Have you heard of Onsen “温泉” or Ryokan ”旅館”? Onsen means “hot spring by Japanese style bath”, and Ryokan is “Japanese traditional and authentic hotel” in English. But, I often think the nuances of the English explanations are different from actual meanings that the two words have, so I call them “Onsen” and “Ryokan” even in English.
Japan has a lot of “Onsen” and “Ryokan” around the country. These words are often used in pairs because Ryokan, predominantly, has Onsen inside the facility.
Japanese people love them very much. They often go to Ryokan and “take an Onsen (sounds strange?)” People who stay Ryokan use a big shared bath. A bath’s area is separated between men and women in most spots. Basically, you need to be naked there. After washing your body, take in the bath slowly. Hot water would embrace your body, and you can be relaxed with no doubt. You can forget all issues you have at the moment.
In these some years, the style of Onsen and Ryokan has been shifting. Ryokan has been starting having rooms which has an Onsen inside a room. Once you enter a room, you don’t need to go out for a shared bath and dinner. You don’t need to meet others except for servers that carry meals and prepare your bed. This kind of room is more expensive than rooms without an Onsen, but what nobody interrupts your quiet time in the private area is the greatest deal.
Moreover, some Ryokan accept only a few groups in a day. They limit the number of people who stay there to offer genuine and generous service with cordial hospitality. Also, there are very luxury Ryokan. Don’t imagine bling furniture and decorations like Las Vegas’ hotels. Architectures, Decors, and lightings of the Ryokan elaborately embody the “Wabi-Sabi” style. It would take you to the dreamy and relaxing world.
Relux is a web service that you can look for the best room for you. You can make a reservation through it.
*Choose a language from English, Chinese, Korean
Take a glance at accommodations there. They introduce accommodations from a luxury Ryokan to a resort hotel located around Japan. The prices of the accommodations that Relux introduce are higher than average prices of typical Ryokan, but they are very nice. Don’t you think it is good to stay there for a special anniversary or a short trip? I’ll introduce some.
Inatori Ginsuiso（稲取銀水荘 銀の栞）
Kobe Minato Onsen REN（神戸みなと温泉 蓮）
Futari Towani EN（ふたり とわに 縁）https://rlx.jp/21424?lang=en
Daikon no Hana: Onsen Mountain Retreat（温泉山荘 だいこんの花）
Sankara hotel & spa Yakushima（sankara hotel＆spa 屋久島）
The Tokyo Station Hotel（東京ステーションホテル）
Kusayanenoyado Ryunohige / Bettei Yumuta（草屋根の宿 龍のひげ／別邸 ゆむた）
I love staying Ryokan and Onsen very much. I usually stay a room which has Onsen, thanks to my mom. She doesn’t want to see others after checking in, so she always chooses the room. She just wants to spoil herself by doing nothing and taking an Onsen inside a room. These rooms are relatively expensive, but she can’t stop spending her money for having a comfortable time.
Now, I am living in NYC. This city has everything, yet Onsen. I miss it very much. I am looking forward to taking an Onsen next time when I go back home.
*Sources of all photos are belonging to Relux.