|Above, the Bansuitei Ikoiso Ryokan in Sendai. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
One of the things that many foreign visitors to Japan wish to experience is to stay at a traditional Japanese inn (or ryokan).
Despite the growing demand by foreign visitors to stay at a ryokan, many ryokans are closing down operations.
Asahi Shimbun has an interesting article on the subject. They note that part of the problem is that ryokans are mostly family owned and operated and they are too busy or not equipped to promote their inns worldwide.
The article begins with:
When American Jan Bardsley wanted to stay at a traditional ryokan, he found Nantenen in Kawachi-Nagano, Osaka Prefecture, through its Internet page.
Bardsley, 64, who visited Japan with two friends who are also from the United States, stayed at the Japanese-style inn in late May.
Bardsley said both the interior and the garden of the ryokan were exceptional, and the inn provided him with experiences one can have only in Japan.
Nantenen is one of the few Japanese-style hotels that have succeeded in adapting to the rapid globalization of the tourism industry.
The government is intent on training operators of ryokan, which it calls “the embodiment” of Japanese culture, as an increasing number of overseas tourists came to the country and hope to stay at one.Since 2001, I have stayed at three ryokans (Tokyo, Sendai and Kumamoto) and enjoyed each of them. I found their service to be exceptional and less expensive than hotels (the Kumamoto ryokan only charged me about $30.00 a night).
I am planning to visit Japan later this year with Denise and a ryokan stay would be one that she will find interesting and, hopefully, enjoyable.
To read more, go here.