||Another one of the unique aspects of the ryokan tradition is the shared or communal bath facilities, many of which incorporate of onsen, natural hot springs. Ryokan are very common in areas with hot spring sources, and the majority of these ryokan offer separate male and female facilities. Particularly, open-air baths, where you can relax while breathing fresh air and enjoying the view, are not to be missed.
Baths are open early in the morning, usually until midnight, and sometimes even overnight. Sometimes male and female facilities switch, to allow guests to try different baths. Of course, people are welcome to bathe whenever the bath is open, however, the common format for bathing in the evening is to change into a yukata and bathe before dinner, and to bathe again after dinner while the staff clear away from dinner and lay out futons in the room.
For those who want to enjoy a bath together as a couple or family, or are perhaps uncomfortable about bathing with strangers, there are options. One is to book a room that has an attached open-air bath; another is to rent a private bath which ryokan often have on offer. You can use the search filter options on JAPANiCAN.com to find ryokan offering these facilities.