If you notice that there is a raised floor just inside the entrance of your ryokan, you will need to remove your shoes before stepping up.
Then turn your shoes, facing the toes out towards the door.
It is bad manners to step on the lower part without your shoes.
Slippers on, slippers off
Anywhere there is tatami, you need to remove your slippers. Only bare feet, socks or stockings should be worn on tatami.
There are separate slippers that are designated for the restrooms, they can be found in the restroom entrance.
Do not wear the restroom slippers outside of the restrooms.
Most of the rooms in the ryokan have tatami, woven straw mat. These mats are fragile and can be easily damaged. Please do not drag your suitcase accross these floors, please carry your luggage instead.
To help you enjoy your time in Kinosaki to its fullest, we recommend arriving a little before your check-in time.
This will give you some more time to explore the town and see some of the sights before nightfall.
It is also a good idea, if you ordered dinner with your reservation, to arrive early so that you won’t miss your dinner time. Many of the ryokans serve dinner around 6pm. This allows guests more time to relax and enjoy the town after dinner and before the shops close for the night.
Full bed turn down service
When you enter your room you may notice that there is no bed. Not to worry, the beds are stored away in the room’s closet until they need to be used. You do not need to take out the beds, the staff will prepare your bed for you when it is time.
Ryokan guests can take a free shuttle bus from the train station to your ryokan.
To take the shuttle: Look for staff waiting outside the station, they will be asking people if they are staying in Kinosaki. Tell them the name of your ryokan and they will direct you to the bus and notify the driver where to drop you off. If there are no staff outside the station when you arrive, cross the street to the other side and you will see Kinosaki Information Center. The staff there will guide you to the shuttle bus.
Shuttle bus does not necessarily operate with the arrival of every train. Please inform your ryokan what time you expect to arrive at Kinosaki Onsen Station.
If you arrive early and want to walk around before you check-in, you can bring your luggage to the information center. They can then hold onto your luggage for you or even take it to your ryokan when possible. There may be a small fee for this service.
Visitors to Kinosaki who are staying at a ryokan will be given a free onsen pass at check-in (yumepa). The pass has a barcode and will give you free access to all seven hot springs. Just scan at the entrance and you can use any public hot spring. Note that your pass will only be valid until 10:00 am on the day of your check-out. The public hot springs have regular holidays. Check this schedule.
Tipping is rarely done in Japan and is not expected. However, if you do wish to present a tip, the most polite form is to place the tip inside an envelope and hand it to the person who you think deserves it. Handing cash to a person directly is considered rude, this is also why there are money trays at registers.
- Some ryokans include dinner and breakfast with your reservations. Check with the ryokan to see if the meals will be served in your room or common area.
- All payments for your stay and reservation are usually settled at check-out, unless other wise stated by your ryokan.