6 Amazing Takayama Ryokan – best ryokan takayama with Private Onsen To book
by Coco Tran On September 29, 2023
Are you looking for a Takayama Ryokan with a private onsen ? As someone who is visiting Takayama and has done research, I have a list of the 7 best Takayama Ryokans here. I picked the best rated and highly reviewed hotels and compared the amenities and rooms and prices so all you have to do is book the perfect Takayama Ryokan for you. Let’s get started!
Where is takayama and Is it worth going to Takayama?
Takayama, located in the Gifu prefecture of Japan, is a charming historic town known for its beautifully preserved old town, morning markets, festivals, and easy access to the Japanese Alps. It is also home to some of the best ryokans in Japan – traditional Japanese inns that provide an authentic and relaxing experience. Many Takayama ryokans feature onsen, natural hot spring baths that are the ultimate way to unwind on a trip. As well as Breakfast and Dinner included in one very affordable price.
Is Takayama an onsen town?
Yes! Takayama is considered an onsen town, famous for its natural hot spring baths. Here are a few key things you need to know about Takayama, as an onsen destination:
- Takayama has over a dozen onsen bathhouses and ryokans with hot spring baths in the town center and surrounding regions.
- The onsen waters come from natural sources originating in the Japanese Alps nearby, like the Hida River and Mount Norikura.
- Major onsen areas near Takayama include Okuhida, Hirayu, Fukuchi, and Shin-Hodaka.
- Many of Takayama’s onsen feature outdoor baths (rotemburo) with scenic views of rivers, forests, and mountains.
- Takayama onsen are known for their smooth waters and skin beautifying minerals like sodium bicarbonate.
- Popular local onsen ryokans include Hidaji, Ozaki Ryokan, and Beniya Mukayu.
- Public day-use onsen bathhouses in Takayama include Sarubo Onsen, Kamiyamada Onsen, and Yutakaso.
- Takayama holds an annual onsen festival in November to promote its bathing culture.
- The city’s remote mountain location next to the Japan Alps provides the perfect natural setting for soothing onsen bathing.
So whether you stay at a cozy onsen ryokan or visit one of the public baths, soaking in the therapeutic hot spring waters is an essential part of a visit to Takayama. The town embraces its onsen heritage and makes bathing easy for tourists.
What To Expect Staying at Takayama Ryokan
Here are some things to expect when staying at a ryokan in Japan:
- Ryokans are designed in traditional Japanese style with tatami mat floors, sliding doors, low tables, and futon beds. Many ryokans are historic buildings, like old samurai residences or farmhouses.
- Light cotton yukata robes are provided for guests to wear around the ryokan and when using the onsen. They are comfortable and let you immerse yourself in the Japanese experience.
- Most ryokans serve traditional multi-course kaiseki meals, featuring delicate and seasonal dishes. They are works of art and allow you to sample gourmet Japanese cuisine.
- Soaking in soothing mineral hot spring baths is a big part of the ryokan experience. Many have private outdoor baths with serene views. Baths may alternate between male and female only.
- You can expect highly attentive service from the seasoned staff, who aim to make your stay as pleasant and seamless as possible.
- Ryokans often arrange traditional cultural activities like tea ceremonies, calligraphy, kimono wearing, and more.
- Ryokans cultivate a sense of serenity and tranquility for the ultimate relaxing retreat away from the bustle of daily life.
While ryokans range in size and amenities, these core elements create a one-of-a-kind Japanese accommodation experience unlike any other hotel stay. Staying at a ryokan is a highlight for many travelers in Japan looking to immerse themselves in Japanese history, culture, and hospitality.
In This Article: Table of Contents
No time to read full article? This is the best Ryokan in Takayama
my pick: Best takayama Ryokan with private onsen
If that’s not the one for you, there are 6 more options in this article. In it, I gathered together the most important information to make your decision.
Ready to Book best ryokan takayama with private onsen ?
You’re in the right place because the best ryokans Takayama are featured here.
How do I know they’re the best? I’ve traveled to and have done tons of research before my trip to Takayama, so you don’t have to!
With many Ryokans in Takayama to pick from, it’s hard to know which are worth the money. That’s why I’m here to help!
