10 Best Ryokan in Osaka: Relaxation, Tradition, and Onsen!
- Published: Aug 23 2023
Osaka has come to be known as a lively, electric city full of vibrant people who never run out of energy. And while that is certainly true for the city center, there is another side of Osaka that many people tend to overlook, which is a real shame because that side contains more than a few hot springs. In this article, we’ll introduce ryokan inns around Osaka where you can discover Japan’s third biggest city anew and relax in elegant, traditional accommodations to your heart’s content.
10 Best Ryokan for a Relaxing Stay in Osaka
1. Hotel Yu-shu
Located near iconic Osaka sites such as Dotonbori, Ebisubashi, and the Glico sign, Hotel Yu-shu offers easy access to popular tourist spots such as Universal Studios Japan (USJ) and the Kaiyukan aquarium, as well as shopping and dining. Despite being in the middle of a popular area, the inn offers a quiet, traditional atmosphere, making it an ideal base for sightseeing.
This hotel has seven rooms total, all Japanese-style with tatami straw mats that give off a pleasant aroma. You can choose between rooms with futon mattresses or beds. The interiors are simple yet elegant, and the small garden visible from the windows gives them a little extra charm. The soundproofing at Hotel Yu-shu is excellent, and family rooms with a simple kitchen are also available, making this a great choice for travelers with small children.
The room keys use a PIN code system for added security. Moreover, guests will surely appreciate the convenience of not having to go through a checkout process, making Hotel Yu-shu especially recommended for those looking for a smooth and hassle-free ryokan experience.
2. Oukai Villa Izumi
Izumi City is located about an hour by train from the center of Osaka. It’s known for its historic shrines, temples, and natural scenery. Oukai Villa Izumi, built using traditional architectural techniques, was originally a secluded private residence and is today known for being surrounded by hundreds of cherry blossom trees, creating a breathtaking sight in springtime, as one would expect from a facility with the character for “cherry” in its name. Other highlights of the inn include its antique furniture and a complimentary shuttle service to the nearest station and the airport.
The rooms feature a serene and modern Japanese design that exudes a sense of traditional hospitality, which is very conducive to relaxing and enjoying the seasonal scenery outside the ryokan.
At Oukai Villa Izumi, you can watch the elegant koi fish swimming gracefully in the garden pond, sit back and relax in the lounge, or simply do nothing and let your mind wander. If you're interested, you can also try experiencing authentic Japanese culture in the form of a tea ceremony or flower arrangement courses, available for an extra fee. For breakfast, you can choose between Japanese and Western meals while admiring the garden illuminated by the morning sun to experience the height of luxury.
3. Hananosato Onsen Sansuikan
Located near JR Takatsuki Station, just a 30-minute train ride from JR Osaka Station or JR Kyoto Station, Hananosato Onsen Sansuikan is a popular and easily accessible hot spring inn that offers a microbus shuttle service for its guests from Takatsuki. While the onsen is available to day-trip travelers, the best way to experience the hot springs is by spending the night at the ryokan.
The indoor and open-air baths offer different types of spring water. The former, adorned with natural rock formations, allows guests to bathe while gazing at the nearby mountain stream through a large observation window. The charming open-air bath, on the other hand, makes you feel as if you were bathing in the middle of a tranquil forest. At night, the surroundings are lit up, creating a magical atmosphere. The waters here contain radon, which is said to have many therapeutic properties. Soaking in the hot waters of Hananosato Onsen Sansuikan before dinner, bedtime, and in the morning will surely invigorate your body and mind.
The inn offers a variety of rooms with different themes, such as accommodations with open-air baths overlooking a valley and rooms with mountain views. The VIP penthouse features a private cypress indoor bath with a stunning valley view and can also be used as a tea room. For dinner, guests can enjoy a kaiseki multi-course meal or creative original dishes featuring locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, as well as the inn's specialty: pheasant hot pot. After dinner, guests can unwind on the terrace by listening to the babbling of the nearby stream and forgetting about the worries of the outside world.
4. Ryokan Fushioukaku
Located within the Fushio Onsen hot spring area in Ikeda City, Ryokan Fushioukaku can be reached via a 30-minute drive from the center of Osaka. Those traveling by public transportation can catch a train from Shin-Osaka Station or Umeda Station to Ikeda Station, which takes about 20 minutes. Another option is the free shuttle bus departing from Ikeda Station. In addition to the hot springs, visitors can enjoy the local sightseeing spots, such as the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park and the Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda, where they can experience making instant ramen.
