Central Japan is known for many things but among them all, stunning natural landscapes, mountainous terrain, historical castles, and cultural villages reign supreme.
A visit throughout central Japan, which include popular prefectures such as Nagano, Gifu, and Gunma, is commonly associated with onsen town stays, walks through historic villages, and of course, visits to some of the most impressive and beautiful Japanese castles.
Matsumoto is considered the second largest city in Nagano and is one of the most popular places for visitors to base themselves when visiting Nagano. It is home to Matsumotojo, one of Japan’s most beautiful original castles, as well as a few other popular attractions that definitely warrant a few nights’ stays. They include Nakamichi, a former district with retro vibes, the alpine route, a popular walking route in winter, and Kamikochi, a relaxing mountain resort.
If you’re visiting Matsumoto, a stay in a traditional Japanese inn is a must. Get the full experience of immersing yourself in Japan’s historic and natural beauty whilst staying in a home that’s weathered the sands of time.
To help you out, we’ve curated a list of the 9 best ryokans in Matsumoto that you should try in 2024. Let’s have a look!
Shoho is the epitome of a 5-star luxury ryokan. From the outside, it has a facade as though it’s a prominent historical figure’s home. Elegance oozes from all corners of this ryokan, with dark timber finishes, tasteful furniture decor, and stunning floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to breathtaking views of the city.
There are western style bedding options as well as Japanese futon bedding, indoor and outdoor onsen baths to relax in, traditional Japanese cuisine for dinner, and massages are available upon request.
Guests Tips: There is a private onsen for guests to book during their time, so remember to do this at the front desk!
Book It Now: Shoho
2. Matsumoto Jujo
The essence of a traditional Japanese inn mixes surprisingly well with an industrial chic aesthetic here to create a unique accommodation experience.
There are western style and traditional Japanese-style rooms to book, each offering ample space to relax in, tranquil views, and ultimate chilled vibes. Some rooms also come with private spa baths.
The common areas are quite possibly the main attraction here: hundreds of books displayed along eye-catching bookcases surround the common area, and guests are invited to relax all day and all night long here, reading and simply soaking in the peace.
Guests Tips: You can also request for alcohol pairing with your dinner reservation, and it’s highly recommended! You can also purchase books from the bookcase in the common room.
Book It Now: Matsumoto Jujo
If you’re looking for the full traditional ryokan experience, Myojinkan might be your best bet. This gorgeous Japanese inn boasts a multitude of services and facilities designed to make your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
They include indoor and outdoor onsens that offer the most spectacular view of nature, larger-than-average Japanese-style rooms with wide open windows that filter through natural lighting, on-request massages and facials, and even bicycle rentals for those who want to explore the area.
Guests Tips: The staff is incredibly accommodating, so if you have any dietary requirements, they’ll be able to cater to you.
Book It Now: Myojinkan
4. Nishiki-no-Yu Jimotoya
Nishiki-no-Yu Jimotoya is an impressive ryokan situated in the Asama Onsen area. Its main features include a stunning outdoor onsen as well as a tasteful indoor onsen that all guests have access to throughout their stay.
The guest’s rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished, using low traditional Japanese furniture and traditional finishes such as tatami mat flooring. The windows boast breathtaking views of the Utsukushigahara Highlands or the Northern Alps of Japan.
Surrounding this ryokan are several other popular public onsen baths that guests can also explore as well.
Book It Now: Nishiki-no-Yu Jimotoya
5. Hotel Tamanoyu
Hotel Tamanoyu is like a Japanese inn straight out of an anime. A stunning timber entrance gives way to a harmonious style of ryokan that’s complete with public onsen baths (as well as private ones!), traditional Japanese cuisine, and beautifully furnished guest rooms.
A bonus of this ryokan includes its salon, which is a common area that guests can utilize to kick back and sip on beer and sake. Oftentimes there is live music being played here – such a vibe!
Guests Tips: Try and book a time to use the private rooftop onsen – it’s simply stunning! Dinner is a traditional Kaiseki meal which is done superbly, so it is highly recommended that you book that in.
Book It Now: Hotel Tamanoyu
For those looking for a more low-key yet still authentic ryokan stay in the region, look no further than Yumotoya.
This ryokan is relatively centrally located, with Matsumoto Station being only 15 minutes away, and Matsumoto Castle only 10 minutes away.
It features generous-sized guest rooms that boast tatami mat flooring, beautiful traditional low Japanese furniture, and an impressive public open-air bathing area that is a must-do if you’re staying here.
If dinner is included in your stay, the traditional Japanese-style meal, featuring only the freshest seasonal ingredients, is served in the cozy dining halls.
Book It Now: Yumotoya
Fukashiso is definitely one of the best ryokan in Matsumoto!
If warm hospitality, a cozy and comfortable bed, and an authentic Japanese experience are what you’re looking for, then book a room here!
The original structure of this accommodation is actually over 150 years old, however, it’s been so well maintained and rebuilt that it almost feels new! Rest assured that the interior decor and furnishing have been done so masterfully that you’ll still feel as though you’ve been thrown back into historic Japan.
As one guest has said, it’s the perfect choice for a traditional yet comfortable stay. It offers spacious public and private onsen baths for guests to use. The air-conditioned rooms all feature tatami floors and fluffy Japanese futon bedding. A delicious traditional Japanese kaiseki dinner can be reserved, and a buffet breakfast is available for guests.
Guests Tips: The dinner was a 12-course kaiseki meal that was OUT OF THIS WORLD – a must!
Book It Now: Fukashiso
8. Ryokan Seifuso
Ryokan Seifuso is a no-frills Japanese inn that goes the distance! It boasts one of the most cultural experiences you will ever have, with public onsen baths onsite, a tea ceremony, and even a kimono class for all guests.
Although Ryokan Seifuso prides itself in serving traditional Japanese cuisine using only the freshest seasonal ingredients, a western-style breakfast can still be accommodated.
Guests Tips: There isn’t a convenience store nearby, so if you’re the type to snack at night, purchase food from the Kissei Bunka Hall convenience stores before heading back there. There are free rental bikes to borrow here to explore the area.
Book It Now: Ryokan Seifuso
9. Onsen Hotel OMOTO
Onsen hotel OMOTO is the ultimate luxury ryokan experience. Think of huge guest rooms, expansive windows with stunning views, minimalist Japanese aesthetics, and delicious food.
Onsen hotel OMOTO boasts beautiful public indoor and open-air onsen baths with views that expand across the entire Matsumoto city. There is also a private indoor hot spring that can be booked (for a small fee), so please speak to the front desk if this is something you’re interested in. The common areas feature tasteful furniture that invites you to simply relax and soak in the ambiance.
Guests Tips: Dinner service is not provided here so it is best to ask for recommendations and check out the local restaurants there. However, breakfast is delicious!
Book It Now: onsen hotel OMOTO
Matsumoto is a wonderful city that is full of charm and history, so you can see why it’s such a popular destination to stay at!
With the number of booming tourists expected over the high seasons in Japan, we highly recommend that you book your accommodation as soon as possible, as ryokan stays are increasingly becoming a favorable option, especially in retro and charming areas such as Matsumoto.
We hope that our list of the 9 best ryokans in Matsumoto has helped you in some way! We’ve curated this list with all types of travelers in mind: whether you’re a couple, a group of friends, on a budget, or looking to spend big.
Let us know how your experience is in the comments section below!
For more Ryokan options in the area, feel free to check out our list of the best Ryokans in Nozawa onsen!