Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

by TripleLights travel specialist

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

Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

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. Famous 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

Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

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

Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

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://hoshinoya.com/kyoto/en/

 

Moderately Priced Ryokans

Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

(Picture from https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/kyokoyado-yutone.html)

 

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

Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

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: http://www.motonago.com/en/top.html

 

Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Kadensho

Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

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 1 Day Customized Tour, One Day Kyoto Highlights Tour, and Your Very Own Kyoto Tour.

 

Wait, there's more

TripleLights provides a service of matching customers with the best tour and guide for them. Guides create their own Kyoto tours so all of the tours are unique. You can also communicate directly with the guide to ask questions or convey requests, for example, the length of a tour, before actually booking a tour. This way you can create your own customized tour for however long you’d like. You can also look at the guides’ profile videos to see what kind of person they are and also see the reviews they got from other customers. Choose the perfect guide and have a memorable day in Kyoto.

 

Blogs about Kyoto

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

Gion Kyoto: Complete guide before you go

Kyoto 1 day guide: The best full day tour for your trip to Kyoto

Transportation in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and around 

Kyoto Tours: The 9 Best and Most Popular Tours by Local Tour Guides

To find more Blogs with Tips and Information about Kyoto and across all Japan click here.

Need help planning your trip to Kyoto ?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Kyoto, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Kyoto


Plan your trip to Kyoto

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Kyoto

“ Very informative guide for Kyoto day trip ”

Excellent
9 hours ago Traveler: Suzette -   Tour Guide: Toshiyo

We had a great time with Toshiyo on our one day Kyoto tour. She took us to the places we wanted to see and more. She explained the culture and the history of the town very well. We highly recommend Toshiyo as your guide.
read more

“ A fantastic insight to Kyoto ”

Excellent
11 hours ago Traveler: Tiffany -   Tour Guide: Yumiko

We handle a wonderful day with Yumiko. She guided us by train from Osaka pier to Kyoto and back. We visited the Gion district, wandering shrines and shops. We had to be flexible because our cruise immigration process into Osaka was an hour late letting everyone off the ship - Yumiko gave up her time to still give us a full 8 hours. Yumiko was also very good with our two children and helpe...
read more

“ Great tour of Kyoto ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Kristina -   Tour Guide: TOKIE

We had a great day with Tokie in Kyoto. We saw a number of the very interesting sights and areas and learnt about the history and culture of Kyoto. Tokie also took some awesome photos for us! Thank you Tokie.
read more

“ Okini Richard ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Kristy -   Tour Guide: Richard

Thank you Richard for a one of a kind experience, your knowledge on Japanese history, culture and everything else was fascinating and engaging. Very rarely is there a perfect combination of happy engaged parents and kids... but you did this every day. This was very much appreciated, all 4 of us look forward to meeting you again.
read more

“ Fantastic day and a half with Kei ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: Lana -   Tour Guide: KEI

Kei is an incredibly knowledgeable and attentive guide. He met us promptly at our hotel and customized the tour precisely to meet our needs. He maximized everything we saw and learned in the short time we had in Kyoto. His warm personality and kind demeanour made it a pleasure spending time with him. I would highly recommend Kei to anyone visiting Japan.
read more

“ Kyoto calling! We want to go back, there is so much to do and 2.5 days was just not enough. ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: Angela -   Tour Guide: Rick

RIck was wonderful, patient, kind, soft-spoken, yet definitive in his plans for our days spent together. I must say that he handled a mom and her men child(s) extremely well, especially my special angel man child who kept up with us but made it a little tricky at times. Rick did not judge, he jumped in and assisted when needed, he took his time with us and made sure we were all happy, enjoying t...
read more

“ mMny thanks ”

Excellent
4 days ago Traveler: Anna -   Tour Guide: Yumiko

Thanks Yumiko We so appreciated having your comapany and knowledge for our Tour of Kyoto You mad our trip complete ! Kindest AM
read more

“ A wonderful day with a wonderful guide!! ”

Excellent
4 days ago Traveler: Sunn -   Tour Guide: TOMOE

Tomoe has been super patient with our accidental change of plans for the day (and there were 14 of us so you can well imagine!) and managed to save our day with helping translate a few things with our driver. She took us around for more than we bargained for (since the accident had almost brought our plans to a halt!) and introduced us to the places we visited very clearly. Meals were well pla...
read more

“ knowledgeable guide! ”

Excellent
5 days ago Traveler: Linda -   Tour Guide: Hero

hero really knows kyoto and vicinity very well. very helpful and fun t b with!
read more

“ Kyoto with Kiriko ”

Excellent
5 days ago Traveler: CHERYL -   Tour Guide: Kiriko

Kiriko came prepared to show us an enchanting side of Kyoto. She met us at our starting point and we traveled by train to Kyoto. We explored several popular sights and toured many areas of Kyoto. Her choice for dining out was perfect. She gave a lot of thought in organizing our tour. We would highly recommend Kiriko for a tour.
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Kyoto

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started