Travelers looking to stay in traditional Japanese ryokan, or inns, usually have to venture out of major cities and into less-populated areas. And while that’s definitely part of the allure, the newly established Yuen brings the tranquility of an urban oasis to one of Japan’s most densely populated areas: Shinjuku.
The new onsen ryokan seeks to offer the best of Japanese hospitality, minimalism and relaxation. The name Yuen means ‘origin’ in Japanese. And that naming serves as inspiration to return to the origins of ryokan as a place where travelers would come to rest and eat.
The design team at UDS, along with art director Shun Kawakami of artless Inc have created a stunning environment that transports you into another world after walking through the blue noren curtain. The entrance walkway, lined with pebbles, plants and lanterns, leads into an 18-floor tower, complete with 193 guestrooms.
On the rooftop is an outdoor onsen that’s filled with actual hot spring water that’s trucked in from the mountains each week. If it wasn’t for the panoramic views of Tokyo’s skyscrapers, it would be enough to easily forget where you were.
The ryokan is about a 15 min walk from Shinjuku Station and about a 10 min walk to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Rates are surprisingly reasonable and start at around 10,000 yen ($92 usd) per guest. It’s been added to our Tokyo Guide.
5-3-18 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Gmap)