I’ve vetted all the hotels in this article to make sure they’re highly-rated and well-reviewed — so all you have to do is book and enjoy!
Here are the top 3 most well-reviewed and rated Ryokans in Takayama :
Wanasoto Ryokan – takayama Ryokan with private onsen
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6Amazing Takayama Ryokans with Onsen for a Relaxing Getaway
1. Hidaji // Best Ryokan in Takayama – A Secluded Mountain Retreat
This amazing Takayama ryokan private onsen, has impeccable reviews. Out of 58 reviews, Hidaji has an exceptional rating of 9.7/10. Located in the Northern Alps, it offers spacious Japanese-style rooms with traditional architecture and private onsen. Guests can also use the public hot spring baths. Multi-course meals feature Hida beef and local vegetables. The peaceful mountain setting makes it a great option for a relaxing getaway.
- Spacious rooms with private onsen
- Public hot spring baths
- Multi-course dinners with Hida beef
- Serene mountain location
Best for: Couples and solo travelers looking for a quiet retreat in nature
The staff was extremely kind and accommodating especially with us not speaking Japanese. They strived to always make our interactions special and warm. The room private onsen, and shared/reserved semi private onsens were perfect for relaxing. The kaiseki meals of regional foods were a great and adventurous experience for us westerners. It was overall a unforgettable experience that we will never forget!
2 . Mozumo Ryokan // Historic Ryokan Takayama with private onsen
The best Takayama Ryokan, hands down! The historic Mozumo ryokan dates back over 100 years and features traditional architecture. It has Japanese-style rooms with mountain views, an open-air bath, and serves breakfast with hoba miso, a regional specialty. Located in a tranquil area, it’s great for a relaxing onsen experience. This is the ryokan that I am staying at. They offer a free shuttle from the nearest train station. The grounds are stunning and so peaceful. The Hida beef is amazing and one of the best meals I’ve had in Japan. Impeccable stay with such a great value !
- Historic ryokan with traditional design
- Open-air hot spring bath
- Hoba miso breakfast
- Peaceful mountain location
- 90mins from Shirakawa-go
Best for: Couples seeking a quiet traditional ryokan stay
Magical. Unforgettable stay. Room was amazing, surrounded by forest with privacy.-Neelam/ USA
3. Yatsusankan Ryokan // Upscale Takayama Ryokan near Temple and River
While not exactly in Takayama, this beautiful and upscale Ryokan in Gifu, Yatsusankan is located near a temple and river in the quaint town of Furukawa (hida). It has traditional 160-year old architecture, spacious Japanese-style rooms, and hot spring baths. Multi-course kaiseki dinners feature regional specialties. With its prime location and top-notch service, it’s a stand-out option.
- 160-year old quaint ryokan
- Hot spring baths
- Multi-course kaiseki dinners
- Next to temple and river
Best for: Discerning travelers seeking luxury accommodations and cuisine
A top class Japanese guest house in a beautiful small town
This is a beautiful old, traditional Japanese guest house. It is by the river, opposite an enormous temple in a gorgeous little town of carp filled canals. The staff are incredibly welcoming. The room was large and decorated in a fab teal colour. We looked out over the river. Robes are supplied to wear in the hotel, and large Onsen baths are free to use all day, good fun. Dinner is an event. In a private dining room and nine courses are served impeccably. A lot of fish and Japanese vegetables. Delicious. You pay for any alcohol, but there is an extensive choice. Well worth it for a night to sample Japanese hospitality at its best.-Simon/ UK
4. Wanosato // – Award-Winning Takayama Ryokan with private onsen with Scenic Views
Located in a tranquil wooded area, the award-winning Wanosato provides excellent service and scenic views. This historic property has traditional architecture, hot spring baths, Japanese-style rooms with river views, and exquisite multi-course dinners. With its beautiful setting and top-notch hospitality, it’s a memorable choice.
