shibuya.
Some Capsule Hotels in Osaka: Asahi Plaza Capsule Hotel, Cabin and Capsule Hotel J-ship, Book and Bed.
Some Capsule Hotels in Kyoto: The Millennials Kyoto, Maja Hotel Kyoto.

9. Temple Lodgings (Shukubo)

Apart from serving religious purposes, some of the Buddhist temples in Japan let visitors stay overnight. It is called temple lodgings or shukubo in Japanese.

Here you have the chance to get familiar with the simple yet punctual lifestyle of the monks. You can even participate in activities like morning prayers and meditation.

Usually, they provide guests with a traditional Japanese-style room that has tatami mat floors and sliding doors.

inside of buddhist temple japan

You will have to share toilets and sink with other visitors and sometimes with the monks too.

One of the good things about staying at a temple is the vegetarian meals, which are not only healthy but also delicious.

These meals don’t contain any meat or fish as the Buddhist moral principle prohibits taking the lives of creatures.

But, don’t worry, instead of fish & meat, they use protein-rich plant products like tofu and konyaku (devil’s tongue jelly) to fulfill the protein needs.

Fresh vegetable with tofu

Besides meals, the morning prayer and other related activities will fascinate you the most.

The religious ceremonies differ from temple to temple. Many will offer you to observe, while others allow you to participate.

Few temples even give guests a chance to take part in other activities like zazen meditation, waterfall meditation, or sutra copying.

Well, a common concern of foreign travelers is the language barrier. While most temples can only communicate in Japanese, there are also a few that have English-speaking monks.

So, my friend, if the fact made you a little tense, you may relax now!

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost Per Night: 5,000 to 15,000 yen ($44 to $130).
Perfect Places of Temple Lodging: Kyoto, Mt. Mitake in Tokyo, Osaka, Koyasan in Wakayama, Osorezan, Zenkoji in Nagano, and Dewa Sanzan.
Few Shukubos in Koyasan: Eko-in, Fudo-in, Shojoshin-in.
Shukubo in Tokyo: Komadori Sanso.
Few Shukubos in Kyoto: Shunkoin Temple Guest House, Omuro Kaikan Hall, Rokuo-in.

10. Manga Cafes

Probably you are stunned after seeing the manga cafe on the list of Japanese hotels.

I can’t blame you because almost everyone wonders how a cafe can be considered a shelter.

Well, let me clear your confusion.

Although manga cafes are for reading comic books and internet browsing, many establishments have facilities like showers, a private booth (with chairs, blankets, and pillows), and free soft drinks.

And most of them are open 24 hours, where you can get an overnight pack costing as little as 1,000 yen.

So, it won’t be wrong to call them the cheap hotel in Japan considering the price.

But, of course, they are neither a comfy option nor suitable for a long-term stay.

As most of these manga cafes are located near the train station, you can choose them as a resting place while moving from one city to another.

However, if you have a curious mind and are willing to stay in these cubicles for the sake of exceptional experience, you may go for it.

I think you will leave with a good story to tell your friends and family.

Like, “Can you guys believe that I spend a whole night sleeping on a chair and dozing. I am glad that I didn’t fall from it. Haha”

Well, it’s just an imaginary situation that may or may not happen with you, but you will make a memory for sure.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Cost Per Night: 1,000 to 3,000 yen ($9 to $26).
Few Manga Cafes in Tokyo: Customa Cafe, Aprecio Shinjuku Haijia, GeraGera Manga Cafe.

11. Love Hotels

Love hotels are not actually for tourist lodgings but for couples who want to spend some quality time together.

So, these hotels aren’t for travelers coming with family at all.

Generally, you can rent a room for one to three hours during the day, which is called a “rest” or overnight called a “stay.”

The rooms have a double bed, a television, and a nice bathroom.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Room Fee on Hour Basis: 3,000 to 7,000 yen ($26 to $61).
Approx. Cost for Overnight Stay: 8,000 to 12,000 yen ($70 to $104).
Few Love Hotels in Tokyo: Hotel Perrier, Hotel Gransky, Hotel Sara Kawagoe.
Few Love Hotels in Osaka: Hotel La Aroma Tennoji, Hotel Zen Osaka, Hotel GT Osaka.
Few Love Hotels in Kyoto: Hotel and Spa Lotus Modern, Hotel Alfa Kyoto, Hotel In The Green.

Hotels for Longer Stays

Suppose you are coming to Japan for a month or more. Renting an apartment will be an excellent decision in that case.

12. Apartments Or Guest Houses

As you know, hotels have a rule of cost on the basis of a per night system. And if you stay for months, the total price will be way too high.

In such a case, renting an apartment or shared apartment on a monthly basis can save you from spending a huge fortune.

There are many guesthouses for foreigners in Japan that are inexpensive and well-furnished, and you can stay for one month or longer. Some guesthouses even offer weekly contracts.

ready apartment room

Although there are several apartments in Tokyo, you will find them in other major cities in Japan. And there are several companies available who help foreigners to find their preferred guesthouses.

Note that depending on the room and company policy, the rent may include the cost for utilities or not.

Information you may need to Know
Approx. Monthly Rent for Shared Apartment: From 40,000 ($348).
Approx. Monthly Rent for Private Apartment: From 100,000 ($868).

Conclusion

By now, you have gotten a precise idea about all types of hotels in Japan, from traditional to unusual ones.

Personally, I like ryokan a lot as it has a genuine touch of our culture, but the others are also quite pleasant.

So, just fix your budget, see which type goes well, and decide.

Lastly, I hope you have a happy and cheerful time in our country.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Business hotels and traditional Japanese-style ryokan are two of the most popular hotels in Japan.

Apart from them, western hotels are also famous among foreigners.

Four Seasons Hotel (in Kyoto), Park Hyatt (in Tokyo), Mandarin Oriental (in Tokyo), Shangri-La Hotel (in Tokyo) are some popular hotels in Japan.

According to the 2019 data, almost 89 thousand hotels and ryokans (Japanese inns) are registered in Japan, an increase of over 3 thousand from the previous year.

In recent years, the number of hotels has grown more as the country is a renowned holiday destination overseas.

An onsen hotel means where there is a private or at least communal onsen (hot spring) available along with accommodation facilities. 

In Japan, onsens are found especially in the ryokan (Japanese style inn), but don’t assume they will be on every ryokan.

However, you can even enjoy an onsen bath outside of the hotel as there are ample amounts of outdoor onsen facilities all across the country.