The city of Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture is home to different historical, natural and artistic sites. Given its popularity to tourists, Matsumoto also has many ryokans or traditional Japanese hotels. The ryokans located in the various parts of the city offer different amenities to tourists.
Depending on what part of Matsumoto you plan to visit in priority, you’ll have different pools of traditional hotels to choose from. The main tourist attractions in Matsumoto are located near the city center, Asama Onsen, and at the east of Matsumoto. So we will now look into the best ryokans of these three key locations.
Ryokans near the city center of Matsumoto
The center of Matsumoto is where you will find the Matsumoto Castle. If you feel like taking a historical trip in the Japanese Alps, Matsumoto is the right place for you. If you plan to visit this city in spring, Matsumoto Castle will be even more beautiful as the cherry blossoms in its enclosure will be in full bloom. Here are two ryokans in the city center that you might want to check out.
Affordable and convenient ryokan in Matsumoto city center
Just a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute drive from JR Matsumoto Station, the simply furnished rooms of Ryokan Matsukaze will provide you with the much-needed rest any traveller deserves. They have air conditioned rooms with futon beds, fridge, TV and green tea.
The tatami (woven straw) floors and the sliding doors give this ryokan a traditional Japanese appeal. The bathrooms are shared, with bathtubs and showers available but they can be reserved for private use free of charge.
Ryokan Matsukaze is close enough to the historic center and is just a 30 minute walk away from Matsumoto Castle. There are also bicycles available for use free of charge if you want to roam around.
Exceptional ryokan with a public bath in the city center of Matsumoto
Fukashiso offers its guests a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere, all in a property that is traditionally styled and decorated. The rooms are air conditioned, furnished with handcrafted wooden furniture. They also have tatami floors, futon beds, TV and private toilets. However, bathrooms are shared.
Fukashiso offers easy access to various Matsumoto key locations, but you will have to take the train. This inn is a 20-minute walk from JR Minami Matsumoto Station, a one stop from JR Matsumoto Station. Thanksfully, there is also a free shuttle service.
Guests of Fukashiso can enjoy a Japanese traditional meals for dinner, and buffet breakfast if reserved. Other features include free Wi-Fi, coin launderette, rental bicycles, photocopying services, and souvenirs for sale.
Ryokans near Asama Onsen
Matsumoto is blessed with some of the most beautiful hot spring locations in the country. One of these is Asama Onsen. A favorite by both locals and tourists, Asama Onsen is a renowned hot spring that has been flowing abundantly from the earth for more than 1,300 years. If you plan to experience bathing in an onsen, here are three ryokans you might want to stay in.
An affortable traditional hotel with an onsen
Just 30 minutes away from Matsumoto Castle, the traditional accommodation of Ryokan Seifuso is a Japanese cultural experience on its own. Its air conditioned rooms have tatami and futons, flat-screen TV, refrigerator, and free Wi-Fi access in rooms.
This non-smoking ryokan has shared bathing facilities. Other facilities and experiences available for guests include free use of bicycles, onsen (hot public baths), tea ceremonies, kimono classes, and free parking.
Ryokan Seifuso also serves fresh, seasonal Japanese cuisine for breakfast. Guests can also request in advance for Western-style breakfast and vegetarian meals. This very homely ryokan and the amazing hospitality of the staff will definitely make your stay unforgettable.
A sumptuous traditional experience in Asama Onsen
Experience upscale yet traditional Japanese relaxation in Hotel Tamanoyu. This ryokan provides a variety of cultural experiences, including private and public onsen, massages, Japanese cuisine and small classical concerts. You get to unwind and roam around the hotel in Japanese casual wear.
Public onsen are available to all guests. The outdoor hot spring bath can be reserved for private use free of charge. Japanese breakfast and traditional multi-course dinner are served at the dining room. Guests can enjoy local beers and sake in the salon, with live classical and folk music concerts.
The air conditioned rooms are styled with a mix of Western and Japanese decor. Each room has an LCD TV, a mini-fridge and an electric kettle. Wi-Fi is available throughout the whole ryokan and each facility is wheelchair-accessible. Hotel Tamanoyu is just a 10-minute drive from the Matsumoto Castle and Nakamachi-dori. Free private parking is also available.
Another upscale hotel in Asama Onsen
Just a few kilometers away from key locations in Matsumoto, the Saneikaku is a great ryokan for guests who are looking for an accommodation with traditional Japanese appeal. Saneikaku merges modernity and tradition to bring about a unique experience to its guests. Situated beside a mountain, this ryokan provides breathtaking views of the Japanese Alps and of the city.
Saneikaku also offers both indoor and open-air onsen. This traditional hotel also has a garden, a terrace, shared lounge, and free private parking space. Asian breakfast is available daily.
For guests who would like to tour Matsumoto, Saneikaku is just 9 km away from The Japan Ukiyo-e Museum and 5 km away from the Matsumoto Castle.
Ryokans East of Matsumoto
You should head to the eastern side of Matsumoto if you want to enjoy the best locations for nature trips and hiking spots. Natural attractions in this part of the city include the Kamikochi, Norikura Kogen, and more. Check out these two ryokans if you want accommodations that embrace the natural side of Matsumoto.
Where comfort meets Japanese tradition
Have a peaceful and relaxing stay in this haven located 4.4 km away from Matsumoto Castle. The Momoyama offers its guests a traditional Japanese experience surrounded by nature. It has great views of the garden and greeneries at daytime and the scenic city lights at night.
Momoyama has indoor and outdoor onsens, free parking and shuttle services available for its guests. The air conditioned rooms are decorated with simple and traditional Japanese decor, with sliding doors and tatami floors.
Tourist locations that are near Momoyama include Agatonomori Park at 2.4 km, Yohashira Shrine at 2.7 km and more. If you are there during spring, you might also want to visit Matsumoto Alps Park to view the sakura trees in full bloom while also enjoying the breathtaking view of the Japanese Alps.
A lovely century-old hotel in Matsumoto
The traditional yet chic flair of the Izumiya Zenbe will surely give you the ultimate Japanese experience. The natural outdoor settings of its open-air onsens coupled with the minimalist decoration and soft lighting indoors will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable in this ryokan. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout Izumiya Zenbe.
Each air conditioned room has tatami floors and traditional futon beds. Guests can relax in yukata and even avail of in-room massages for an extra charge. Izumiya Zenbe serves various Japanese-style dinners and hearty Japanese breakfasts. Guests can even watch the staff preparing their homemade soba noodles.
Depending on the different cultural and natural attractions that you’d like to explore in Matsumoto, ryokans from one of the three zones we talked about can be the best choice for your accommodations. With its simple and Japanese ambience, a ryokan will surely help you feel relaxed after a long day of travelling and exploring this part of Nagano Prefecture.