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Kyoto Ryokan Hotels

A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese ‘inn’. Essentially they are hotels but with a very traditional Japanese twist. From the interior decor and meal service to the staff and legacy, they are quintessentially Japanese and I would highly recommend staying in one.

Most Ryokans will have onsen (natural hot spring baths) or Ofuro (hot baths) for the guests to enjoy all year round. All Ryokans have traditional Japanese decor. These include Tatami flooring, shoji sliding doors, beautiful enclosed gardens (nakaniwa - literally ‘inside garden’) and an all wood interior decoration. The meals are usually kaiseki, which is traditional Japanese course meals, and the service is next to none. The staff usually wear traditional Yukata, and will go out of their way to make you feel like royalty. If you’re in Japan, especially Kyoto, I highly recommend you stay one night as it is an excellent experience.

Below are my pics of the best Ryokans in Kyoto. I have personally stayed or inspected every Ryokan on this page and found them to be outstanding. You can also book these Ryokans on this page by clicking on the links.

Gion Hatanaka

►Location: Gion - Central Kyoto

►Price range: Depends on the season. Roughly £350/€400/$490

►Recommendation: One of my top pics

At the top of this list and one of my top recommendations is the beautiful and traditional Ryokan Gion Hatanaka. Located 100 meters from the famous Yasaka Shrine and entrance to Maruyama Park, and in the centre of the iconic Geisha district of Gion, it is perfectly located for a real Kyoto experience, and very centrally located to walk to most of the attractions in Kyoto.

This Ryokan is particularly great as it has regular Geisha events where you will get to have dinner accompanied with Geisha, and watch special shows including dances and tea ceremonies with them. Ask at reception for more details on these events.

♦Click here to book Gion Hatanaka!♦

Gion Hatanaka Entrance. 100 meters from the Famous Yasaka shrine in the heart of Gion

Gion Hatanaka Entrance. 100 meters from the Famous Yasaka shrine in the heart of Gion

a typical room in Gion Hatanaka. They are all traditional and simple yet beautiful.

a typical room in Gion Hatanaka. They are all traditional and simple yet beautiful.

Geiko (Geisha) and Maiko (Junior Geiko) events are held at Gion Hatanaka Regularly

Geiko (Geisha) and Maiko (Junior Geiko) events are held at Gion Hatanaka Regularly

Traditional Kaiseki at Gion Hatanaka

Traditional Kaiseki at Gion Hatanaka

Two Maiko (Junior Geisha) perform a traditional dance at Gion Hatanaka

Two Maiko (Junior Geisha) perform a traditional dance at Gion Hatanaka

Toshiharu Ryokan

►Location: Central Kyoto - near Kyoto station

►Price range: reasonable

►Recommendation: My favourite Ryokan in Kyoto

Probably my favourite Ryokan in Kyoto due to its style, tradition and local feel. Located a 10-minute walk from Kyoto station (1 minute by cab) it is very conveniently located for you to explore the city. The rooms are very cosy and most of them look over the courtyard Japanese Garden. The meal service is traditional Kaiseki, and the staff and Okamisan (boss lady) are very friendly and accommodating. The prices are reasonable and I highly recommend you book here!

♦Click here to book Toshiharu Ryokan♦

Toshiharu Ryokan Main entrance

Toshiharu Ryokan Main entrance

Main garden at Toshiharu Ryokan

Main garden at Toshiharu Ryokan

One of the rooms at Toshiharu Ryokan - Very traditional and cosy!

One of the rooms at Toshiharu Ryokan - Very traditional and cosy!

Another room at Toshiharu Ryokan

Another room at Toshiharu Ryokan

Kaiseki meal at Toshiharu Ryokan. Delicious and very fresh

Kaiseki meal at Toshiharu Ryokan. Delicious and very fresh

Izuyasu

►Location: Close to Kyoto Station

►Price range: Depends on the season. Roughly £250/€285/$350

►Recommendation: One of my top pics

Superbly located a few minutes walk from Kyoto Station, Izuyasu scores highly for location. It also scores very highly in terms of quality and style as it is very traditional, boutique and Japanese. It is set on a quiet back street so if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, but still be in the centre of the city, this place is perfect. The general manager is very nice, staff are extremely professional and caring, and the decor is traditional Japanese, with rooms being very comfortable and pretty. The meal service is traditional Kaiseki and is served for breakfast and dinner. This Ryokan has a beautiful bar, garden and multiple relaxation areas with gardens to channel your inner zen.

♦Click here to book Izuyasu Ryokan!♦

Izuyasu street view by night. Could be something out of a samurai movie if it weren't for kyoto tower in the background!

Izuyasu street view by night. Could be something out of a samurai movie if it weren't for kyoto tower in the background!