- Award-winning service
- Hot spring baths
- Japanese rooms with river views
- Superb dining
Best for: Travelers seeking first-class hospitality and surroundings
One of the most memorable stays of our lives
The service, the history, the amazing food, the beautiful nature, the incredible architecture, the authenticity and the relaxing onsen. Worth every penny.-Chelsea / USA
5. Kazeya // Mountain Ryokan with Open-Air Onsen
One of the best ryokans in Takayama. Nestled in the majestic Hida mountain range, Kazeya is a peaceful ryokan featuring open-air onsen, free-use bicycles, and a traditional Japanese garden. It offers both Western and Japanese-style rooms along with dining options like Hida beef. The tranquil setting and ample amenities make for an indulgent getaway.
- Open-air onsen
- Free-use bicycles
- Traditional garden
- Hida beef dining
Best for: Natural scenery lovers wanting an active, outdoorsy ryokan stay
“There are so many onsens! One in the room, 2 free private onsens available all night long and another segregated public onsen. The location is magical 😍”-Audree / USA
6. Hakuunsou Ryokan Takayama// – Intimate takayama private onsen with Mountain Views
The intimate Hakuunsou offers a relaxing hot spring retreat with just 5 rooms. It has a scenic setting near Kamikochi, rooms with mountain views, open-air baths that can be privately reserved, and a tasty breakfast with vegetarian options. The peaceful atmosphere makes it ideal for a tranquil getaway.
- Intimate ryokan with 5 rooms
- Open-air baths with private reservations
- Scenic mountain setting
- Vegetarian breakfast options
Best for: Travelers wanting a quiet, exclusive onsen experience
“this was my favorite stay in Japan! such a gorgeous location, which is conveniently located right beside the bus stop, and surrounded by gorgeous mountains. the host was such a lovely person and helped to rearrange my dates as a typhoon meant I couldn’t get to Hakuunsou on time! also the host made me delicious meals every day and was so helpful. my room was very clean and really beautiful with gorgeous views of the mountains. the onsens in the property are fantastic too! I can’t recommend enough.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does ryokan mean in Japanese?
The word ‘ryokan’ (旅館) in Japanese refers to a traditional style of inn or guesthouse in Japan. Some key things to know about the meaning and origin of the term ryokan:
- Ryokan literally translates to “travel hotel” in Japanese. The word combines ryoko (travel) and kan (building/hotel).
- Ryokans originated as inexpensive accommodations for travelers in the 8th century during Japan’s Edo Period.
- Over time, ryokans evolved into elegant establishments providing Japanese hospitality and luxury amenities.
- Legally, a ryokan must have a minimum of 6 guest rooms and provide meals to be classified as such.
- Ryokans are known for features like tatami floors, onsen hot spring baths, kaiseki cuisine, and yukata robes.
- They emphasize traditional architecture, cultural activities, and attentive service that reflects omotenashi, or Japanese hospitality.
- Staying at a ryokan is seen as an essential Japanese experience for many local and foreign tourists.
- While western style hotels have become common, ryokans remain highly popular for their immersion into Japanese history, culture, and service.
So in essence, the Japanese term ryokan refers to a traditional inn that delivers quintessential Japanese accommodation experiences. It’s much more than just a place to sleep for the night. Staying at a ryokan is stepping back into old world Japan.
How do you behave in a ryokan? What are some do’s and don’ts in a ryokan?
Here are some key rules and etiquette to follow when staying at a ryokan in Japan:
- Remove shoes at the entrance before stepping up into the ryokan’s raised floors.
- Wear the provided slippers and yukata robes appropriately around the ryokan. The yukata is worn with the left side over the right.
- Speak softly and quietly to maintain the calm atmosphere. These are peaceful retreats.
- No tipping is required or expected at ryokans.
- Meals are served in your room. Sit formally on cushions at the low table.
- Do not enter communal onsen baths with tattoos, as they are frowned upon. Cover up tattoos if possible.
- Wash thoroughly before entering onsen baths and follow the posted bathing instructions.
- After showering, enter the onsen bath slowly and quietly. Do not jump or dive in.
- Soak silently in onsen baths. They are places of tranquil relaxation, not loud chatter.
- Know that some parts of onsen baths may be very hot. Get in slowly and do not stay too long.
- Dress in yukata robes during meals and when walking around the ryokan.
- Minimize waste. Only take the amount of food you can finish at meals.
- Be punctual for meals, activities, check-in/out, as ryokans run on strict schedules.
