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Business trends

Travelers beware: Japanese inns now taking vacations of their own

Labor shortage and exhausted staff force ryokan to close on some days

Kagaya employees bow to departing guests: Workers who spend most of the year pampering customers at Japan's traditional inns are being told to take some time for themselves. (Photo by Masayuki Konozo)

TOKYO -- Japan's ryokan hotels typically operate all year round, but that tradition is giving way to a new trend that takes into account the country's severe labor shortage.

Bottom line: More ryokan are closing for a certain number of days every year.

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