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‘Dos and don’ts’ of staying in a Ryokan: Kyoto releases guidelines for UK travelers

For the thousands of UK tourists who visit Kyoto each year, staying in the highly unique and traditional accommodation of a Ryokan is a special experience. However, to raise awareness of the customs within the Ryokans and limit misdemeanors, Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau has released an infographic outlining the ‘AKIMAHEN’, or the ‘dos and don’ts’ for a serene and restful stay.

The guidelines have been released in partnership with TripAdvisor and detail the etiquette essentials for visitors’ arrival, dining, bath time and bedtime at the ancient Japanese inns.

The handy step-by-step guide features a clear breakdown of the Japanese terminology employed within a Roykan, as well as the more particular practices that may not come as second nature to Westerners. From the unexpected rules, such as not dragging your suitcase along the wooden floors and placing belongings on the Tokonoma, to the perhaps more straightforward – but not necessarily obvious! – conventions of punctuality at mealtimes and remembering to check public bath opening times before going to sleep, the guide will prevent the most absent-minded of guests from offending their host.

Of course, no trip to Kyoto would be complete without sampling some of the delicious food, and the helpful infographic also includes a breakdown of the jargon for the complex dishes at the heart of ‘Kyo-Ryori’ (Kyoto cuisine), to ensure that no patrons feel bewildered by the menu.

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