Lodging Options


Shinagawa Prince Hotel

At first glance with its aquarium, movie theaters and bowling alley, the Shinagawa Prince hotel is not the typical type of hotel/ryokan that we would normally choose. And you are right. But there are three reasons why we like to stay at the Shinagawa Prince: location, location, location. Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world with more than 35 million people living there (almost 1/3 of the population of Japan live in the Tokyo metropolitan area). While the public transportation system in Tokyo is excellent, if you don’t stay in the right area you can end up spending more time getting to your destinations than sightseeing. From the Shinagawa station just across the street from the hotel, you have direct access to Narita Airport, the Shinkansen (bullet trains) and easy access to many of the popular sightseeing spots in Tokyo by subway and train. And staying here will give you a well-rounded perspective when you will stay in a smaller, more traditional style accommodations. After all, these larger hotels are part of today’s Japan.

Hakone Yumoto Onsen


The Yajikitanoyu, located a short five minute walk from the Hakone Yumoto train station, is a breed of new ryokans appearing at onsens all over Japan. The literal translation of the Japanese name for these new-style ryokans are “stopovers”. The primary reason the Japanese visit an onsen are the baths.

The secondary reason for visiting an onsen is the baths. As you might guess, emphasis at these new-style ryokans is placed on the baths and the bathing experience.

The emphasis at the Yajikitnoyu, like these other new-style ryokans, is also placed on the baths and the bathing experience. There are four outdoor baths and one indoor bath at the Yajikitanoyu, all with natural, thermally-heated mineral water. You will also find a large and comfortable changing room including numerous lockers with keys. No meals are served at the Yajikitanoyu (unless you include the automated vending machines in the lobby which dispense hot entrees such as noodles and other fast foods) including breakfast. The guide will help with suggestions on where you can purchase your breakfast to eat in your room.


Takayama Ouan

Takayama Ouan has brought a new fusion of hotel styles to Hida-Takayama, combining the clean, simple rooms of a business hotel with the traditional features and all-natural hot spring baths of an onsen ryokan. Takayama Ouan has plenty of modern amenities like free internet, laundry area, and an excellent location next to JR Takayama Station, but by far its most impressive feature is its rooftop hot spring overlooking the streets of Takayama and the surrounding mountains


Palace Side Hotel

Palace Side Hotel is located in the heart of Kyoto, and situated right next to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. It is also central to over a dozen historical sites, shrines, temples, and World Heritage sites. Travelers who want to immerse themselves in traditional Kyoto will feel right at home in this beautiful hotel. Features include a delectable restaurant, a bar/lounge, and massage rooms. There is also a Japanese teacher giving Japanese lessons to foreign guests in the lobby to help create a more enjoyable experience for travelers. Free wifi is available for added convenience.



The Jokiin Buddhist Temple’s history dates back to the year 1156. The temple burned down but was quickly rebuilt in 1870. Many of the current buildings

date back to this time. The Jokiin is next to the central part of Koya-san, making it a convenient spot to visit Kongobuji Temple, the Garan Temple complex and the central part of the Koyasan town.  Many of the rooms face a small, quiet garden. Shojin-ryori meals (vegetarian meals with no onions or garlic) are served, and everyone is invited to attend the O-inori (prayer service) held early in the morning. Dinners will usually include vegetable tempura, and Gomadofu, the specialty of Koya-san. Gomadofu is tofu mixed with sesame seed oil, topped with a small dollop of wasabi.

Meals here are served “Japanese-style”, meaning on short tables on the tatami mats. However, if you have a problem sitting on the floor, the monks will happily supply a table and chair for you.

The baths and toilets here are shared (gender separated of course). The baths are only open from 4 to 9PM in the evenings, and are not available in the morning.


Takamatsu Tokyu REI Hotel

Takamatsu, a former castle town, boasts historical sites like grandiose Takamatsu Castle, splendid Japanese gardens, and Ritsurin Park. With the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and airline and ocean routes, Takamatsu is easily accessible from all over Japan. Takamatsu Tokyu Inn is conveniently located in the center of the business and shopping areas of Takamatsu City, making it easily accesible. The hotel is equipped with good facilities, and the simplicity and elegance ensures a very comfortable stay.


