All About Japan

4 Relaxing 'Ryokan' in Busy Tokyo

| Ryokan , Tokyo

Ryokan, or traditional Japanese inns, are usually located in quiet and remote places across Japan. Atami, Hakone and Karuizawa are all famous ryokan areas miles away from the bustling Tokyo. However, did you know there are quite a few ryokan within Tokyo too? Some of them even hiding right in the middle of the city!

4. Wakana Inn (Kagurazaka)

Kagurazaka is located right in the heart of Tokyo, close to Yasukuni Shrine and the iconic Budokan. It's very popular among Tokyoites but not often featured in guidebooks. The historic geisha district of Tokyo now features many nice French restaurants and souvenir stores that line the old-fashioned Japanese streets—also among those streets hides the Wakana Inn, a very obscure inn that doesn't even have its own website.

There are only four Japanese-style rooms, with shared bathrooms. You can choose to stay with or without breakfast. We recommend going for the full experience by giving the traditional Japanese breakfast a try.

Address: Kagurazaka 4-7, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

- tabelog.com (English)

3. Ryumeikan Honten (Ochanomizu)

Ryumeikan, a hotel chain dating back to the Meiji Period (1868-1912), continues to offer amazing hospitality for almost 120 years. While there are a few other branches in Tokyo area, the Ochanomizu branch is the first and main branch. Although the facade and some facilities have been modernized, it was originally a ryokan and retains a similar look and feel (though the rooms with beds, instead of futon, are a welcome change for some guests).

Inside the hotel, the Green Tea Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu is a place not to be missed, with famous chef Masafumi Okubo preparing cuisine under the theme "eating tea"—mixing matcha green tea into his dishes. Definitely a luxurous ryokan experience in Tokyo.

Address: Surugadai 3-4,Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo

2. Asakusa Shigetsu (Asakusa)

In the heart of touristy Asakusa, Asakusa Shigetsu is a five-minute walk away from all the glorious sights. What a wonderful location for visitors to Tokyo! Although it's in the heart of a popular touristic place, the whole ryokan is surprisingly quiet. There's an open-air bath on the top floor where you can view the antiquated Tokyo neighborhood and the illuminated Tokyo Skytree at night.

Address: Asakusa 1-31-11, Taito, Tokyo

- www.shigetsu.com (Japanese)