There are a few surprising things about the hotel experience in Japan that you may not find in other countries.
There are various lodging options available in Japan, especially in the areas around Tokyo, ranging from Western-style hotels to traditional Japanese inns.
However, the design and cost of various types of hotels vary greatly. So, what are some of the different types of hotels found in Japan?
The following are different types of hotels found in Japan:
- Western Hotels
- Business Hotels
- Resort Hotels
- Apartment Hotels
- Henn-na Hotel – Robot Hotels
- Ryokan Hotels – Traditional Japanese Hotels
- Kapuseru hoteru – Capsule Hotels
- Rabuhoteru – Love Hotels
Japan is renowned for its futuristic, kitsch style and deep, traditional past, making it one of the crazily innovative countries in the world. It’s a site of extremes, which is reflected in the architecture and hotel accommodations available there: from minimalist, zen-like Ryokan to innovative hotels served entirely by robots.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what each hotel has to offer.
Japan’s 8 Types Of Hotels
Japan has been known for its culture and original traditions for centuries. Due to the country’s long history of isolation as an island nation, many parts of its culture evolved untainted by external influences. But aside from its hotels, there are a plethora of other factors that make Japan the most distinctive nation in the world.
However, with hotels in mind, Japan has an exciting way of introducing its culture and theme into western style hotels while boasting their culture to their many other types of hotels.
With so much to offer, whether futuristic and innovative or historical and culture enriched, each type of hotel in Japan has something unique to offer. That said, let’s take a closer glimpse at the most common types of Japanese hotels.
1. Western Hotels
There are many western-style hotels in Japan, ranging from well-known western chains to indigenous Japanese brands, from low-cost accommodations to five-star luxury hotels.
These often include settings and facilities that are familiar to tourists from the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, such as western-style beds, a small writing desk, a refrigerator, and a kettle. They also typically have an ensuite bathroom with a shower over the tub. (Amenities differ across properties, so ensure to double-check the specifics before booking.)
Although this might vary widely depending on whether the hotel is in a large metropolis or a remote area, western hotels in Japan typically provide less space than their equivalents in the western realm.
Prices drastically vary based on the hotel’s location and star rating. Although there is no official system for evaluating or ranking hotels in Japan, establishments that identify themselves as “4-star” or “5-star” often try to meet the exact requirements of other nations.
Some Western-themed Japanese hotels provide family rooms, or they might give families adjoining or connected rooms.
In Japan, luxury Western-style hotels may be found for as little as 30,000 yen ($219), yet others easily cost more than 100,000 yen ($730). For instance, the prestigious Park Hyatt Tokyo costs around 70,000 yen ($511) for a standard double room.
2. Business Hotels
These are a sort of western hotel that are typically found next to or close to railway stations and provide extremely modest facilities for a “business traveler” who only wants a place to rest their head after an extended and busy day of meetings.
Business hotels often have smaller rooms than typical western hotels, so those traveling with bulky luggage may be unable to stay there. In addition, most business hotels only have rooms that sleep two persons or less, while few do have triple rooms.
Business hotels often cost a little less than typical western hotels; however, this might change based on the location, such as if they are next to a railway station for convenience.
Business hotels are practical, spotless, simple, frequently found near railway stations, and sell tiny rooms for approximately 6,000 yen or more ($44+). Of course, they will cost a bit more in tourist areas, but they provide a fantastic choice for travelers looking for a straightforward, reasonably priced hotel room.
An excellent example of a business hotel is the Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo. This hotel does everything right and is directly across from Tokyo Station. As a result, it’s an excellent spot to base yourself when visiting Tokyo; however, it is regarded among the more upscale business hotels, with rates that can exceed $350 per night.
On the other hand, hotels such as Dormy Inn, Toyoko Inn, and Route Inn in numerous Japanese cities provide inexpensive rooms that meet all of the essential demands. In addition, its rates are significantly lower, ranging from $40 to $80 per night.
3. Resort Hotels
Resort hotels, typically located near a mountain or a beach, cater to contemplative tourism for customers seeking a peaceful holiday or families with children. The variety of services and amenities sets this hotel apart from a “basic” hotel.
In Japan, resort rooms have a variety of amenities, such as shampoo, soap, complimentary coffee and tea, and breathtaking views.
Typically, half board is provided for meals at their restaurants. They also feature several leisure activities such as onsen (hot springs and bathing facilities), souvenir shops, karaoke, and gaming centers. In addition, you may enjoy activities surrounding the resort for an additional price.
Foreign visitors often do not stay in these lodgings unless they participate in a specialized sport, like diving or skiing, although they are pretty popular among the Japanese.
Suginoi Hotel in Beppu (Oita Prefecture) is an example of a resort containing hot springs, swimming pools, bowling, and gaming centers. In Fukuoka, the Luigans Resort also features a swimming pool and is close to the beach.
They have yoga and beauty treatments, an aquarium, and a park nearby. In addition, there are other premium resorts in Beppu, such as the ANA Intercontinental Beppu Resort & Spa. Prices range from $100 to $300 per night, with high-end hotels charging up to $1000 per night.
4. Apartment Hotels
Apartment hotels are an excellent option for those staying a little longer in a location, for those who might want to prepare some meals in the room, for families, or just for those who like a little more space.
They combine the amenities of a hotel, like a concierge, sometimes a pool, and on-site restaurants, but with the space and extra facilities of an apartment.
In apartment hotels, each room has a kitchen. You may eat whenever you choose (instead of having to eat when the hotel restaurant is open). You decide how much you pay (significant savings compared to hotels with three restaurant meals per day), and you may prepare the food however you like.
A serviced apartment complex that employs a hotel-style reservation system is known as an apartment hotel or aparthotel in Japan.
