There are three types of hotel you should know about (and you probably already do) before traveling to Japan. They all have their good points and bad points. When booking, it comes down to what you need and what is appropriate for your time abroad.


A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn. Conventionally run by families (but not always), they have communal baths, paper walls, tatami floors and futon bedding. They are commonly more expensive than other kinds of hotels because of the traditional experience they provide and the fact that there are few to choose from in the cities. Most ryokans offer one meal a day and this is included in the room fee, generally breakfast or dinner. Ryokans offer minimalist accommodation – the room used for dining or lounging is often the same room for sleeping.

Ryokan Accommodation | via Shiki Book Japan


Capsule or ‘Pod’ Hotel 

This kind of hotel is not found anywhere in Australia (or anywhere else in the world, except one in China) – capsule or ‘pod’ hotels are hotels that, instead of having rooms and large amenities, have a number of capsules available for cheap and basic overnight accommodation. Business men use them often when they stay away from home during overnight conferences and such. Sometimes it is used by gentlemen too drunk to get home, who fear the wrath of their wives. Most include a washroom and communal bathroom, some even have a small restaurant (or at least several vending machines). The benefit of these hotels is merely the price and the convenience of having a place to sleep if no other option is available. Most capsule hotels (and I do mean about 99.9%) are men only.

Capsule accommodation | via Shiki Book Japan


Western Hotel

There isn’t much to elaborate here, as it is pretty self-explanatory.  A Western hotel is one that is similar to everywhere else in the world – it is a regular hotel with normal room sizes, normal bedding and private bathrooms. Hotel accommodation in Japan | via Shiki Book Japan


Searching for hotels 

Finding a suitable hotel in any foreign country can be hard work. Searching online is one option, but sometimes there is risk involved. Booking through a travel agent is a safer option, and a little easier too, but it may add some unseen cost. Here are a few trusted hotel websites for Japan, where you simply select a destination and browse on through.


Toyoko Inn

Toyoko Inn | via Shiki Book Japan


Japanese Inn Group
japanese inn group

Japanese Inn Group | via Shiki Book Japan





J-Hoppers Hostels



Flight Centre

flight centre

I only recommend Flight Centre for hotel searching because there is a chance that you may be able to get a flight+hotel package deal. Otherwise the hotel options they provide can be very pricey.


Any questions? Comment below!

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