The standard Japanese-style rooms have a spacious, calming atmosphere with great views of the surrounding mountains. For those seeking privacy and relaxation, the luxury floor offers rooms with open-air baths and massage chairs, with the option to enjoy in-room dining for an additional fee. The dinner options include a Kyoto-style kaiseki course, a lava plate grill course, and a high-protein and low-calorie game meat course.
At Ryokan Fushioukaku, you can enjoy radon hot spring baths, which boost the metabolism, increase immunity, and help heal all sorts of ailments through natural means. Both indoor communal baths and open-air baths are available. The open-air option is beloved for allowing guests to relax and soak while experiencing the colorful seasonal scenery, such as cherry blossoms in the spring, fresh greenery in the summer, autumn foliage in the fall, and a clear starry sky in the winter. There is also a private rental bath that comes with a private Japanese-style room where you can relax and enjoy a drink.
Finally, the inn provides all the equipment and ingredients necessary for a barbeque for guests who like to cook their own food. Having a grill lunch before relaxing in the rejuvenating waters of the Fushioukaku hot springs would be the height of leisure and luxury that you deserve.
Located a 1 hour ride by limousine bus or train from Kansai International Airport, Nanten-En is a charming inn nestled in the beautiful Amami Onsen area. The inn building was designed by the prominent architect Tatsuno Kingo, known for his work on iconic structures such as Tokyo Station and the Bank of Japan headquarters during the Meiji (1868 – 1912) and Taisho (1912 – 1926) periods. You'll surely be impressed by the attention to detail at this ryokan that incorporates traditional tearoom motifs into its interior design. The inn also features a cozy hearth room adorned with pottery and other antiques where guests can unwind and enjoy the warmth of the fire.
The rooms at Nanten-En vary from accommodations with views of a beautiful garden to traditional rooms that showcase Japan's exceptional craftsmanship. Each space exudes the calming atmosphere and warmth that only a wooden inn can provide, which also helps put guests in a relaxed mood.
At the large communal bath, you can soak in the waters of Amami Onsen, discovered during the Northern and Southern Courts Period (1337 – 1392). Guests can additionally choose from a selection of colorful yukata robes to fully immerse themselves in the Japanese experience.
For dinner, taste the bounty of the season with a delicious kaiseki meal. And for breakfast, savor light and healthy Japanese dishes. Finally, don't forget to take a stroll through the magnificent one-hectare garden where you can admire the cherry blossoms in spring, riverside fireflies in summer, and breathtaking mountain foliage in the fall.
6. Okumizuma Onsen
Okumizuma Onsen is in Kaizuka City, just a 30-minute drive from Kansai Airport and an hour by train from Osaka City. The nearest station, Mizuma Kannon Station on the Mizuma Line, offers a free shuttle bus service to the inn.
The accommodations are primarily Japanese-style rooms that immerse guests in the country’s traditional culture. Guests can choose between rooms that offer views of the mountains, a river, or a garden. Additionally, special rooms that prioritize privacy and feature both an open-air bath and in-room dining options for dinner and breakfast are also available.
The inn’s highly concentrated natural sodium waters, known as "beauty water" or "miracle water," come from one of Osaka's best hot springs. Enjoy them in large indoor baths or open-air baths overlooking a mountain stream. For dinner, savor seasonal kaiseki cuisine that uses the bounty of the sea and mountains, taking full advantage of everything that the local nature has to offer. The inn also provides a kid's menu. After dinner, why not enjoy traditional Japanese entertainment such as karaoke, table tennis, or mahjong? In the summer, you can also fish in the on-site stream or swim laps in the pool, making Okumizuma Onsen an all-year family destination.
7. Kaneyoshi Ryokan
Those who want to experience the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese inn in the heart of Osaka should not miss Kaneyoshi Ryokan, which is located by the Dotonbori River. This inn is located a 7-minute walk from the Namba subway station and a 10-minute walk from the Namba Nankai Electric Railway station, making it an ideal base for sightseeing around Osaka and the surrounding areas.
The guestrooms facing the Dotonbori River offer amazing views of Osaka’s lively and vibrant cityscape illuminated by neon lights at night. With double-pane windows installed, you can rest peacefully without being disturbed by the sounds of the city’s nightlife. The inn also offers rooms with bunk beds that kids will surely love. When making reservations, please note that some rooms have shared toilets and baths.
