What are Ryokan? [Definition, Meaning]

With more aesthetic than your regular hotel, Japanese ryokan are the epitome of traditional Japanese hospitality. In anime, we often see a class trip or a vacation with multiple students going to a hot spring. This is more than just a normal hotel that you see them staying in; it is a ryokan which is unique to Japan. Accompanied with tatami floors, futon beds and kotatsu, these hotels are a very traditional way of enjoying your stay. Whether staying with friends, family, or simply enjoying your own company, ryokan are a relaxing way to enjoy your stay in Japan.

History of Ryokan

Just like normal hotels, ryokan vary widely in price and offer different amenities to go along with that. Typically, your stay will cost between 15,000 and 25,000 yen a night and will be accompanied with breakfast and dinner. Traditional etiquette is expected to go along with staying in a ryokan. Made to be a sort of meditative experience, ryokan take you away from your busy everyday lives and put you in a more zen environment. Meant to encapsulate the traditional Japanese houses, ryokan take their customers back in time. Each guest is generally given a traditional yukata which can be worn as both an outfit for dinner or to go to the baths or hot springs. As a part of history, ryokan are meant to provide the experience of being transported back in time. They preserve the culture and ways of a time before technology. Similar to the Edo Period, much of the traditions remain the same at these ryokan which seem frozen in time (aside from modern upgrades such as toilets and air conditioning, of course).

Ryokan in Anime

Ryokan are very commonly seen in anime. From Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san to Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi, we see ryokan in many anime. More aesthetic than your traditional hotel, ryokan in anime show off Japanese culture and allow the viewer to be completely immersed in the experience. The anime where ryokan are seen are endless with titles including Noragami, Trinity Seven and High School DxD. These comfy and historic hotels offer a glimpse into Japanese culture that would not be seen otherwise and is preserved in time to give an experience unlike any other.

Final Thoughts

Ryokan, while popular in Japan, are almost unheard of in the rest of the world. While we commonly see them in anime, many of us just assume that that is what all hotels in Japan are like. However, this is not the case and these ryokan are something that must be sought out in order to achieve the optimal experience in Japan. Ryokan, which are filled with history, are an excellent way to experience Japan if you are looking for a history rich visit or simply an anime vacation. We hope that you have enjoyed this article and have learned a bit more about ryokan that you did not know previously. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Konohana-Kitan-Wallpaper-3 What are Ryokan? [Definition, Meaning]


Author: Lauren

I am an anime lover, travel addict and wanderlust seeker. If I am not watching anime or reading manga, you will probably find me in my garden, playing the piano or writing. I love video games, particularly Final Fantasy and am anxiously awaiting the next release (though it probably will not be for at least five years). I hope that you will take a look into my top 5 anime so you can learn more about me. I hope that my articles will enlighten you and help you grow in knowledge of the anime community!

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