Now that we’ve moved past a wave of late summer typhoons, fall is finally in the air! With the cooler weather and fall foliage at our doorstep, it’s the perfect time to make reservations for a hotspring vacation. Autumn and winter are great times to plan a quick getaway with family, friends, or partners to a quiet ryokan, where you can enjoy traditional Japanese architecture, food, and taking a dip in a steaming hot spring bath. As many of these smaller ryokan are run by families and a vast number of the ones with full English language service are extremely expensive, it can be hard to know just where to start when booking. That’s why today we have listed a side by side comparison of the 3 Best English Booking Sites for Ryokans, Traditional Japanese Inns. We’ll run down the benefits of each site, the ease of use, and then give you an example of the kinds of results that each site yielded for the same search requirements
3. Rakuten Travel 5/10
Rakuten is known for being an e-commerce giant (think of it as the Japanese Amazon) and one of its divisions, Rakuten Travel, is also a wildly popular site for booking. It offers customers the option of browsing in 12 different languages, and has a Features section that gives region/activity specific accommodation recommendations. Looking for a good place to go skiiing? The Features section has a map with all the most popular locations marked, and links to places to stay that will provide you easy access. This site is recommended for people who like simple visuals and large pictures.
Now, let’s look at a side-by-side comparison of how these sites stack up! We choose a popoular onsen destination, Hakone, found in Kanagawa-ken. Here are the results that we were given when using the same search parameters.
For more information, including directories where you can view listings of individual Ryokans officially registered with the Japanese National Tourist Organization, visit JNTO’S official site here.So now, you have a place to start!
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