What do you sleep on in a ryokan?
In a traditional ryokan, guests sleep on a futon mattress that is laid out on the tatami mat floor. Here are some more details:
- Ryokans provide comfortable futon mattresses that are brought into the room in the evening for sleeping.
- The futons are laid out by staff on the tatami straw mat floors in the guest rooms.
- The futons are about 3-4 inches thick and made up of layers of cotton or wool padding. They are folded up and stored away during the day.
- Guests sleep on the futon mattress on the floor, rather than on a raised bed frame.
- The futons are firm but cushiony, providing excellent support. Many guests find them very comfortable.
- Ryokans typically provide traditional Japanese pillows that are filled with beans or buckwheat chaff. They are quite firm.
- Guests may request a softer pillow or extra blankets for sleeping if desired.
- Some modern ryokans may have actual twin beds that can be converted into couches during the daytime.
- Sleeping on futons on tatami mats provides a unique Japanese ryokan experience different from a regular hotel bed.
Are onsen mixed gender?
Onsen bathing facilities at Japanese ryokans and bathhouses have traditionally been gender-segregated, but mixed gender onsen do exist with some considerations:
- The vast majority of public onsen and ryokan onsen are single-gender baths divided into male and female sections.
- You will be naked in an Public Onsen! No swimsuits are allowed this is the general norm in an onsen.
- Mixed gender onsen, known as konyoku, are less common but growing at some venues.
- Mixed bathing requires guests to cover up with a small towel which is provided. Being nude is not allowed.
- Mixed onsen may alternate schedules for when men and women can use them or have partitioned zones.
- Some ryokans offer private family baths that can be booked for mixed bathing.
- If interested in mixed bathing, check onsen policies in advance. Most are still single-gender.
- Be aware that some Japanese guests may not be comfortable with mixed bathing due to cultural norms.
- General etiquette like washing beforehand, no loud noise, and tattoos covered up still applies.
- Overall, while increasingly available, mixed gender onsen remain less common than segregated facilities.
Do people wear towels in onsens?
Do ryokans serve alcohol?
Many ryokans in Japan do serve alcoholic beverages to guests, with some caveats:
- Beer, sake, and wine are the most commonly available alcoholic drinks at ryokans.
- Alcohol is usually served only at dinner time along with the traditional kaiseki meals.
- There is typically an additional charge for alcohol above the meal price. Drinks are ordered a la carte.
- Some smaller, family-run ryokans may not have a liquor license or choose not to serve alcohol at all.
- Guests are generally not allowed to bring their own alcohol into ryokans.
- Drinking is only permitted in guest rooms and dining areas, not in public spaces. Ryokans emphasize calm atmospheres.
- Guests are expected to drink responsibly and not overindulge out of respect for other guests and staff.
- It is not common for 24-hour room service of alcohol. Late night drinking is discouraged.
So while having some sake, beer or wine with dinner to enhance the experience is certainly an option, drinking is done in moderation at ryokans. The focus remains on relaxation and hospitality rather than drinking and partying late into the night. Ryokans encourage tranquility and well-being.
Can foreigners stay in ryokan?
Yes, ryokans in Japan are open to both local and foreign guests. Some key points about foreigners staying in ryokans:
- Ryokans welcome international tourists and do not have restrictions on foreigners staying overnight.
- Many ryokans in popular tourist destinations have staff that can speak English and some other languages.
- Room rates and policies are generally the same for Japanese and foreign travelers.
- Instructional signs/rules in ryokans may have English translations for foreign guests.
- Traditional kaiseki meals feature Japanese cuisine but ryokans will try to accommodate dietary needs.
- Onsen bathing areas are open to foreigners. Rules/instructions may be posted in English.
- Foreigners may need help with local customs like sitting on tatami floors or wearing yukata robes properly.
- Reservations can easily be made via email/websites in English. Some accept international credit cards.
- Staying in a ryokan is highly recommended for foreign tourists as an essential Japanese cultural experience.
So ryokans are absolutely open for business to foreigners looking for a unique and memorable Japanese-style accommodation. With a spirit of omotenashi (hospitality), ryokans aim to make all guests from around the world feel welcome and comfortable.