Relax overnight in a Japanese ryokanTakayama, Japan
While in Japan there is one experience that you must try: an overnight stay in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn). Ryokans are more than just a place to sleep, they are an opportunity to get a taste of traditional Japanese life and hospitality, and incorporate elements such as tatami floors, futon beds (sleeping on a mattress on the floor), Japanese-style baths and local cuisine. Most visits to a ryokan include indulging in traditional meals and a trying a Japanese bath, also known as an onsen. In an onsen, men and women take a dip in completely separate bathing areas, and absolutely no clothing or swimming costumes are allowed.
Release your inhibitions and bathe, sleep and eat as the Japanese do!
- Experience the Japanese way of sleeping, eating and bathing at a local ryokan
- Sleep on a tatami mat (Japanese mattress)
- Bath in a Japanese onsen (no bathers allowed)
- If you are uncomfortable being naked in front of others, the onsen bath might not be for you. However, if you are game, it’s a unique and freeing experience, and a great insight into the local culture
By train via Nagoya
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagoya (100-120-minutes, several trains per hour) and transfer to the JR Hida limited express train to Takayama (140-minutes, one train per hour). The entire one-way journey takes about 4.5-hours, costs around JPY ¥14,000 and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass if you are using a Hikari train between Tokyo and Nagoya (as opposed to Nozomi trains which are not covered by the pass).
By train via Toyama
Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Toyama and transfer to the JR Hida limited express train to Takayama (90 minutes). There are only two or three good connections per day that take about four hours one way; otherwise, the journey takes around five hours. The one way ride costs around 15,500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
- Japanese ryokans feature private rooms, en-suites, and restaurants and banquet rooms for meals
- Most ryokans also feature traditional bathing rooms and pools known as onsens
The only difficulty you may encounter is overcoming any uncomfortable or awkward feelings you may have of being naked in the onsen bath.