There are many different hotel types in Japan, from the weird and wonderful to the traditional. A traditional Japanese inn is called a ryokan and for this list, we’ve selected the best of the best from all of the ryokans in Nara.
This beautiful ryokan is just a few minutes from Nara’s Kofuku Temple and offers both western beds and Japanese tatami mat rooms, but, of course, in order to experience true Japan, we’ll be recommending the tatami mat rooms. The Japanese drink a lot of green tea, so this is readily available for free, alongside the multi-course kaiseki dinner, which can be served in either the Kachomon Restaurant or your own room.
With a delicious on-site restaurant and natural hot springs, you’ll need a helping hand to drag yourself away to explore Kyoto. The bedrooms are spacious, far beyond the usual standard, and are neutrally decorated in a Japanese style to ease the sense of relaxation. We love that you are given ‘house suits’ upon arrival, to wear around the premises and the free late-night ramen!
Photo is only for illustrative purposes.
Looking for a quiet, restful retreat in a true Japanese style? Then this ryokan may just be your perfect partner. Some of the rooms overlook a traditional garden, so it is worth booking one of these, if possible. Dinner is served in a private dining room and is typical Japanese cuisine.
Address: 10 Kasugano-cho, Nara 630-8212, Nara Prefecture
Price: from 177 USD / 20,219 JPY
4. KKR Nara Mikasaso
This ryokan has two main buildings: the traditional building for an authentic stay and a “shinkan”, for guests who are looking for a more modern experience. If you chose to stay in the traditional bedroom, your pillow will be filled with buckwheat husks, which is an experience in its own right!
This ryokan is nestled in beautiful Nara Park, so you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from city life. There are meal plans available which can be served in your private quarters, at a low table with floor seating.
KKR Nara Mikasaso
Address: 1224 Takabatakecho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
Price: from 124 USD / 14,165 JPY
Photo is only for illustrative purposes.
This breathtaking ryokan is in a Buddhist temple and it is absolutely beautiful. There are monks still in the area, so you will need to be mindful of this, but they will happily explain to you the history of the area - if you understand Japanese, that is! What makes it extra special is that you can be witness to their traditional morning ceremony.
Address: 2280 Shigisan, Heguri-cho, Ikoma-gun 636-0923, Nara Prefecture
Price: from 62 USD / 7,082 JPY
From the most remote to a very central location, now with Nara Hakushikaso. This traditional style ryokan is in the heart of town but hasn’t lost the tradition, with tatami mats and a Japanese breakfast. The ryokan itself is simple and modest, perfect for a few nights stay away from western-style hotels.
This hotel has spacious rooms and is located just five minutes from the Nara JR Station. Again, as with many of the other ryokans, there are both western style bedrooms and Japanese style bedrooms, available for booking. There are also different meal plans available, for example, half board includes a traditional Japanese style breakfast and dinner.
8. Ryokan Seikanso
This traditional style ryokan offers pretty views over the little Japanese garden and authentic and welcoming stay, as this ryokan is family run. The building itself was built in the Taisho period, so to some people, it may be outdated but we love the authentic charm! There are no western style rooms available, only rooms with tatami mats and breakfast is offered.
Address: 29 Higashi Kitsuji-cho, Nara 630-8327, Nara Prefecture
Price: from 40 USD / 4,569 JPY
The large, sunny rooms here are perfect to relax and unwind in. The ryokan has an excellent location but is very quiet and peaceful, whilst the food itself is so good it deserves its own blog! It is also a very popular site, so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment as there are only two rooms available.
10. Ryokan Matsumae
This ryokan is fantastic because of the additional experiences they offer their guests. If booked in advance, you can be witness to traditional calligraphy writing and a Kyogen theatre performance (comedy). The train station is just a few short minutes away and you’ll enjoy staying here because the owners really try to make the best experience for everyone.
Address: 28-1 Higashiterabayashicho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8362, Japan
Price: from 44 USD / 5,026 JPY
Kotono Yado Musashino is a traditional ryokan, situated within Nara Park and is the oldest inn in town. Historically, the ryokan was a small tea house and guests can still enjoy authentic cuisines, teas and seasonal sweets today. The rooms have traditional interior akin to a ryokan such as tatami flooring, a wooden ceiling, and futon beds. The unique design of the bathrooms allow guests to enjoy the breeze from Mount Wakakusa as they enjoy a bath. All these plus the warm service of the hotel staff all contribute to one’s relaxing and definitely rejuvenating holiday in Nara.