Mielparque Matsuyama

Known for its association with literary giants and haiku masters, Matsuyama exudes a sense of serenity and majestic peace as guests trace the footsteps of great writers. Mielparque Matsuyama Hotel is a 5-minute walk from Dogo Onsen Honkan where guests can enjoy soaking in the large public hot spring to unwind. Isaniwa Shrine, Shiki Memorial Museum, and Hogonji Temple are also a short walk from this hotel. The hotel also features a restaurant, a coffee shop, free bicycle rental, and free internet.

Miyajima Island

Ryoso Kawaguchi

This 300 year-old home, with whitewashed walls, wood floors, and exposed beams, has a traditional atmosphere. The gracious and welcoming current  innkeepers are the ninth-generation of the Kawaguchi family who have managed the ryokan. The dining room overlooks a garden courtyard, while the third floor lounge has a view of the five-storied pagoda. The meals served here are the best on the itinerary.

The inn has two family baths on the first floor. A family bath is a Japanese-style bath that can be locked and used privately. This allows couples and/or families (hence the name) to use the baths privately. The baths, like most other Japanese-style baths have shower facilities as well if you don’t want to use the baths. The rooms at the Kawaguchi have only a sink and toilet.

The Kawaguchi is centrally-located on Miyajima Island on a quiet back street, within a short walking distance of all the major sights on the island, and only one block from the Omotesando shopping street.

The Kawaguchi has a coin-operated computer, and WIFI throughout the ryokan.



This 110-year old inn is located in the government quarter/business district of Nagasaki. Its wooden building is reminiscent of historical Nagasaki, and the rooms feature wooden cypress bathtubs. Traditional Japanese cuisine that is very highly rated is served with pride and excellence. Art-filled rooms, hallways lined with Arita-yaki pottery, and small personal gardens create a peaceful and unique ambiance that is not soon forgotten. Each room comes with a private bath and toilet, and two family baths are open every evening.



Located in front of Hokkaido University Botanical Garden and near the Odori Park, this charming Japanese-style inn is a wonderful introduction to the pleasures of the island. Nakamuraya offers public men and women’s baths that are open 24 hours a day, and serves authentic Sapporo cuisine with the unique flavors of Hokkaido. Each room has its own private bath and toilet and free wifi.

Noboribestu Onsen


148 years ago, Takimoto Kinzo whose wife was said to have suffered from a skin disease, found a spa near the “Hell Valley.” The hot spring was believed to have medicinal waters, which healed his wife’s illness. This triggered his desire to let the hot spring’s wonderful healing power be known to everyone. Thus, he founded on that spot a small inn, which has now expanded into the Dai-ichi Takimotokan, and Noboribetsu Onsen.
The baths at the Diaichitakimotokan measue 5,000 square meters, and are located next to the “Hell Valley.” You can immerse in 15 separate baths with 7 different kinds of mineral water while viewing the beautiful scenery of the “Hell Valley”.

At Dai-ichi Takimotokan, recreational amenities include a complimentary water park and a waterslide. The hotel also features a full-service spa and a bar/lounge. Area attractions also include Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe and the Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura.


Hakodate La Vista

Located at Japan’s first International port of trade, this upscale, 356-room resort hotel offers breathtaking panoramic views of Hakodate, where you can experience a taste of history. You can also enjoy great views from large communal baths fed with natural hot spring water on the top floor. Wifi is only available on the 1st floor lobby. Rooms have wired internet access.


Monterey Sendai

A relaxing hotel build in the image of Prague, the Monterey Sendai reflects the qualities of an imaginative design that allows guests to spend a peaceful time in a serene  and romantic atmosphere. This hotel is only steps away from Asaichi Morning Market, and within a short walk of Sendai Ginza Street and Mitakisanfudoin. The rooms combine a refined elegance with modern amenities for a relaxing and comfortable stay. Exceptional service and cuisine is a sense of pride in the 3 restaurants available in this hotel. Monterey Sendai also features a hot spring/spa facility, a beautiful chapel, and free wifi.