There are many options for lodging in the Tanabe City/Kumano region including hotels, Ryokan inns, and Minshuku guesthouses. Staying in traditional style accommodations is one of the joys of travelling in the area, especially in a hot spring village where you can soak in healing mineral waters and dine on fresh local cuisine.
Staying at a Japanese style accommodation has a different set of rules than a western style hotel, but with a little bit of preparation and practice it can be a rewarding experience without making too many cultural mistakes.
You can make bookings through the Kumano Travel reservation site. Please travel responsibly by booking locally. Thank you.
Types of Accommodations
Hotels are usually western style rooms with beds and ensuite bathrooms. Business hotels are usually in the lower price bracket designed for travelling businessmen, but can also be convenient for travellers.
Ryokan are Japanese inns and come in a variety of styles, from traditional wooden structures to more of a modern hotel/Ryokan mixture. Services also vary considerably with more attention paid to the guest at the higher end establishments.
Most Ryokan have Japanese style rooms with tatami mats, shoji sliding doors, and futons for sleeping on. Some Ryokan Hotels also have rooms with beds.
Meals can be served in the guestroom or a dining area. A traditional Kaiseki set meal is often included. Sometimes buffet meals are options at larger facilities.
Baths and toilets may or may not be ensuite. Often the bathing area is the pride of the Ryokan, especially if they are located in an onsen area.
Minshuku are family run guesthouses and often found in rural Japan. There is a fine line between a Minshuku and some smaller Ryokans, making it hard to distinguish between the two.
Most Minshuku are small with only a few Japanese style rooms. Staying at a Minshuku is a good chance to meet the local people and get close to the culture.
The atmosphere is often like that of a home with traditional meals of local produce.
Baths and toilets are often shared.
A pensions are like Minshuku except they have western style beds and often western meals. The word pension is borrowed from French.
Guesthouses and B&B are a newer style of accommodation to Japan. Types can vary, but most are lower budget and do not often include meals. Kitchen facilities may be available for use.
Rooms can either be Japanese or Western style and may be shared .
Shukubo are temple lodgings. The quality of facilities can sometimes be on par with higher end Ryokan inns. Meals are usually Shojinryori, Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. You may also be able to participant in morning services.
Another form of accommodation that you may come across is the Kokuminshukusha, or people’s lodges. These are government or privately run facilities and lean towards a Japanese style of stay.
Homestays are chances to get close to the everyday lifestyle of the community. You can stay in a family’s home, eat together, and learn about each other’s culture. Some homestays offer unique experiences, including helping out on the family farm.
Campgrounds & Bungalows
In the mountains campgrounds and bungalows are very popular in the summer and offer a chance to get outside.