It is comparable to renting an apartment, but there are no fixed contracts, and occupants are free to “check out” whenever they like, provided that they adhere to the company’s applicable minimum length of stay requirements.
An excellent example of apartment hotels found in Japan is the Mimaru apartment hotel in west Shinjuku, Tokyo. Priced around $125 per night, you can truly experience a home away from home. A more inexpensive option includes Cypress Inn, Tokyo, priced around $40 per night with similar features.
5. Henn-na Hotel – Robot Hotels
The Henn-na Hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, is staffed by multilingual robots (yes, robots), guaranteeing guests a wonderful stay. Robots check guests in, one of which is an English-speaking dinosaur robot, while porter robots deliver the baggage to the guest rooms.
Of course, a human staff member is always there to assist visitors should an issue arise, but most of the staff members are robots, and yes, you may communicate with them.
The word “Henn,” which in Japanese means “to change,” is symbolic of the hotel’s dedication to “evolving toward the amazing experience and comfort that lies beyond the commonplace.”
Another unique feature of this cutting-edge hotel is face recognition; thanks to keyless locking and entrance, visitors do not have to worry about forgetting their key cards when traveling. But if you don’t like face recognition technology, you can ask for a card key if you like.
It should be noted that the Henn-na Hotel does not have a restaurant or room service, or microwaves. Nevertheless, a restaurant is accessible by footThe hotel’s goal is to supply what is only absolutely essential to eliminate “useless luxuries.”. But don’t worry, WiFi is free!
The average accommodation cost at the Henn-na hotel is around $350 per night.
6. Ryokan Hotels – Traditional Japanese Hotels
Staying in Ryokan hotels is a popular choice for visitors to Japan. In fact, visitors to Japan have been staying in Ryokans for hundreds of years.
The Ryokan has been around since the eighth century AD during the Keiun era, when the world’s oldest hotel, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, was built in 705 AD. Another historic ryokan, Hoshi Ryokan, was established in 718 AD and was recognized as the world’s second oldest hotel.
Ryokan styles range from the highly traditional to the very modern, from expansive resort to private villa retreat, onsen ryokan to the urban institution.
Ryokan is frequently your best bet for 5-star service and facilities when looking for luxury lodging outside large cities. For example, Zaborin is a 5-star ryokan and can go for more than $700 per night.
However, budget travelers looking for a ryokan experience may also locate more affordable hotels. For example, Shimizu Ryokan is priced at around $250 per night.
Tatami flooring, futon bedding (though many Ryokan now include rooms with western mattresses), yukata robes, magnificent in-house kaiseki multi-course dinners, and a traditional Japanese breakfast are all standard features of this most traditional kind of Japanese hospitality.
7. Kapuseru hoteru – Capsule Hotels
Capsule hotels provide a uniquely Japanese travel experience. As the name suggests, they are modest accommodations in the shape of a capsule.
These unusual accommodations, often known as pod hotels, are built up of rows upon rows of small, self-contained ‘capsules.’ These basic, bed-sized apartments provide visitors with a private sleeping area and access to community amenities like toilets and showers.
A break in one of Japan’s capsule hotels is an experience not to be missed, with options ranging from sci-fi-inspired futuristic pods to more sophisticated and expensive sleeping cabins.
In most cases, the bed is your only private place, and most don’t have a key. You’ve perhaps heard of them and possibly even seen an image of a morgue chilly chamber-like drawer where a living individual is intended to spend the night.
They are, in fact, convenient, comfortable, and inexpensive; nevertheless, some customers complain about noise from other guests returning late or shuffling through bags in the morning.
Because tourists prefer to stay in them “simply for the experience,” more and more luxury kinds have sprouted up across the capital.
Most establishments should provide nearby community showers and restaurants that serve breakfast. Most Capsule hotel prices begin at around 4,000 yen ($29) per night.
An excellent example of a Capsule hotel is the Unplan Kagurazaka, which is available for couples, and the Nadeshiko Hotel Shibuya, a women-only Capsule hotel.
8. Rabuhoteru – Love Hotels
The primary goal of love hotels, as the name implies, is to offer couples a room where they may spend uninterrupted time together.
The rooms are individually designed and fitted with spacious double beds, a television, a decent bathroom, and other amenities.
Love hotels are precisely what their name implies. These are late-night hotel rooms that offer extra solitude to lovers and couples.
It is a relatively prevalent notion in Japan and does not carry the stigma that some may think. The hotels are kept immaculate and frequently provide a quick solution for businesspeople and visitors who are stranded without a place to stay.
Check-in typically takes place after 10:00 p.m. As a result, most Love Hotels provide a “service” period during the day. As a result, prices are lower, and this is an excellent opportunity to leave your bags at home while exploring the city. Prices vary, but one night costs approximately 9,000 ($66), and a three-hour “rest” costs roughly 3,000 ($22).
The Hotel Sara Sweet in Kinshico and Hotel Charmant in Tochigi are excellent examples of love hotels. While these rates are competitive with hotel chains, keep in mind that most facilities have a “no re-entry” restriction, making them unsuitable for more than a one-night stay.
However, a love hotel may be an excellent choice if you arrive late and need somewhere to stay.
Although amenities will be restricted or *ahem* themed, most people find Love Hotels to be pleasant and will have a lovely tale to tell their friends back home.
Tourist amenities are excellent but might be costly in more tourist-friendly parts of Japan. Luxury western hotels, Robot hotels, and traditional Japanese-style hotels such as “Ryokans” may be found in main towns and tourist destinations.
Knowing the different types of hotels is essential, especially if you want to visit Japan in the future and want to arrange your accommodations or just know what is available. However, seeing Japan’s rich culture and inventive, often bizarre, themes may be a thrilling trip.