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Welcome to Kimi Ryokan

Welcome to Kimi Ryokan

When Kimi Ryokan opened its' doors in 1952 the original intention was to be a "Geshuku" a kind of Japanese college rooming house . However, it quickly became a ryokan and has stayed one ever since. At that time the only places to stay in Ikebukuro were Ryokan and it was extremely rare for any place to call itself a "hotel". Years later when urban renewal changed the face of Ikebukuro, all the ryokan except for the Kimi either disappeared or changed into Western style hotels.

In 1972, when I was in my early 20s, I found myself at the dock in Yokohama ,about to board a ship for Nakhodka in Russia, at the beginning of a trip around the world that would ultimately take me eight months . It was a terribly difficult journey for a poor student like me, who often could barely even afford enough money to eat. But it was precisely because I went on a journey like this , and what I went through, that I was able to bring back to Japan an experienc

e of infinite value, and see things that I had never been able to see before.

At the time, foreigners were very rare in Japan, and to us Japanese, it was unthinkable that a foreigner would stay in a ryokan with tatami on the floors. But from this trip, I came back with the strongest possible feeling that it didn't matter a bit if your country, race or culture were different. If people tried they could understand one another. I felt "Hey! That Japanese guy. He did it! You can too!"

Maybe this is all obvious, but it's one thing to think it and another altogether to genuinely feel it. It was out of this feeling that the Kimi Ryokan came about, to be a place where all the people in the world who loved to travel could gather together.

Travel isn't just about what places you see. It's about the people you meet. This is the point of it, I think.

The lounge at the Kimi Ryokan is a natural place for travelers from around the world to congregate and meet. I hope to see you there soon too.

Minato Kisaburo,


Kimi Ryokan


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