This contemporary ryokan is one of my favorites for many reasons. Its owner, Toshiko Ishii, is a Tokyo native who opened the inn in 2003 with the express desire to introduce Japan's traditional way of living to foreign guests. Her nonsmoking inn is filled with antiques from her own collection, and her hobbies of flower arranging and tea ceremony manifest themselves with her own flower arrangements gracing the property and with tea ceremonies held by a tea master at the inn every Monday (¥1,000). An origami workshop is held on Tuesdays (¥500). The hotel's design stands out as well, with a striking milky-white glass facade that, when illuminated at night by lights from individual guest rooms, takes on the glow of a lantern (andon is the name for a traditional Japanese lantern). Inside, Japanese traditions prevail, from the inviting lounge decorated with antiques (like the Edo-era table and hibachi) and offering free tea and coffee to breakfasts served with antique tableware (breakfasts cost extra). Tatami guest rooms don't have private bathrooms, but there are communal facilities on each floor and also a Jacuzzi. A rooftop terrace provides views of Tokyo Skytree and the surrounding neighborhood. On the downside, there's no elevator to serve the inn's four stories (though there is a dummy lift for luggage), and it's two subway stops north of Ueno on the Hibiya Line, but in my opinion, these don't seem like sacrifices for an inn of this caliber and at this price.