Ryokan Kurashiki


Overlooking the Nakabashi Bridge at the center of the Bikan Historical Quarter, by the banks of a pretty, willow-lined canal, sits the beautiful Ryokan Kurashiki. Situated at the center of the waterways and streets of the city of Kurashiki's lovingly preserved Bikan quarter, Ryokan Kurashiki is an oasis of elegant calm in the bustling, history-steeped district.
The ryokan was originally the home of a wealthy sugar merchant who outfitted the house with exquisite craftsmanship and fine antiques. The ryokan itself consists of several buildings joined together into a single unit with old kura, or traditional warehouse buildings (the "kura" in Kurashiki), plus newer structures. The whole place was thoroughly renovated a few years ago and now boasts all the modern conveniences one expects in a fine hotel, including modern fixtures and flat-panel TVs, but it retains the essence of the Bikan quarter and its aura of solidity, wealth and luxury. Inside the ryokan, the crosshatch design on the kura outside repeats itself in the corridors and entranceways, in the tile walls and distinctive white namako joints (so called because the joints reminded people of namako, or sea cucumbers). Overseeing the operation of the ryokan is the okami (proprietress), who is both knowledgeable about the area and fluent in English. She and her staff understand the needs of foreign visitors, having hosted numerous foreign celebrities in the past, and their local knowledge and connections in the community can open doors to a host of unique experiences.
With Ryokan Kurashiki as your base, you can explore the fascinating Bikan area and beyond, or simply stay at the ryokan, and let Okami and her friendly staff show you the timeless essence of Japanese hospitality.

The neighborhood is home to a number of excellent museums, including the Ohara Museum of Art (Japan's first museum of Western art, founded and bequeathed by businessman, philanthropist and Kurashiki native Magosaburo Ohara), the Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft, the Kake Museum of Art, the Japanese Rural Toy Museum and many others. Other attractions include numerous parks, gardens, historical homes, shrines and traditional factories. Around the corner is a sake brewery, and Achi Shrine is a lovely old structure perched on a hill overlooking the city and the tile rooftops of the Bikan Quarter.