10 Best Sustainable Accommodations In Japan - Updated 2024

| 6 min read

Japan has a captivating blend of tradition and modernity, luring travelers with its unique cultural experiences and breathtaking landscapes. From Tokyo’s neon-lit streets to Kyoto’s temples, this stunning destination is a land of contrasts. Delve into the country’s rich history by exploring ancient shrines such as Fushimi Inari and Meiji Jingu and iconic castles such as Himeji Castle and Osaka Castle. For nature enthusiasts, Yakushima (Island) National Park and the cherry blossoms in spring will be a delight. With tranquil hot springs, known as onsens, and lush cycling and hiking trails, Japan caters to a wide range of interests.

As tourism flourishes, so does the concern for maintaining Japan’s pristine natural beauty and cultural heritage. Whether it’s a traditional ryokan or a modern eco-friendly hotel, many establishments are now integrating green initiatives into their operations. To travel responsibly, read and discover this list of the best sustainable accommodations in Japan.

We handpicked these listings carefully, considering (wherever possible) Superhost status, recent guest reviews, location, accommodation type, prices, availability of dates, decor, and amenities. The image galleries get refreshed with the latest updates regularly. They were last updated on April 14, 2024.

1. Bettei Senjyuan; Minakami (from USD 742)

This charming ryokan sits at the base of the majestic Mount Tanigawa. The natural surroundings add to the allure of this accommodation. Moreover, this property commits to preserving nature and the local community.

This property partners with locals to restore the hiking trail leading to Mount Tanigawa. Bettei Senjyuan has also been awarded the prestigious Green Key by the Japan Alliance of Responsible Travel Agencies, so you know this property prioritizes positive impacts on nature and cultural heritage.

This ryokan’s commitment extends to reducing food waste through monthly targets, ensuring accountability for their environmental impact. Furthermore, you contribute to the local economy with every bite of delicious food, as this property sources its produce from locally grown ingredients. Another highlight of this place is its private hot springs, where you can unwind while taking in the lush greenery and the imposing mountain backdrop.

Stayed at this property?

Bettei Senjyuan

Wifi Available

Address: Tanigawa 614

Parking 24-HOUR FRONT DESK Sauna Garden Skiing Free parking Internet services Lift

2. Matsunoyama Onsen Hinanoyado Chitose; Tokamachi

Taking full advantage of the natural beauty that envelops it, this ryokan engages in practices that not only enhance its operations but also contribute to the preservation of the environment.

This place grows its rice from adjacent rice terraces, showcasing a blend of tradition and forward-thinking sustainability. It even uses regional ingredients for its mouthwatering traditional dishes. Through the geothermal power generation system, this accommodation harnesses the heat of the Matsunoyama Onsen, minimizing its impact on the environment. Guests can even soak and relax in the onsen waters. Additionally, this place contributes to the growth and well-being of the community by partnering with a local travel agency to promote the region’s products and potential.

Stayed at this property?

Matsunoyama Onsen Hinanoyado Chitose

9.0 User Rating Wheelchair accessible

Address: 49-1 Matsunoyama Yumoto, Tokamachi-Shi, Tokamachi, Tokamachi, Japan, 9421432

3. Ryokan Echigo Yuzawa HATAGO Isen; Yuzawa (from USD 217)

This ryokan in the picturesque Yuzawa is an excellent accommodation that conforms to sustainable hospitality. In an area known for its winter wonderland, this property becomes a haven for those seeking the magic of heavy snowfall during the colder months.

It also has a sister establishment, which lies a half-hour ride away. This place even offers tours that invite guests to immerse themselves in the local area. From hiking up Mount Sakado to biking through the tranquil countryside, these experiences allow you to enjoy nature. The on-site restaurant serves traditional cuisine crafted with locally sourced ingredients, allowing you to savor the flavors of the region while supporting local producers. An added delight is the gift shop, featuring an array of local brands.

Stayed at this property?

Ryokan Echigo Yuzawa HATAGO Isen

Wheelchair accessible

Address: 2455 Yuzawa, Minamiuonuma District, Yuzawa, Yuzawa, Japan, 949-6101

4. Kaikake Onsen Ryokan; Yuzawa (from USD 307)

Kaikake Onsen Ryokan at the periphery of Joshin’etsu Kogen National Park is the perfect accommodation if you’re yearning for a peaceful escape. The secluded setting of its hot spring bath ensures an intimate experience, allowing you to bask in the rejuvenating warmth and serenity. You will not be disappointed with the comfy rooms here with traditional decor, wooden furnishings, and tatamis.

The commitment to environmental responsibility is evident throughout the property. The practice of segregating trash stands as a testament to efficient waste management. The onsen’s warmth even heats the floor, while the cool mountain breeze provides natural refreshment during warmer days. Additionally, they even have a system set up to reuse water. The dishes served here are also made from seasonal produce from local farmers.

Stayed at this property?

Kaikake Onsen Ryokan

Address: Kaikake Onsen 686, Yuzawa, Yuzawa, Japan, 949-6211

5. Houshi Onsen Chojukan; Minakami (from USD 378)

This accommodation offers an authentic experience of traditional Japanese living, featuring cedar wood roofs, scrolls, and antique furnishings that harmonize beautifully with the surroundings.

Alongside providing guests with invigorating hot spring baths, the establishment takes substantial strides toward sustainability. It diligently monitors the source of its hot spring bath and manages it responsibly. Furthermore, the place is actively engaged in preserving its natural environs, exemplified by its involvement in the Akaya Project, a dedicated effort to restore the forest area. This place also plays an instrumental role in the community, recruiting 80% of its workforce locally and contributing to the regional economy.

