Naoshima Ryokan Rokasumi will feature open air baths | Source: TimeOut

New Ryokan Set to be the Pinnacle of Japanese Luxury Wellness

For those who have never heard of a ryokan, imagine stepping out of an open-air bath overlooking the Japanese countryside and wrapping yourself with a traditional yukata robe. After a long day of relaxation, you indulge in some authentic Japanese cuisine and lay your head to rest on a futon bed on tatami floors. Or, at least that’s how people describe the traditional ryokan experience.

Loved by both locals and tourists alike, staying at a traditional Japanese inn or ‘ryokan’ offers the opportunity to experience authentic Japanese hospitality and unparalleled luxury wellness. And while there are thousands of ryokan in Japan, the new luxury ryokan opening in the Japanese island town of Naoshima is set to be the pinnacle of traditional Japanese luxury wellness.

Set to open in April 2022, Naoshima Ryokan Rokasumi will feature open-air ‘onsen’ baths, which are natural hot water baths, tatami-matted guest rooms and kaiseki meals which are traditional Japanese multi-course dinners. Advanced bookings are available now with room rates at around A$555 for two people per night.

Image: Naoshima Ryokan Rokasumi Kaisek | Source: Supplied

Australia’s Ryokan and Japanese spas

When it comes to getting a taste of the ryokan experience closer to home, there are a few Japanese spas and wellness retreats you can escape to.

Shizuka Ryokan

Nestled in central Victoria’s Hepburn Springs, Shizuka Ryokan is one of Australia’s only fully authentic ryokans and is an award-winning Japanese country spa. While Shizuka Ryokan is tucked away in Australian bushland, you’ll still get the full Japanese ryokan experience, complete with zen design, a Japanese spa, yukata robes, tatami mats and shoji paper screens. At the spa, guests can treat themselves to traditional Shiatsu massage as well as personalised yoga or a guided meditation session.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and wellness for at least two nights at Shizuka Ryokan, consider the ‘Japanese Immersion’ package. At A$695 per couple, the package includes four hours of luxurious Japanese spa treatments, an omakase banquet dinner and a bottle of sake.

Japanese Mountain Retreat

As Melbourne’s only genuine hot mineral springs, the Japanese Mountain Retreat in the Dandenong Ranges is a taste of traditional Japanese wellness in the Australian countryside. Just a 45-minute drive from Melbourne, this retreat is perfect for couples looking for a romantic escape. With private indoor and outdoor bathing, traditional Japanese style guest rooms and an array of spa treatments, this is the perfect Japanese themed escape.

For a one night stay with a lake view, omakase dinner, unlimited mineral water bathing, massages and more, couples can experience a ryokan-like country staycation for A$2,490.

Ryokan Gojyuan

Located in Balmain, New South Wales, Ryokan Gojyuan is another rare Japanese-style retreat you can escape to in Australia. And while this small traditional Japanese inn only offers two guest rooms -which are almost booked out for the rest of 2021- you can still experience luxury Japanese wellness at Ryokan Gojyuan’s Hinoki bath.

Overlooking a private garden, Ryokan Gojyuan offers a long relaxing soak in their purpose-built Hinoki Soken baths for around A$250 per session. Ryokan Gojyuan also hosts craft workshops in origami, calligraphy and more.

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