Ryokan (Japanese Inn) offers a great escape from the noise and bustle of the cities in Japan. It not only a native-style alternative to hotel, but it is real experience in Japanese family living style. To avoid improper behavior and really enjoy the visit it is very important to be familiar with some details of Japanese life style.

Small Table and Cushions::Ryokan (Japanese Inn), Japan::
Small Table and Cushions
Tatami and Shoji::Ryokan (Japanese Inn), Japan::
Tatami and Shoji

travel tip: Visiting Ryokan.

Shoes, always remember to take your shoes off at the entrance. For walking on the lobby and corridors you may use slippers provided by the ryokan, but do not forget to change these slippers to special toilet slippers upon entering the Japanese style toilet. Once in your room, make sure to take your slippers off before getting on the tatami. These straw floor mats are always treaded barefoot and are used for seating or lying down.

Dress code, the robe called yukata is provided for each guest. This can be used as a pajama or when going out of the room. If it is cold, you may also wear tanzen. This outer robe cannot be worn alone. It has to be used over the yukata.

Bathroom, you have to leave all your clothing in the changing room. Nothing except a small towel can be worn in the bathroom. The most important while using the bathroom is to remember not to use soap in the bathtub. The tub water is intended to be used repeatedly, not for a just one person. This fact explains the need to cleanse your body and wash off the soap before stepping into the bathtub filled with hot water.

© 2001 Maciej Swulinski