The highlight of this facility is that it’s located in the heart of the Namba area, one of Osaka's liveliest districts, while offering a large public bath, a rarity that many travelers will appreciate. The retro Japanese atmosphere of the bath is full of character and provides a perfect opportunity to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Although dinner is not provided, you'll have no trouble finding someplace nearby to eat. Plus, it will give you an excuse to go and explore Osaka. In the morning, you can enjoy a classic Japanese-style set meal at the on-site restaurant. There is a room available for those who want to enjoy a private breakfast, but only one group can use it per day.
8. Yamatoya Honten Ryokan Osaka
Tucked away in the heart of Osaka's bustling Minami district, the elegant Yamatoya Honten inn offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Despite its central location, the inn exudes the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Osaka, making it the perfect destination for travelers seeking a relaxing home away from home.
Experience the warmth of wood and the comfort of tatami straw mats in the inn’s Japanese-style rooms. Whether you prefer a cozy space, a larger room for families or groups of travelers, a room with an attached bedroom, or a modern Japanese-style suite, the inn can accommodate you. For those who want to enjoy Osaka’s cityscape, consider requesting a high-floor room for an additional charge. From there, you’ll be able to witness the beautiful neon lights of the lively Minami area reflected in the Dotonbori River for a quintessential Osaka night view.
The spacious communal bath is perfect for soaking away travel fatigue. The men's bath even features a sauna while the women's changing room includes a baby bed for travelers with infants.
For dinner, guests can enjoy a variety of local delicacies featuring luxury ingredients such as pufferfish, Kobe beef, and conger eel, as well as popular local dishes like takoyaki and doteyaki (a kind of beef stew), all showcasing the famous food culture of Osaka. Breakfast also includes health-conscious options like homemade tofu and other specialties.
9. Fudouguchikan Ryokan
Inunakiyama Onsen is located about 30 minutes by car from Kansai International Airport and about an hour by train and bus from the city center like Osaka Station and Namba Station, making it popular among foreign travelers. A visit to this scenic hot spring area surrounded by a beautiful, nature-rich valley will surely ease your body and soul.
The intimate 11-room Fudouguchikan Ryokan exudes the atmosphere of a secret hideout from all the troubles of the outside world. All the rooms offer picturesque views of the nearby stream whose soothing sounds serve as the perfect background music to a tranquil and relaxing stay. For those looking to mix natural charm with a bit of luxury, the rooms with private open-air baths are worth checking out.
At Inunakiyama Onsen, you can feel your troubles wash away in the hot spring’s silky-smooth waters. The communal open-air bath offers a stunning view of the forest and the seasonal scenery of the nearby stream, with the sound of the gently flowing water adding to the hot spring experience, allowing you to relax both physically and mentally. After your bath, indulge in a massage or other treatment at the spa and become lost in a moment of absolute bliss.
For dinner, enjoy a seasonal kaiseki course featuring local farm-to-table produce in the privacy of your own room or in a private dining area. Pair your meal with some local sake and get a regional taste of Osaka.
10. Waqoo Shitaderamachi
Located just a 10-minute train ride away from the bustling Osaka (Umeda) Station or Namba Station, the Tennoji area is one of the city’s most popular and easily accessible tourist destinations. Stretching 1,400 meters north to south and 400 meters east to west, it’s home to about 80 temples. Waqoo Shitaderamachi is a shukubo facility in the heart of this “temple town,” as Tennoji is popularly known. “Shukubo” refers to lodging facilities for worshippers visiting shrines and temples, but Waqoo is also open to travelers looking to experience genuine Buddhist practices such as "zazen" seated meditation and "shakyo" sutra copying under the guidance of monks.
As soon as you step inside the facility, you’ll be greeted by the pleasant aroma of incense. The lodging has a simple and minimalistic design that will help bring you closer to the heart of Zen. The guestrooms are designed with a natural and modern aesthetic that combines the tranquility of Japanese-style decor with the comfort of Western-style amenities. The rooms feature tatami straw mats and low beds, a welcome alternative for those not fond of sleeping on traditional futon mattresses. In addition, guests are provided with the working clothes of Buddhist monks, known as "samue," as pajamas.
For breakfast, you’ll savor delicious “shojin ryori” vegetarian dishes made with fresh produce and grains in accordance to Buddhist teachings. It's an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture while enjoying a healthy and nourishing meal.
Enjoy Tradition and Hot Springs in the Heart of Japan!
Despite being known as one of Japan's livelier cities, Osaka also has a quiet, tranquil side located not too far from the city center. After immersing yourself in the city's bustling energy, indulge in a luxurious stay at a traditional Japanese inn or hot spring where time seems to slow down and lifelong memories are made.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.