Stayed at this property?

Houshi Onsen Chojukan

Wifi Available

Address: Nagai 650

Parking Non-smoking rooms Free parking Internet services Safety deposit box Heating Fax/photocopying Luggage storage

6. Ryokan Tanigawa; Minakami (from USD 240)

Ryokan Tanigawa is actively embracing sustainability by replacing disposable chopsticks with authentic, reusable ones, effectively reducing waste. Furthermore, the ryokan’s commitment extends to supporting local enterprises by serving traditional Gunma cuisine crafted from regionally sourced ingredients and offering local alcoholic beverages.

Although it offers two rejuvenating hot spring baths, it does not provide shampoos to help the environment get rid of any chemicals. For a more immersive cultural experience, the place also hosts enriching activities centered around the irori hearth.

Stayed at this property?

Ryokan Tanigawa

Address: 524-1,Tanigawa,Minakami-Machi,Tone-gun, Minakami, Minakami, Japan, 379-1619

7. Syoubun; Minakami (from USD 480)

Sitting within a lush canopy of trees, this entirely wooden property radiates a warm and inviting ambiance. The unique feature of spring water directly flowing into the taps allows guests to enjoy its refreshing purity and adds to the distinctive allure of the place. This accommodation also guarantees a comfy stay with spacious rooms and private open-air baths.

At this retreat, you’ll savor the true essence of the mountainous region through its authentic cuisine. The kitchen sources its ingredients from the mountain and collaborates closely with local producers to supply the restaurant’s food requirements. In addition, a charming shop awaits, offering an array of regionally crafted items. This place even supports the MINAKAMI Oasis project that protects the water from the Tone River.

Stayed at this property?


Wifi Available

Address: Tsunako 277

Parking Restaurant Garden Terrace Non-smoking rooms Skiing Family rooms Free parking

8. Satoyamajujo; Minami Uonuma (from USD 703)

This exquisite 13-room property with tastefully adorned furniture and interiors offers a luxurious holiday experience. With a dedication to promoting sustainability, the rooms have energy-efficient insulation, ensuring a comfy stay. This ryokan even provides toothbrushes made from natural materials such as bamboo, reflecting its commitment to eco-friendly practices. Even the soap is a testament to this ethos, crafted from onsen water and rice bran. Moreover, water consumption in this place comes from the spring of Mount Osawa.

The culinary journey here is equally thoughtful, with the culinary team meticulously sourcing local and organic ingredients and ensuring minimal wastage by utilizing every part of the meat and produce. The property also boasts a variety of amenities, including a lounge area and a gift shop.

Stayed at this property?

Satoyama Jujo

Wifi Available

Address: Oosawa1209-6

Parking Restaurant Room service Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-HOUR FRONT DESK Sauna Garden

9. Takahan; Yuzawa (from USD 93)

This establishment is renowned as the cherished writing retreat for the author of Snow Country. Its allure is further enhanced by a natural hot spring from 900 years ago.

In a conscious stride to reduce energy consumption, the place employs time-honored heating techniques through pellet stoves in communal spaces. The property extends its commitment to eco-friendliness by providing toothbrushes made from biomass materials. The kitchen also uses locally sourced ingredients for its cuisines, embracing the authenticity of the region while promoting the well-being of guests. Moreover, this place participates in preserving the forests in the area and opens its door to the community in case of a disaster.

Stayed at this property?


Wifi Available

Address: Yuzawa 923

Parking Meeting/banquet facilities 24-HOUR FRONT DESK Sauna Garden Non-smoking rooms Laundry Skiing

10. Hidaji (Adult Only); Takayama (from USD 517)

Experience the essence of Japanese-style living in this retreat, where rooms furnished with tatami flooring and futons create an authentic ambiance. While here, bask in the beauty of scenic surroundings while unwinding in public baths designed for relaxation.

What truly sets this place apart is its commitment to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The availability of mountain water and hot springs forms an integral part of this sustainable endeavor, fulfilling the property’s water needs. Innovatively, the establishment employs hot spring heat for floor heating, uses LED lighting throughout the premises, and even has an electric vehicle charging station. This establishment even encourages guests to conform to mindful dining using eco-friendly chopsticks and coasters. Moreover, the initiative to digitize documents and pamphlets aligns with this accommodation’s paperless drive.

This place also partners with local producers and manufacturers for food ingredients, other supplies, and decor. Another fantastic thing about this ryokan is that it invested in Yamazato Monogatari—which aims to promote 100% natural and self-sufficient energy for the town.

Stayed at this property?

Hidaji (Adult Only)

Wifi Available

Address: Okuhidaonsenkyo Fukuchi 687

Parking Garden Non-smoking rooms Free parking Internet services Safety deposit box Massage Heating

Explore Japan amidst it natural splendor

Japan’s natural beauty is a sight to behold, from its iconic cherry blossoms to the emerald hues of its forests. This captivating tapestry of green not only adds to its aesthetic allure but also plays a vital role in its cultural and environmental heritage. As a nation embracing sustainability, Japan’s breathtaking landscapes and historic sites are preserved for future generations.

For your next trip, explore these best sustainable accommodations in Japan and become a part of the country’s commitment to a greener future.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Lanusenla is a budding travel writer who thrives on the excitement of uncovering new destinations and turning those encounters into a profound sense of belonging. While she is relatively new to...Read more

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