Click on the questions below to find out more about the ryokan experience.
We are currently producing videos to address the 20 most frequently asked questions about ryokan, so please stay tuned!

【Answer】 Watch Video
In recent years, more ryokan have begun offering rooms with beds.
There are also ryokan that offer chairs and tables for guests who would prefer not to sit on the floor.
Traditionally at a ryokan, you do not sleep on a bed. You use a futon, a type of bedding that you lay right on the tatami flooring.
Why did futon bedding become standard in Japan? There are several explanations, including:

・Japan doesn’t have a lot of space. You can put away a futon each night, and even laid out, it doesn’t take up too much space.
・Japan is quite humid. It’s easy to pick up and move a futon to dry it out in the sun.

However, in recent years, in response to the needs of guests, there are more ryokan with:
・Japanese-style rooms with beds
・Mixed Japanese/Western rooms
・Completely Western-style rooms

If you want to stay at a ryokan, but you want to do it sleeping in a bed, just ask the ryokan!
Also, bear in mind that a room at a ryokan is usually furnished with low tables and legless Japanese-style chairs.
For those who prefer not to sit on the floor, some ryokan offer Western-style tables and chairs.
If you want them, ask the ryokan staff.
Almost all rooms at a ryokan will have an integrated shower and bathtub unit.

For most Japanese people, a slow soak in the communal bath is an indispensable part of a ryokan stay.
Free from the stresses of everyday life, you can let your body and mind relax.
If you’ve come all the way to a ryokan, please do check out the communal bathing area! (For specific guidance on using the communal bath, see Q19: “What do I need to know about using the communal bath?”)

If you’re curious about the various bathing facilities and how to use them, don’t hesitate to contact the ryokan before your visit!
【Answer】 Watch Video
Ryokan have all sorts of amenities to help guests relax and have a good time.
A few ryokan even offer interesting hands-on experiences.

[Example amenities]
・Karaoke bar or boxes
・Table tennis
・Massage room
・Gift shop
・Bar or lounge
・Beauty spa
[Example experiences]
・Putting on and wearing a kimono
・Making soba noodles
・Making traditional handicrafts
・Picking food ingredients at a local farm
You might discover a unique and unexpected experience at a ryokan.
Ask the ryokan about what exactly it has to offer!
Most ryokan offer Wi-Fi in the rooms, lobby, and so on.

Just to be sure, you may want to confirm a ryokan’s Wi-Fi availability as listed on its website.
Some ryokan have renovated to conform to “universal design” principles, so that all guests—including those with physical disabilities—can enjoy their stay there.
Be sure to let the ryokan know your particular needs in order to determine what kinds of assistance may be available.

Most ryokan feature traditional Japanese architecture and design.
This sometimes creates situations where a person with a disability has problems with accessibility. (For example, the step in the lobby of a ryokan.)

On the other hand, many ryokan have worked to make their facilities more accessible, including with:
・Installation of elevators
・Installation of handrails/accessibility ramps/chairs/benches, etc.
Furthermore, some ryokan have received Silver Star Certification*, which recognizes ryokan and hotels that “strive to offer accommodations that are accessible to all and that meet fixed standards with regard to facilities, services, and dining options.”

In addition to the above, these ryokan also meet the below criteria for keeping their guests safe and comfortable:
・Offer food options considerate of the needs of elderly guests
・Educate employees on how to provide thoughtful service to elderly guests
・Have reasonable access to a medical facility that offers doctors’ calls to the ryokan

When you make your reservation, let the ryokan know if you will have any elderly guests, and if you have any special requests for them.

*The Silver Seal Certification is a certification established in 1993 by the All Japan Ryokan Hotel Association with the cooperation of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. It aims to increase the number of facilities that are outfitted for accessibility and comfort for senior citizens.
Most ryokan have a check-out time between 10:00 and 12:00 in the morning.

If you miss your check-out, different ryokan have different policies.
However, a ryokan is essentially on the side of the guest, and will generally handle the situation amicably.
If you’re unsure about any aspect of the check-out procedure, just ask the ryokan.