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Has Japan been on your travel list for just about forever? There’s just something so incredible about how the Japanese take the word minimalist to the next level, from their design style, to diets, and you could even say way of life.

Well, it seems the locals of Chiang Mai have been inspired by Japan too, and we found a few places to stay that will make your Japan-travelling dreams come true!

It makes sense too, since Chiang Mai’s landscapes fit quite well with the rolling hills you’d find in a sleepy Japanee village in Japan.

From traditional Ryokan style set-ups, to your very own private onsen bathtub (and spa)… After booking yourself a night’s stay here, we’ll be utterly surprised if you don’t leave feeling completely relaxed and filled with some quintessential Japanese happiness. #sparksomejoy

Read more:

7 Reasons to stay at the Japanese-inspired Moncham Onsen in Chiang Mai, Thailand 

17 unique hotels in Chiang Mai you never knew existed 

11 Must-try local foods in Chiang Mai

5 Reasons to dine at the beautiful Chom Cafe and Restaurant in Chiang Mai 

1. From the private onsen to Japanese restaurant, this screams authenticity – Haikin Ryokan

Traditionally, a Ryokan in Japan refers to an inn, set up with matted rooms, communal baths and other areas, and guests can wear Yukata (the traditional Japanese garment).

Photo Via Katik_lada, Thanya.tb, Chaame_mook

Get the authentic experience without leaving Thailand;  this place has truly set up their stay to incorporate all the classic design elements that leave you feeling as if you really are in Japan!

Using the idea of compactness, minimalism and tons of light, rooms have really been utilised in space – think low ceilings with a low double bed, then a bunk bed or ladder to upper floor/bunk space (perfect for families too!). There’s also no dark colours seen around so everything still feels nice and warm

Photo Via Adonis_korn, Iamtopz, Neungtanisap

Expect lots of traditional Japanese art, prints and decorative instruments around; beautifully illustrated paintings on rice paper, fans, and more.

And our favourite part, they’ve also got a traditional, private Onsen for guests to use, as well as a sauna, and the way they’ve designed their spa will leave you with a feeling of ancient times.

Photo Via Bungbingg.jpg, Aompocky, Yawying19
Photo Via Aiina7, Theseksun1990

PS: They’ve also got a Japanese restaurant on-site, naturally, so why not make it a full on experience? 😉 

Photo Via Arttengi, Monigmitro, Wp_fongbeer

Haikin Ryokan  

Rate: From 951 Baht  / approx. USD $31
Address: 142-144 Wua Lai Road, Tambon Haiya, Mueang, Chiang Mai, Hai ya, 50100 Chiang Mai, Thailand  (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 91 784 4130

Check Rate on Agoda

2. It’s all things Japan, raw and organic, welcome to your own zen garden! – Archita Hostel (Ashita Hostel)

Get ready to fall into your full on Japanese-dream element, down to the last wooden block traditional sandals.

And don’t let the name fool you, it’s totally not hostel-like at all, but more of a communal space set-up (again, Ryokan style), and the gorgeous courtyard space in the center of the stay really adds that extra touch of authenticity. I would say it’s great for a group of friends travelling together – the set up is so serene and tranquil!

Photo Via Typhoon.kncht_
Photo Via Pearphulae, Ion_orz, Sirikaimook, Tina_antee
Photo Via Jobjaebb, Brandnew_nj

I’m so into the design of this place, from the Japanese ceramic figurines placed here and there, to the stunning blue ceramic bowls painted in elaborate designs.

Their attention to detail is everything, with tatami matting on the floor, slide-doors, and futon mattresses, all typical of Japanese design.

They offer tons of different room options from two singles to a double, as well as dormitory style rooms sleeping from 4-8. However, all rooms share bathrooms.

Photo Via Jindapa_j_jin

Archita Hostel (Ashita Hostel) 

Rate: From 1699 Baht  / approx. USD $55.43
Address: House No. 3, Sam Laem Road, Soi. 5 (Soi Soi Hang Khang Leg), close to One Phra Sing Chiang Mai Moat (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 95 459 2666

Check Rate on Agoda

3. This is a retreat for thy-self experience; submerse into nature and nurture your mind, body, soul and spirit – Onsen At Moncham

Feel as if you’ve stepped into the countryside / a mountainous village of Japan, and with that comes on the full experience.

As you enter the property, you’ll be greeted by a gorgeous and bold terracotta and stone wall, and low-rise rooftops overlook the rolling hillside and clouds.

Photo Via Ratakorn, Aomsiriban, Eve_walaiphan, Fokkebok

But the beauty about this place is that it’s actually a traditional-style Japanese Onsen and accomodation, and they have used the two ideas wonderfully and thoughtfully throughout the property.

The BEST part is you can enjoy an onsen bath in your own room! Isn’t that amazing? Can you imagine how soft your skin would feel after a few days?

