The rentals website is reporting a 600% rise in bookings next year for the traditional, family-run hosteries – the oldest of which dates back to the 8th century

Hundreds of years ago, they were a place for Japan’s nomadic samurai to rest their limbs and reflect. But these days, the ryokan – a traditional, family-run Japanese inn that is usually close to a hot spring – seems to be the buzzword on trendy travellers’ lips. Many of them feature modern spins such as onsite Michelin-starred restaurants, robotic toilets and luxury spas, and they are proving a hit with both Japanese tourists and international visitors.

Airbnb’s annual travel trends report identified the ryokan as one of the most popular alternative accommodations desired by its users in 2018, with a reported 600% rise in bookings (yurt bookings increased by 155%, while nature lodges had a 700% growth). The accuracy of the figures is unclear: last year, Airbnb was accused of misrepresenting data in New York by removing more than 1,000 listings to rig its survey, while another report misleadingly highlighted that outer London boroughs such as Barnet were more popular than Westminster and Kensington.

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Source: The Guardian

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