10 historical Japanese inns, loved by great writers, royalty and political figures

An introduction to a collection of inns that are registered tangible cultural heritage sites, loved by cultural figures, where visitors can feel the beauty of traditional Japan, passed down since ancient times.

10 historical Japanese inns, loved by great writers, royalty and political figures

Gunma > Nakanojo

Shima Onsen Sekizen Honkan

Shima Onsen Sekizen Honkan
Shima Onsen Sekizen Honkan

Reportedly the oldest wooden hot spring inn in Japan, this rare inn has preserved the distinct atmosphere of its traditional architecture.

Guests said:
・We were also welcomed to participate in an anime tour! Participants can enjoy this inn!
・I was moved by a curious sense that time had stopped here.

Kanagawa > Yugawara

Yugawara Onsen Uenoya

Yugawara Onsen Uenoya
Yugawara Onsen Uenoya

This venerable inn has the longest history in Yugawara. The carpentry technique is visible in every facet of the building, from the windows to the hallways, and the rooms are rich in feeling, each featuring a unique design.

Guests said:
・There is a quaint and retro feel here and a sense of genuine and complete relaxation that cannot be found the modern architecture of today's hotels.
・The aged feel of the guestrooms and baths evokes a pleasing sense of cleanliness.

Nagano > Aoki

Masuya Ryokan(Nagano)

Masuya Ryokan(Nagano)
Masuya Ryokan(Nagano)

With its white-walled storehouse and quaint wooden three-story inn building, into which the wind and snow from the Meiji period have carved their signature, this inn is famous in connection with the great writer, Toson Shimazaki.

Guests said:
・Apparently also having been used as a movie filming site, this historic inn has a great sense of charm.
・Here, guests can fully enjoy the atmosphere of a classic Japanese hot spring inn and experience a slower flow of time.

Gifu > Gero

Gero Onsen Yunoshimakan

Gero Onsen Yunoshimakan
Gero Onsen Yunoshimakan

The construction of this inn, with its fusion of wooden Japanese-style and modern Western-style architecture, was designed and directed by the then cutting-edge architect, Mr. Eiji Niwa. It was designed around the traditional-styled rooms with an emphasis on "comfort."

Guests said:
・While beautiful from the outside, the interior is also extremely interesting, giving a fun sense almost akin to navigating a maze.
・It was fun to look around the interior while viewing the stamp library.

Shizuoka > Numazu

Nishiizumitsuhama・Yunohama Onsen Yasudaya Ryokan

Nishiizumitsuhama・Yunohama Onsen Yasudaya Ryokan
Nishiizumitsuhama・Yunohama Onsen Yasudaya Ryokan

With its classical architectural style and the commitment to the design visible in elements such as the screens and balustrades, this pure Japanese-style inn is also famous in connection with Osamu Dazai.

Guests said:
・History as an inn, a history of being loved by cultural figures and the relaxing feeling of staying in an inn that can be considered a cultural heritage site: These are the advantages that modern hotels simply cannot duplicate, no matter how hard they try.

Shizuoka > Izu

Arai Ryokan

Arai Ryokan
Arai Ryokan

It is very rare for a single facility to host an incredible 15 cultural properties, and the historical significance and rarity of this venerable Arai Inn, with 150 years of history, has been officially acknowledged.

Guests said:
・Both the inn itself and the circuit-style gardens have a pleasant, well-maintained and clean atmosphere.
・Evoking the image of a Japanese painting, the landscaping and style give a sense of a complete view of the world, letting you forget your day-to-day concerns and feel rejuvenated.

Gifu > Yoro

Senzairo

Senzairo
Senzairo

Founded in 1764, this inn, designed in a classical Japanese style, is surrounded by the azure of the sky and the embrace of the green mountains. Guests can fully enjoy the beauty of any season from its windows.

Guests said:
・Recommended for those looking for a relaxing experience in a room with a true sense of history.
・Far from evoking any sense of discomfort, this old building gave a sense of nostalgia and I had an extremely pleasant stay.

Kyoto > Miyazu

Seikiro

Seikiro
Seikiro

The delicate, beautiful architecture and the coffered style of the ceiling in the main hall can only be found in two locations in Japan today. In addition, it is also a "little museum" of works that have been left by great artists and writers.

Guests said:
・With a truly tasteful appearance and a design with a sense of elegance, this was an excellent place to stay.
・Taking the tour of the inn and learning about it gave a true sense of its historical meaning and significance.

Wakayama > Tanabe

Ryujin Onsen Kamigoten

Ryujin Onsen Kamigoten
Ryujin Onsen Kamigoten

You can almost feel the breath of the people who passed through this inn as it flourished in the Edo period. Built for a visit by Yoshinobu Tokugawa to the hot spring, it still contains the room in which he stayed.

Guests said:
・This inn is the most historic and stately inn in the Ryujin Onsen hot spring district, and viewing the room where Kishu-Ko stayed gave a true sense of elegance and history.
・It was also home to the first grandfather clock imported into Japan.

Shimane > Matsue

Mihokan Onsen Ryokan Mihokan Kunibunkazai no Yado

Mihokan Onsen Ryokan Mihokan Kunibunkazai no Yado
Mihokan Onsen Ryokan Mihokan Kunibunkazai no Yado

This is the only inn still in operation that is registered as a national cultural asset in Japan. It is currently active as a breakfast venue for guests as well as for wedding receptions and meetings.

Guests said:
・Although the accommodations are in a separate building, you can have breakfast in the original building, which has an old and stately atmosphere.
・After eating, you can look around and learn about the facility or take photos. There was a pleasant sense of really getting an understanding of what an old inn was like.

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