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Whether you’re visiting Japan for leisure purposes, business purposes or any other reason and are looking for a place to stay, then you need not worry as Japan has a wide range of options when it comes to accommodation. You have the western style hotels along with other unconventional forms. No matter what your budget is, you’ll find a place to stay suiting your particular budget for sure.
Hotels in Japan are the modern counter-part to the traditional Japanese Ryokan (see below). Western Style hotels are are mainly chains from around the world along with Japanese owerns/chains as well. 3 and 4 star hotels are comparativley priced with those in America or Europe. However, when you hit 5 stars prices are high (although service and quality is absolutely excellent). All "Western Style" Hotels usually have a variety of "Western Style" restaurants and food. These hotels are for those who want to "feel at home" while in Japan. With western beds and amminities you can relax from a busy day out and about shopping or visiting shrines, temples and Japanese castles.
Business hotels in general are cheaper than the big "Tourist" type hotels. They are super clean and have all the neccessary amminities the business traveller needs. Note that there is "Nothing Special" about these hotels. Usually they are in a "Non-Tourist" area and you basically get a nice room to sleep. The rooms can also feel a little tight to Western Visitors but if your on a business trip and need a clean, respectfull place to sleep, these hotels are the type you want.
A Ryokan (a "Japanese Inn") is the traditional style of Japanese accomodation from the "old days". Traditionally a Ryokan may have 5 to 10 rooms. At the entrance of course you have to take off your shoes, A service lady will come into your room in the evening to lay out your futon for sleeping and feel free to walk around the Ryokan in your Yukata (Japanese style "Robe") and to to the public Hot Bath.
SnapJapan.com and this sites owner recommends all visitors to Japan try a Japanese Inn or, Ryokan, in Japanaese. Sure, stay at nice 4 or 5 star... they are wonderful but for at least a night or two (if not your entire stay), please try a Ryokan. These are traditional Japanese inns which offer breakfast and dinner. However, serving only traditional Japanese food. The rooms are decorated in a Japanese style and if you want to experience Japanese lifelstyle, these Japanese inns lets you do just that. Minshuku are also traditional Japanese lodging, however, these are mainly bed and breakfast and are usually run by families. However, at times they also offer either lunch or dinner along with breakfast. These are great if you want to experience the Japanese lifestyle and culture.
Side Note; "Ryokan" is pronounced with the "Ryo" part together. Not, Ri-yo-kan, but rather Ryo-kan. Like many non-japanese speakers say, To-ki-yo... that is not correct, it is To-kyo.
Yep, even though Japan has a reputation for being expensive (although it really is not!), there are still "Super-Budget" Hostels you can stay. If you want to experience the excitement, culture and people of Japan but don't want to spend a lot on lodging, Hostels are a great alternative. Like everything in Japan, Hostels are extremely clean. The only real disatvantage is that the rooms are very small and "basic", sometimes sharing with others. They also tend to be off the "beaten-path" so may have to walk a bit to the Hostel.
Single? Don't want to blow a lot of money for just a place to crash? Can handle sleeping in a "Capsule"? Capsule Hotels can be a great place to "crash". Just pretend like your on a spaceship on an intersteller flight, this is your "space". No, it's not a "room", a "space", stacked horizontally and vertically. Usually the space inside is not even high enough to sit up. But, they have basically everything you need, TV, clean sheets, a public bath, shared bathroom and lockers. Great places when you find yourself "Stuck" (or... had to much to drink), somewhere and just need some shut eye.
Got a spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, lover or <special> friend? Try a Love Hotel for some fun. These aren’t particularly for tourists, however can be used by tourists. These hotels let you stay in one of their rooms for a few hours during the day or overnight. It is catered for those people who want a romantic few hours or night for themselves. Most these hotels come "themed" to... well... let your imagination go wild!
Apartments and houses
these are offered to tourists staying in Japan for longer periods of time generally for weekly and monthly basis and who come with big families. There are different types of apartments/houses offered. Some built along modern lines, some built along traditional lines, Japanese style and some, restored former houses and apartments. However, these are mostly offered in Tokyo and Kyoto and some other big cities.
Tourists can also spend the night at temples, known as shukubo (temple lodgings). Here you’re provided with two meals both vegetarian and you can also join in on the morning prayers which take place every morning at the temple.
these are set ups which are life cafes and offer customers booths to read comics known as Mangas. They also offer other services as well like meals and small rooms able to fit only one person for overnight stays.
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