Alongside hot spring bathing, dinner is the highlight of a ryokan stay. Ryokan meals are elaborate, multi-course affairs with a variety of dishes and ingredients that are artfully arranged to reflect local and seasonal specialties, expressed in the ryokan's own unique style. Ryokan dinners usually mirror kaiseki ryori, which is multi-course Japanese style haute cuisine.

Visit our kaiseki ryori page for more details about a typical ryokan dinner.

Upon check-in your dinner time will be reconfirmed. Dinner typically starts around 18:00 to 19:00. If the ryokan does not have a fixed dining time, then you will be given a range of times to choose from. Guests usually dine in either their own guest room, in a separate private dining room or in a communal dining area. Regardless of the location, most people choose to wear their yukata to dinner, although your own clothes are also acceptable.

Alcohol is not included in the price of the ryokan stay, but is ordered separately and added to the final bill. Beer or sake are common accompaniments, and most ryokan will have a selection of non-alcoholic drinks as well. Often the first drink order will be taken when you check in and will be served together with the first course of dinner.

The ryokan should be consulted in advance if you have any special dietary requests or allergies. For more information on Japanese dining etiquette see our Table Manners Guide.