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Ryokan Kyoto: The 7 Best Ryokan In Kyoto, Japan

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Akane N.

Last updated : Jun 11, 202410 min read

Accommodation

Staying in a Japanese “ryokan” in Kyoto is a wonderful experience. It’s a traditional city with many temples and shrines, and buildings surviving for over a hundred years. And don’t forget the beautiful Japanese gardens that go with some of these properties. For those of you that don’t know what a “ryokan” is, it’s a traditional Japanese hotel or inn.

 

The buildings themselves are splendid pieces of architecture, and the rooms are laid with “tatami” or straw made flooring, so you can experience sitting on the floor and sleeping in a “futon” or a bed laid on the floor. And if you eat at the ryokan, you’ll be served a traditional Japanese meal that you can enjoy with your eyes as well as your taste buds.

 

 

7 Ryokans in Kyoto

Most ryokans are pretty expensive. However, it’s an experience worth paying for, considering the service, food, and facilities are full of traditional Japanese hospitality. Below are some of the most luxurious and high-end ryokans in Kyoto, along with some of the more moderately priced ones. A lot of these places are not large scale hotels, so they only have a limited number of rooms in order to provide the best service. If you want to stay in a ryokan, be sure to reserve your rooms well ahead of time.

 

High-end Ryokans

 

Tawaraya

 

 

This is one of the best ryokans you’ll find in Kyoto, or maybe even in Japan. They only have 18 rooms, but they are hard to book even a year ahead of time. Celebrities such as Steve Jobs have enjoyed their stay here. They have no website, and you can’t book through an intermediary booking website, so you’ll need to call them directly during business hours. 

 

Address: 278 Nakahakusancho, Kyoto Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Access: a 3-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station or a 10-minute taxi ride (about 1,000 yen) from JR Kyoto Station

Tel: +81-75-211-5566

 

 

Hiiragiya

 

 

Across the street from the aforementioned Tawaraya is Hiiragiya. This ryokan also has been around for 200 years and has been a luxurious getaway for celebrities. The facility has two wings, the old wing and the new wing. The newer rooms have been made of course in a traditional Japanese style but with a more modern touch. The rooms in the old wing have a more grandeur to the atmosphere. You won’t be able to make a reservation online here either, but you can make inquiries through the website.

 

Address: 277 Nakahakusancho, Kyoto Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Access: a 3-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station or a 10-minute taxi ride (about 1,000 yen) from JR Kyoto Station

Tel: +81-75-211-1136

Website: https://www.hiiragiya.co.jp/en/

 

 

Kanamean Nishitomiya

This is small but luxurious ryokan with only 7 rooms, but with exceptional service. The rooms of the 2-story building surround a beautiful Japanese garden. You can look out onto the garden and just relax for hours on end, but I suppose you wouldn’t want to spend all your time in your room when there are lots to explore in Kyoto. You’ll also find the rooms have sweet smelling cypress wood bathtubs where you can soak your tired body.

 

Address: Tominokouji Rokkaku Sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Access: a 12-minute taxi ride (about 1,100 yen)  from JR Kyoto Station

Tel: +81-75-211-2411

Website: https://www.kanamean.co.jp/en/index.html

 

 

Hoshinoya Kyoto

 

 

This is a secluded but luxurious ryokan by the river. To get to this serene getaway, you need to take a riverboat ride from the pier near the Togetsukyo Bridge. The 15-minute boat ride itself is an interesting and unique experience because you’ll be riding in a traditional Japanese boat. The rooms all have a splendid view of the Ooi river and the cuisine and service is perfect. 

 

Address: 11-2 Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto

Access: a 10-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Line to the riverboat pier

Tel (for reservations): +81-50-3786-1144 (10 am - 7 pm)

Website: https://hoshinoresorts.com/en/hotels/hoshinoyakyoto/ 

 

 

Moderately Priced Ryokans

 

Kyokoyado Yasaka Yutone

This is a small townhouse in Kyoto near the Gion area. There are 7 beautiful Japanese rooms in total. And they all have aromatic cypress baths where you can relax. The rooms are equipped with beds instead of the traditional futons laid on the floor, so it may be a good choice for elderly people who have difficulty getting up from the floor.

 

Address: 413 Kodaiji Sagaru Minami-machi, Shimokawahara-dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

Access: a 12-minute taxi ride (about 1,100 yen) from JR Kyoto Station or a 15-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Electric Railway.

Tel: +81-75-533-6226

Website: https://www.kyokoyado.com/lg_en/

 

 

Motonago

 

 

This is a humble inn with 11 rooms nestled in the quiet Higashiyama area. It is an area full of temples and shrines you can visit, like Kiyomizudera Temple. The delicious Japanese meals will be served in your room by ladies dressed in kimonos. This utterly Japanese experience is something you must try, especially when you’re visiting the traditional city of Kyoto.

 

Address: 511 Washiocho, Nenenomichi Kodaiji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

Access: a 15-minute taxi ride (about 1,200 yen) from JR Kyoto Station or a 15-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Electric Railway.

Tel: +81-75-561-2087

Website: https://motonago.com/

 

 

Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Kadensho

 

 

This is a large scale ryokan, more like a hotel, with 105 rooms. However, unlike a western style hotel, the rooms are all of a traditional Japanese style, some with tatami mats too and an outdoor bath in the more expensive suites. The rooms are equipped with beds instead of futons, so it should be more comfortable for people who aren’t accustomed to sleeping on the floor. This facility is located in the Arashiyama onsen area, so you can enjoy the large communal hot springs along with 5 smaller baths that can be privately reserved. 

 

Address: 5-4 Arashiyama Nishiichikawacho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto

Access: a 1-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Line

Tel: +81-75-863-0489

Website (Japanese only): https://www.hotespa.net/hotels/kadensho/

 

Kyoto Recommended Tours

 

Kyoto is a beautiful city to explore and experience the traditional aspects of Japan. It’s also a bit hard to decide where to go sightseeing, especially because the city is overflowing with ancient treasures like shrines and temples. To make the experience a more memorable one, you can take a private tour with a local guide, who will be able to recommend the best places to visit. Maybe they can even teach you some words in the Kyoto dialect of Japanese. A few recommendations for tours are the Customized Kyoto Day Trips, Kyoto Highlights Tours, and Kyoto's Arts, Historical and Cultural tours.

 

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4.94 / 5
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Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

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5.00 / 5
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Hi, my name is Takashi!! When I go abroad, I think that how nice it would be to have a friend there and hang out together. I want you to feel like you have a friend in Osaka and we can go around and explore the city. I was born and grew up in Japan. And I speak English, Spanish and Japanese. I can be the perfect guide for you!! I can also guide you any other cities in Japan, just let me know where you wanna go :)                                                                                                                                 

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I'm Yuri, a national lisenced English tour guide. I was born and raised in Osaka. Now I live in the countryside of Nara. Also, I do love eating, traveling, meeting local people, and exchanging our value and cultures. I'm flexible. Please tell and ask me if there are any places which you want to visit and anything which you want to do in Japan. I'll plan the trip only for you. I am looking forward to seeing you in my tour, let's make your trip unforgettable!                                                                                                                                 

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