Kotono Yado Musashino
Address: Nara, Nara, Kasugano-cho 90
Price: from 262 USD
A ryokan with a view – Nara Mikasa transcends all four seasons and offers a traditional Japanese experience. The inn was renovated in the spring of 2009, offering additional conventional rooms and open-air baths and interior spas made from cypress. There is also a maisonette room with an open atmosphere and a special room overlooking Todaiji Temple Hall of the Great Buddha. There’s no need leave the ryokan for a meal since the property also offers delicate and colorful Japanese style banquet cuisine and dishes created from seasonal ingredients. After a delicious meal, relax in the two spas. Finally, guests can enjoy the night view overlooking Wakakusa Mountain and the whole of ancient yet elegant Nara.
Nara Mikasa Ryokan
Address: 728-10 Kawakamicho, Nara-shi, Nara Prefecture
Price: from 161 USD
Photo is only for illustrative purposes.
Bask in the tranquillity of historically rich Nara when you stay in Ryotei Jyusouya, a ryokan which provides a refreshing and relaxing stay to their guests. This is most apparent in their choice of ingredients for meals, which are sourced directly from local farms, seas, and mountains and prepared using traditional techniques and then served directly into the guests’ rooms in a tea ceremony course style. The rooms have the typical ryokan tatami floors and traditional paper sliding doors allow for sunlight to trickle through. Another important feature of this ryokan is their onsens with beautiful views of the surrounding garden that changes with every season. Whether you come with a large or small group of family or friends, Ryotei Jyusouya is one place not to miss when looking for a comfortable and yet truly “Japanese” experience in the heart of Nara.
Address: 3-27 Shigisannishi,Sango-cho,Ikoma-gun
Price: from 332 USD / 36,444 JPY
Hotel New Wakasa is a 3-star ryokan located only a 5-minute walk from the Todaiji Temple and a 15-minute walk from the popular Nara Park. They offer clean and spacious Japanese rooms, with some having mountain views and private external bathrooms. All units are also clad with tatami or woven-straw flooring and are fitted with a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, as well as an electric kettle with free green tea bags. Dining here is not to be missed, with fresh ingredients served for Japanese dinners and breakfasts in the dining room. Guests can also enjoy a private spa experience with a view of Mount Wakakusa for an additional charge. Free WiFi is available in all areas. For recreation, guests can enjoy live performances, as well as book walking and cultural tours.
Staying in a ryokan is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the Japanese local culture. In Nara, Wakasa Annex is one option if you’re looking for that kind of experience. They feature traditionally designed and soundproof rooms with a woven straw floor (tatami) and shoji paper screens. The bathrooms are also all wooden. Despite being traditional, the accommodation does not fall short of providing modern conveniences to their guests such as air-conditioning, WiFi, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Authentic Japanese meals are served during dinner and breakfast in the dining area. Wakasa Annex is located close to Nara Park, which is only a 15-minute walk away while Nara train station is only a 12-minute walk away from the property.
Address: Kitahanda Higashimachi 1
Price: from 218 USD
Restaurant Sun terrace Fax/photocopying Massage Public Bath Foot massage Single-use miniature toiletry bottles (including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturiser, hand soap) Back massage
Tenpyo Ryokan is very strategically located, very central close to shopping streets and bus stops but with no significant noise to interfere the guests’ relaxing stay. It is about a minute walk from Kintetsu Nara station. The non-smoking, Japanese-style rooms are fitted with a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and eclectic kettle. Some rooms also feature a woven-straw flooring and Japanese futon beddings. Free WiFi is available in all areas of the property and for convenience, there are also computers in the lobby free for use to all guests. There is an in-house restaurant serving western and local dishes. Also a must-experience for all guests is the hotel’s onsen or public bath as well as hot spring baths and for an additional charge: their massage services.
Kasuga Hotel is a 4-star luxury hotel which is only a 5-minute taxi ride from JR Nara Station. One unique feature is the availability of the public bath that guests are encouraged to try for a relaxing experience. The rooms, meanwhile, feature tatami flooring, futon beds, and are fitted with LCD TV for entertainment. Guests will be provided with yukata robes. The luxury Japanese dinner at Kasuga Hotel is a must-try as well as their breakfast offering. Some other features of this ryokan include free WiFi in rooms, massage services for an additional charge, daily housekeeping, luggage storage and the availability of an in-house gift shop as well as meeting/banquet facilities.
Relax in ryokans
These excellent, traditional style ryokans are the perfect way to explore Japan. You’ll see a completely different side of Japan than if you stay in a western style hotel, so what are you waiting for?
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