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!
The food at most ryokan is local cuisine made using locally produced and specially selected seasonal ingredients.
Most ryokan will do everything they can to accommodate the food-related requests of their guests. If you have a dietary restriction, or certain foods you don’t like, let the ryokan know.
For more than a few people, the main attraction of staying at a ryokan is the food.
The following is an example of the sort of kaiseki (traditional, small-portion, multi-course fancy meal) cuisine that many ryokan offer.
Specific menus will vary, of course—this is just for reference.
If you do have specific food requests, we recommend making them in advance (if possible, at least a few days before your stay).
[Common requests from guests]
“I have trouble with raw fish.”
“I’m allergic to ____.”
“I’d like vegetarian meals.”
“I’m a vegan, so I don’t eat eggs or dairy.”
“I can’t eat gluten.”
*Not all ryokan will be able to accommodate all requests.
・Generally speaking, you reserve your meals at the same time you reserve your room.
・Most ryokan have set time periods for meals. Once that period has passed, you may not be able to receive that meal.
Generally speaking, you reserve your meals at the same time you reserve your room.
・The meals served at a ryokan are typically local cuisine made using locally produced and seasonal ingredients, and putting them together requires advance preparation.
・So when you reserve your room at a ryokan, pick the meal plan that’s best for you. (For details about mean plans, see Q1: “What are the typical pricing structures at a ryokan?“)
Most ryokan have set time periods for meals. Once that period has passed, you may not be able to receive that meal.
・When you check in, the ryokan staff will usually ask you what time you’d like dinner and breakfast (within the set meal service period).
Let them know what works best for you. If you’re going to miss a mealtime because of traffic problems, etc., please get in touch with the ryokan.
・Although this is relatively rare, some ryokan serve dinner all evening. In this case, just eat when it suits you.
・Beyond the great food served at the ryokan, there will be plenty of other things to enjoy, including a soak in the communal bath, so we recommend getting checked in early and enjoying your time before dinner!