Photo Via Fokkebok, Mink_shisa, Puri_hiranprueck, Jirapiyat

Tastefully decorated in a Japanese style, the rooms are open, airy and really zen-like done in a palette of whites and light woods.

If you’re looking to really indulge, then you may want to consider booking one of their suites, instead of a room.

The Royal Suite is quite literally fit for a king and queen, but if you’re not looking for a home-away-from-home (literally) the Emperor suite is as suitably gorrrr-geous.

Photo Via Onsen-At-Moncham
Photo Via Onsen-At-Moncham, Natdn.s
Photo Via Warindalee, Ladydna

Onsen At Moncham 

Rate: From 4511 Baht  / approx. USD $147
Address: 293, Tambon Pong Yaeng, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 53 111 606

Check Rate on Agoda

4. Completely surrounded by nature, escape the city crowds and find ultra zen – Phing Phukao (Leaning on a mountain)

Being fully submerged in nature, and overlooking the horizon of mountains and rolling hills… Just as its name suggests, the the place has been designed so that it feels as if it were leaning on a mountain.

Photo Via Naye.nae, Ppippop, Itaaz, Girlfans_ann

Using a super minimalist approach + loads of raw materials used, it feels very organic – typical to that of the experts in it, the Japanese.

The communal space/garden seems to be the focal point, and you can enjoy sitting in shaded spaces on low, wooden furniture and mats.

The rooms are very simple and clean, providing you with the few amenities you may need such as a kettle, mini fridge, towels, etc.

Photo Via Girlfans_ann, Kui.kiki, Mookwita

They say they’re  a ‘Bed, Cafe, Craft, Workshop’ space. So sip happily on great coffee, live slowly or do workshops such as jewellery, tie dye fabric, wood, ceramics, etc. I personally think  this is amazing because this is what the North of Thailand is all about.

Photo Via Pangko_cheeck, Pass_a_corn
Photo Via Baanlaesuan, Tumgo3

Phing Phukao

Rate: From 643 Baht  / approx. USD $21
Address: 588 Khuang Pao Subdistrict, Chom Thong District, 1009 Road, the entrance to Doi Inthanon (From the big intersection, about 2.5 km on the right) (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Cafe open Thursday to Tuesday from 10am to 8pm (Closed Wednesdays)


5. Living in a zen garden, Ryokan-style – Rikyu-An Chiang Mai

Not only does this accomodation remind me of a zen-garden, they also have a zen garden, set-up in the back courtyard – simple, raw and minimalistic Ryokan-style.

The rooms here are totally traditional, almost taking inspiration from years ago, keeping things really basic in light brown woods, simple futon mattresses on the floor, and due to the fuss-free set-up, the rooms feel spacious and warm.

Photo Via Rainycloudy

It also includes a full-set Japanese breakfast, and on that note, their kitchen does some incredible authentic Japanese cuisine, so take advantage while you’re here!

Photo Via Rainycloudy

All in all, it feels truly calm and peaceful at Rikyuan, set among the soft blowing trees.

Rikyu-An Chiang Mai 

Rate: From 1900 Baht  / approx. USD $61.98
Address: 7/3 Soi Rakhang 3, Haiya Subdistrict, Muang District Chiang Mai, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 81 582 0886


6. Special Mention: Upscale oriental, a touch of Asias’ favourites elegantly combined – Hotel des Artist Ping Silhouette

Okay, now we know this doesn’t exactly scream “Hey look everybody, I’m in Japan”, but as beauty often does win, this elegantly curated boutique hotel, seems to have taken inspiration from all things gorgeously ethereal, ancient and asian, and it’s just, well, simply beautiful!

Photo Via Brenda.s.j, Travel_mystyle, Va.rit_.vara_

Located on the Ping River, it’s got a delightful contrast of mixed feelings, from it’s vintage/royal vibes (it reminds me of a grand country-house in ancient China), to the use of modern + minimalistic design aspects (with the help from the black, grey & white colour scheme).

Photo Via Brenda.s.j, Surround_ig, Frankykkchan

There’s touches of Japanese perfection using contemporary and interesting signature pieces in the furnishings, and hints of traditional ceramic blue can be seen in places here and there.

Photo Via Versaille, Fahhpawa
Photo Via Nnoonnak, Mynameyves, Mookanyarin

The courtyard here is also a pretty show-stopper, and some amazing photos for the Gram are guaranteed!

Photo Via Liliantsaily, Nhocdenthui

Hotel des Artist Ping Silhouette 

Rate: From 2915 Baht  / approx. USD $95
Address: 181 Charoenrat Road, Wat Ket Sub-district, if crossing from Nawarat Bridge Turn left and descend along the Ping River) (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 53 249 999

Check Rate on Agoda

So if you’ve been dreaming of visiting the gorgeous hillsides and bustling streets of Japan, this should be the perfect taste of a country that’s filled with so much surprise and difference, and feeling of zen.

Do let us know how your stay went and if you’ve booked that next flight to Japan after doing so, we wouldn’t blame you! 😋

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PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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