In Katsuura, we stayed in the Katsuura Gyoen Ryokan, a traditional hotel built above one of the many hot springs in this region of Japan and overlooking Nachi Bay.
Now, I've only been to one ryokan in my life, but I'm going to go ahead and generalize by saying that all ryokans are awesome for the following reasons:
1. You get wear these badass ukatas. Don't wrap them the wrong way, unless you're dressing a corpse.
2. These rooms. What?
3. Sitting in a relaxing onsen (hot spring) on a peaceful night admiring the stars and meditating to the sound of the ocean waves crashing down below. Some Americans are weirded out by the nakedness, but if you can get over it, there is nothing more relaxing.
4. The fish. This is probably unique to this region, which is known for its tuna, so maybe I can't generalize.
At one point, the restaurant people had me chomp down on a giant chunk of tuna (which I'm sure would got for about $70 in the United States) for their amusement.
5. What, those four reasons don't have you convinced of the awesomeness of ryokans?