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.
Address: 630-8301 Nara, Nara, Takabatake-cho 1113-3 , Japan (see map)
Price: from 158 USD / 18,049 JPY
Star Rating: 3 Star
Travelers Review: Superb 9.3 (from 106 reviews)
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!
Onyado Nono Nara
Address: 630-8115 Nara, Nara, Omiyacho 1-1-6, Japan (see map)
Price: from 79 USD / 9,024 JPY
Star Rating: 4 Star
Travelers Review: Superb 9.2 (from 127 reviews)
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
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.
Address: 630-8266 Nara, Nara, Hanashibacho 4, Japan (see map)
Price: from 178 USD / 20,334 JPY
Star Rating: 3 Star
Travelers Review: Fabulous 8.6 (from 271 reviews)
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.
Hotel Asyl Nara
Address: 630-8247 Nara, Nara, Aburasaka-cho 1-58, Japan (see map)
Price: from 114 USD / 13,023 JPY
Star Rating: 3 Star
Travelers Review: Good 7.7 (from 359 reviews)
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.
Address: 630-8142 Nara, Nara, Kainozuka-cho 181-15, Japan (see map)
Price: from 88 USD / 10,053 JPY
Star Rating: 1 Star
Travelers Review: Fabulous 8.9 (from 100 reviews)
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 255 USD / 28,000 JPY
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 383 USD / 42,000 JPY
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
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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