Is It a Ryokan or a Cat Café? Nakamuraya in Kusatsu
During my first trip to Kusatsu, Gunma in 2019, I stayed in a ryokan (a type of traditional Japanese inn) called Nakamuraya. The ryokan is well known for its 4-legged inhabitants. They have four cats that like to chill out in the common areas of the hotel that guest can pet and play with.
How To Get There
Nakamuraya is quite convectively situated close to the Kusatsu bus terminal. Just go left on the crossing in front of the bus terminal and follow the road until you can see the ryokan on the left-hand side.
The address is 98 Kusatsu, Agatsuma District, Gunma 377-1711.
Relaxing With Cats
The ryokan has four cats. You can see some pictures of them plus their names on their website.
They like to hang out in the lobby area of the hotel and guests can pet and play with them freely. Taking photos is alright as well.
A variety of cat toys and little accessories are provided at the entrance area of the hotel. If you are lucky, they might even come to visit you in your room.
When staying at Nakamuraya you can enjoy playing with the cats as if in a cat café while enjoying the comfort of a Japanese ryokan.
The food at Nakamuraya is typical ryokan-style food consisting of a great variety of small side dishes and rice. There are plenty of vegetables, some meat and fish. In this ryokan, the food is not brought to your room, rather, you eat in a dining room.
This is what my dinner looked like.
The breakfast is almost as nice as the dinner and consists of salad, pickled vegetables, fish, omelets and yogurt. If you look closely you can see that there are some small cat paws on the omelets. Everything is prepared with great attention to detail and the food was delicious.
The ryokan has Japanese style guest rooms of different sizes. There are only 10 rooms available so reserving in advance is recommended. As usual in Japanese-style rooms, you will sleep on a futon. The rooms have a toilet but no bathroom.
But do not worry, the ryokan has 5 different private onsen (hot spring) baths where you can enjoy a relaxing bath. Guests staying at the hotel can use the baths all day for as long as they want. As the baths are private, you don’t have to worry about being naked in front of other people like in regular onsen baths.
From some of the rooms, you can see the main attraction of Kusatsu; the Yubatake.
The prices for the rooms are at around 13,000 yen to 15,000 yen per person which I find reasonable.
(The famous Yubatake is within walking distance of the ryokan).
I can recommend this place for everyone that likes cats and great Japanese food. The hotel staff was also very friendly and even gave me some onigiri for lunch when I checked out in the morning.