Japan is full of different kinds of hotels, each one with unique styles and features that ideal for different crowds. Here are a few notes about each kind of hotel that may help you figure out which one will be the best choice for you.
Ryokan – Ryokan are traditional Japanese inns that are usually very small, found in small towns (but can be found in large cities as well), and even run by families (usually have been in family’s for years). These are similar to a Western bed and breakfast, providing a very traditional room and even include traditional meals as well. They are a unique style of hotel found only in Japan. They are very simple hotels (not a ton of big, fancy features like a resort would have) but that is why people love them, they are original and unique. Just make sure to check that price tag before booking.
Hostel – Hostels are quite numerous across Japan and are just like most hostels in other countries. You will be sleeping in bunk beds, sharing common areas, and meeting a lot of different people along the way. They are cheap so if you are backpacking or just looking for a low-cost option, these may be ideal for you. Just note that you won’t have your own room, so privacy is out the door for these places.
Capsule – Capsule hotels are quite unique to Japan and provide a super small spot for a person to sleep. That is all they are good for with common areas being used for bathrooms and lounging. If you want a unique hotel stay that is just for a quick overnight spot to sleep in, Capsule hotels are a good option and can be found everywhere (they are also easy on the wallet as well).
Business – Business hotels, like the APA chain of hotels, offer small rooms for a low cost. They provide a clean bed, bathroom, and but very little space to spread out (don’t pack a huge suitcase if you are picking one of these hotels). They are often cheap, near train stations, and are easy to find. They are a great option if you want to save money and want a little more privacy compared to other hotel options. Click HERE for my review of an APA Hotel I stayed in Kyoto.
Western – If you want your extra space and prefer US brands of hotels (and any extra amenities they usually offer), Japan has plenty of them from Best Western to Hilton’s, there are plenty of Western style hotels throughout the country. They tend to cost more money and are not that common outside of the big cities, so just keep that in mind when searching the hotel websites (always check that price tag before booking).
If you want my reviews on some other hotels in Japan, here are a few links:
The Gate Hotel by Kaminarimon by HULIC