1. 根津 澤の屋旅館
  2. 築地 大宗旅館
  3. Hoshinoya Tokyo
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  4. Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku
    Photo: Nacasa & Partners

Best ryokan in Tokyo

Stay at these Japanese-style inns for a taste of traditional hospitality

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors

There's a wide range of accommodations in Tokyo, catering to all manner of tastes, styles and budgets, from cool and unique places to stay to the iconic and ubiquitous capsule hotels. However, what's increasingly harder to find is a good ryokan, the old-school Japanese guesthouse with tatami mats, futon beds and low tables.

Staying at a ryokan is an interesting experience in itself, as it provides a great introduction to traditional Japanese culture and hospitality. More often than not, these traditional inns also provide Japanese meals and sometimes even a private bathhouse just for guests. Here are some of our favourite ryokan in Tokyo.

Recommended: Take advantage of the cheap transport deals for tourists

Tokyo's top ryokan

  • Hotels
  • Ryokan
  • Ogikubo

Located right next to a nondescript apartment block, this historical Ogikubo ryokan building is a registered Tangible Cultural Property of Japan, with interiors resembling an old Western-style boarding house renovated in Japanese style. The narrow corridors are fitted with stepping stones and eaves, with the Western aesthetic more visible in details like the impressive glass-paneled fireplace, all in all providing for quite a unique combination.

Rates: ¥6,000, ¥8,500 with breakfast

  • Hotels
  • Ryokan
  • Otemachi

Just when it was starting to feel that Tokyo ryokan were on the verge of extinction, along came a major new player. Opened in July 2016, Hoshinoya Tokyo is one of the capital's very few luxury ryokan – and it's located in central Otemachi, just a short walk from Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. The 19-storey (including two underground floors) building houses tatami-floored suites, as well as a spa, Japanese restaurant and conference facilities, while offering the same standard of service that's earned awards for its sister resorts in places including Karuizawa and Kyoto.

Rates: From ¥43,680

  • Hotels
  • Hongo

The Homeikan Honkan is a historical ryokan that's been registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. The elegant building will make you feel like you've travelled back in time to the Showa era, as this former boarding house features narrow corridors and traditional sliding-door entraces that are becoming increasingly uncommon in the city. The guestrooms feature fan-shaped windows and stylish alcove posts, lending the interior a touch of classic Japanese elegance.

Rates: ¥6,825, ¥7,875 with breakfast

Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo
  • Hotels
  • Nihonbashi

A three-minute walk from Tokyo station will bring you to this century-old hotel that still retains its sense of wa (harmony). The atmosphere is warm and family-like, and rooms range from standard singles and eleborate ones complete with tatami-mat flooring to a tea-ceremony suite and even barrier-free rooms designed by architect Joe Ribera.

Rates: from ¥16,100 (breakfast included) 

  • Hotels
  • Ryokan
  • Shinjuku

If you're looking for a modern ryokan experience, this accommodation in Shinjuku fits the bill. The rooms are kept simple yet luxurious – think large window with views over the bustling city, tatami spaces graced with a bonsai, low tables and large futon. Definitely check out the onsen on the 18th floor – there's even an open-air bath – whose water is directly brought in from a hot spring in Hakone.

Rates: from ¥11,000

Sawanoya Ryokan
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  • Yanaka

One of the few ryokan in Tokyo catering almost exclusively to foreign visitors, Sawanoya has a small library of English-language guidebooks and provides its own map of the old-fashioned Yanaka area, plus cheap bicycle rentals. Rooms are small but comfortable, and there are signs in English reminding you the proper etiquette, especially on how to use the bath.

More expensive rooms have ensuite bathrooms (¥11,880 for a double) while cheaper ones have access to the communal Japanese-style bath and shower. There’s also a small coffee lounge, and all rooms have free Wi-Fi. The couple who own the place do everything possible to make your stay enjoyable.

Rates: From ¥5,724

Sukeroku no Yado Sadachiyo
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  • Asakusa

This smart, modern ryokan is within five minutes’ walk from Asakusa’s pride, the ever popular Sensoji temple. From the outside, the building resembles a cross between a European chalet and a Japanese castle, but the interior is pure Japanese, with receptionists shuffling around the front desk dressed in kimonos. Staff are obliging, but speak only minimal English. All rooms are Japanese in style and come in a variety of sizes; the smallest is equivalent to just five tatami mats. The communal Japanese bath will help make your stay a memorable and relaxing experience.
Rates: From ¥15,100 (breakfast included), ¥20,600 with two meals per day

Ryokan Shigetsu
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  • Asakusa

Despite being located barely 30 seconds by foot from Asakusa’s market and temple complex, Shigetsu is surprisingly peaceful. It offers comfortable rooms in either Japanese or Western styles, all of which have their own bathrooms – although there is also a Japanese-style communal bath on the top floor. Recent years have seen a shift back to Japanese-style rooms, with 15 of the 23 now featuring traditional tatami and futon furnishings.

Rates: From ¥8,400

Daisou Ryokan
  • Things to do
  • Tsukiji

Located in what was once a private residence in a quiet Tsukiji neighbourhood, Daisou only has two guestrooms. The house is loaded with retro charm, from the tiled bathroom sinks to the exquisitely carved figures on the shoji sliding windows. The location is supremely convenient – the bustling Tsukiji outer market is very close by, and walking to Ginza won't take long either.

Rates: ¥5,500 

Kimi Ryokan
  • Hotels
  • Ikebukuro

Especially popular among foreign visitors, Kimi provides everything you would expect from a ryokan. The rooms come with tatami mats and futon instead of beds but are equipped with free Wi-Fi. There's a communal kitchen space, which you're free to use, and even a lounge and rooftop terrace. Don't worry about language barriers as the staff here speak English.

Rates: from ¥5,400

Ryokan Katsutaro
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  • Ikenohata

In a backstreet on the northern side of Ueno Park, Katsutaro is a small, friendly ryokan with good-sized rooms and the atmosphere of a real family home (which it is). Rooms can fit up to four people, at an extra charge of roughly ¥4,000 per person. The owner speaks some English, but have a phrasebook handy if you want the conversation to progress. Just a short walk away is the Annex (¥6,750 single, ¥11,200-¥12,150 double), which is more modern and has more facilities.

Hotel Edoya
  • Hotels
  • Yushima

This mainly Japanese-style ryokan, not far from Ueno Park, offers a good standard of accommodation at reasonable prices. There’s a small Japanese tearoom and garden on the first floor while the roof has an open-air hot bath for both men and women.

Rates: From ¥7,630

Chiyoda Inn
  • Hotels
  • Minami-Senju

This cozy ryokan close to Minami-Senju Station boasts traditional Japanese aesthetics, inspired by the concept of wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy that celebrates imperfection and impermanence. The rooms are painted in warm orange colours and you can choose between Japanese-style futon or regular beds. Make sure to reserve a time slot for the cosy bath, whose tub is made from Shigaraki stoneware pottery. The lobby also acts as a gallery space exhibiting works of young, up-and-coming artists.

Rates: From ¥4,980

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