Entrance lobby of Izuyasu

Entrance lobby of Izuyasu

one of the gardens at Izuyasu

one of the gardens at Izuyasu

A typical room with beds at Izuyasu

A typical room with beds at Izuyasu

Enjoy a soak in the baths (ofuro) at Izuyasu

Enjoy a soak in the baths (ofuro) at Izuyasu

Dining at Izuyasu

Dining at Izuyasu

Takasegawa Bettei

►Location: Central Kyoto - 10 mins walk from Kyoto station

►Price range: Depends on season. Roughly £200/€230/$280

►Recommendation: One of my personal top recommendations

Located on a quiet back street in central Kyoto, a 10-minute walk from Kyoto station, Takasegawa Bettei scores top marks for location. The Ryokan itself sits by the little Takasegawa river that runs a hundred meters from the main Kamogawa river. I particularly like this area as its peaceful and quiet yet in the middle of the city. I recommend here if you want to be able to walk to most places and be in the centre of the city, yet have peace and quiet. Also during the spring, there are cherry trees around here which blossom beautifully.

The actual Ryokan is very beautiful with a traditional and modern fusion, this includes the rooms as they have beds but also tatami and shoji. Traditional Kaiseki is served here and you can relax in Japanese baths. I highly recommend staying here!

♦Click here to book Takasegawa Bettei!♦

Takasegawa Bettei

Takasegawa Bettei

Takasegawa River with cherry blossom just about to bloom.. but not quite yet

Takasegawa River with cherry blossom just about to bloom.. but not quite yet

Japanese cedar baths at Takasegawa Bettei

Japanese cedar baths at Takasegawa Bettei

Kamogawa Kan

►Location: Central Kyoto - Kamogawa River

►Price Range: depends on the season. Roughly £200/€230/$280

►Recommendation: Highly recommend. Location is excellent

Kamogawa kan is named after the fact that it sits right by the famous Kamogawa, right in the middle of the downtown neighbourhood of Pontocho.  Pontocho is the main downtown neighbourhood and is where all the hustle and bustle is at and is comparable to Soho in London or New York. It is a great fun area and I would say is the main nightlife area of Kyoto. Aside from that, Gion is a 5-minute walk away, Shijo dori and Kawaramachi (the main streets) are 5 mins away and it is very easy to get to other places. The Ryokan is traditional and beautiful with an Orufo Japanese bath for guests to enjoy, and Japanese style rooms. Service is incredible and the food is great.

♦Click here to book Kamogawa Kan♦

Kamogawakan entrance on Shijo dori, one of the main streets. Visible in the picture is the bridge over Kamogawa river

Kamogawakan entrance on Shijo dori, one of the main streets. Visible in the picture is the bridge over Kamogawa river

The main Ofuro for guests to enjoy

The main Ofuro for guests to enjoy

A typical room layout at Kamogawakan. Very traditional and simple

A typical room layout at Kamogawakan. Very traditional and simple

Ryokan Matsubaya

►Location: Central Kyoto - near Kyoto station

►Price Range: Depends on the season, Roughly £180/€205/$250

►Recommendation: Local feel, very friendly staff, clean rooms

Ryokan Matsubaya is a lovely Ryokan located on a quiet street, about 10 mins walk from Kyoto station. The building was an apartment block but they have been converted into little rooms and apartments by the Ryokan. The staff here are incredibly friendly, The Okamisan (boss lady) is very sweet and will make you feel at home, and the facilities are great. They include Japanese baths for the guests to enjoy, a fun communal area with bar and music, and laundry services. Meal services here are fun and include Kaiseki. I highly recommend here!

♦Click here to book Matsubaya Ryokan♦

Ryokan Matsubaya entrance

Ryokan Matsubaya entrance

Communal area where meals are served and guests and hang out

Communal area where meals are served and guests and hang out

One of the standard rooms

One of the standard rooms

Another standard room

Another standard room

the traditional rooms are very cozy

the traditional rooms are very cozy

Rooms and mini apartments with actual beds are also available

Rooms and mini apartments with actual beds are also available

Ryokan Shimizu

►Location: Central Kyoto

►Price range: Around £100/€115/$140

►Recommendation: Very cosy and traveller friendly

One of my favourite little Ryokans in Kyoto is Shimizu. Located a few minutes walk from Kyoto station on a quiet back street, you will enjoy the peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle, yet be walking distance from the main areas. The boss here and staff are incredibly sweet and the Ryokan itself is very traveller friendly. There are photos all over the walls of past western tourists, and the common room is where everyone tends to hang out. Rooms here are traditional and they have a hot Ofuro (bath) for guests to soak in after long days of travelling. One of my favourite little Ryokans - I highly recommend you stay here!

♦Click here to book Ryokan Shimizu♦

Shimizu Ryokan front entrance with the bicycles for guests!

Shimizu Ryokan front entrance with the bicycles for guests!

Shimizu Ryokan reception

Shimizu Ryokan reception

Guest board where all the guests share a part of their nationality including photos and memorabilia

Guest board where all the guests share a part of their nationality including photos and memorabilia

Rooms are simple, tradtional and cozy

Rooms are simple, tradtional and cozy

Common room area where meals are served and guests and hang out

Common room area where meals are served and guests and hang out

Orufo where the guests can soak off the days travels!

Orufo where the guests can soak off the days travels!

 

 

 

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