Gliding into the forefront of train travel in 1964, the bullet train, or Shinkansen, has continued to wow the world with its blistering speed and soundless stealth ever since. Now linking the very north to the south, the Bullet Train has become the reliable backbone of Japan, joining the rural to the cosmopolitan in the blink of an eye. Snaking its way across Honshu, the largest island in the Japanese archipelago, the bullet train rattles up and down the country at a staggering speed of up to 320km an hour. As synonymous with the Land of the Rising Sun as Mount Fuji, sumo or sushi, the bullet train is arguably the only way to travel in Japan.
A Guide to Ryokans
Found across Japan, ryokans are traditional Japanese guesthouses which offer the perfect glimpse into Japanese history and culture. Most predominantly located near onsen towns, they are the perfect place to rest travel weary legs along the Nakasendo Way or as an addition to your itinerary on a tour of Japan’s highlights.
Whilst ryokans vary in quality and style, they are unequivocally steeped in the history of Japan so prepare to be enveloped in age old traditions and welcomed with open arms. From the moment you step through the threshold of a ryokan, don your yukata (kimono) and a pair of slippers, you will enter a world of sliding shoji screens, minimalist décor and calligraphy adorned alcoves. Stepping back in time to the Edo period in a beautifully preserved ancient building is bound to be highlight of your holiday in Japan.
Meal times tend to be an elaborate affair and a showcase of Japanese haute cuisine. Dine on course after course of freshly prepared, locally sourced and spectacularly presented dishes for the ultimate foodie experience in Japan. After the spectacle of supper is over, it will be whisked away and a futon will be pulled out in its place, transforming the area into a cosy bedroom.
Finding the right ryokan depends on your budget and itinerary and our specialists can ensure that you get the most out of your stay in one of the world’s most authentic accommodation options.
A former Imperial spa retreat in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Gora Kadan immerses guests in an ancient Japanese way of life, offering supreme comfort and relaxation, immaculate service and exquisite cuisine.
Perched high in the beautiful mountains of Hakone southwest of Tokyo, Hakone Ginyu is a stunning contemporary ryokan offering fantastic service, delicious kaiseki cuisine and Japanese flair amidst serene surroundings.
Yoshikawa is one of few luxury Ryokan properties in Kyoto and makes for a wonderful break from standard city hotels. With an acclaimed restaurant on site, the combination of cuisine and tradition make a fantastic experience.
Iwaso is a luxurious traditional ryokan overlooking the picturesque island of Miyajima. Its peaceful location in the woods of Momijidani is beautiful and the ryokan offers fantastic service and authentic Japanese hospitality throughout your stay.
With over 800 years of history, Araya Totoan is a traditional Japanese ryokan providing guests with luxurious accommodation and first-class Japanese hospitality. Enjoy authentic ryokan experiences, including a private onsen and a Kaiseki dinner.
Speak to our specialists to plan your stay in a ryokan
Call us on 020 3141 2850 for more information