Ryokan Kyoto: The Best 7 in Kyoto, Japan

by Akane - 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.

Did you like my article?

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


31 Jan 2019

Plan your trip to Kyoto

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

Recent Tour Reviews in Kyoto

“ Great guide! ”

Excellent
18 hours ago Traveler: Lynn -   Tour Guide: Haruka

Very formative! We all enjoyed our Nara and Osaka tour. :)
read more

“ 5 STARS. Choosing Makoon is best decision on our trip. It's like having a knowledgeable friend show you their hometown. ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Yaron -   Tour Guide: Masaki

Thank you Makoon for a wonderful tour in Kyoto! Makoon is an expert guide, a wonderful storyteller and a really special person. Makoon's easy going communications style and superb English made sure we could benefit from not only facts and sights but also from the atmosphere and unique "feel" of Kyoto. We saw and experienced things we could have never seen without the experience and thoughtful guid...
read more

“ The best sightseeing day we had in Japan ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Matthew -   Tour Guide: Lisa

Lisa is an excellent tour guide. Her English is fluent, both in writing and speaking. Her approach was very professional and organised. Before the day, we discussed various options for what to see in Kyoto. We gave her a long list of places we wanted to visit, and she was very pragmatic about how many we'd be able to fit into one day, in particular focusing on seeing the sights rather than s...
read more

“ kyoto highlights ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Daniel -   Tour Guide: Yasuna

Yasuna was a great tour host. Took us to some amazing places and had a lot of cultural and historical information. Would book her again. Thanks Yasuna!
read more

“ Wonderful time in Kyoto with Makoon ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Gabrielle -   Tour Guide: Masaki

We booked a late afternoon/evening tour and full day tour the following day with Makoon to explore the many sights of Kyoto. From the beginning, the planning process and communication was great. He took our requests and developed a wonderful tour. During our short time in Kyoto, we were able to see many highlights. Makoon directed us to less congested tourist areas of the main sights and knew prim...
read more

“ Memorable day in Kyoto ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: Chirag -   Tour Guide: Mari

With cheerful disposition, Mari shared wonderful stories and history of Kyoto with our family that made our visit very memorable. Thank you
read more

“ 2 Days Kyoto and Nara, 1 Night Dotonbori ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: アンジェラ -   Tour Guide: TOMOE

At first I was apprehensive at hiring a tour guide, as we were used to planning our own. But hiring Tomoe was a really good decision for our family. Even before we booked her, she would already make suggestions and sample itineraries for us. She would adjust well to our limited time. It was as if we already booked her - she would give that much information and tips! :) During the trip, she woul...
read more

“ Day in Kobe ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: Jeffrey -   Tour Guide: Masahito

We spent one day with Masahito in Kobe. His communication before our excursion was excellent. We kept changing our itinerary and Masahito went with the flow. He was waiting for us when we got off the ship. His english was very good. We went to the Ropeway, then an authentic Japanese lunch (with slurping) and then to the Disaster Prevention Museum. We picked all of these activities and enjo...
read more

“ Kyoto & nara one day tour ”

Very Good
4 days ago Traveler: Irene -   Tour Guide: TOMOE

Although it was a last minute booking (two days prior to the actual tour day), Tomoe was able to come up with the itinerary that cater to our needs. She was very accommodating to our requests, and always initiate to do the translation for us when we’re interacting with the locals. Will definitely book her for our next trip.
read more

“ Enjoyed our Kyoto tour with Kazuhiko ”

Very Good
4 days ago Traveler: Cynthia -   Tour Guide: Kazuhiko

Kazuhiko was a good tour guide for our group of 6. We were able to understand his English, appreciated his personal stories, and his knowledge of the areas we visited. He was flexible when we wanted to adjust the itinerary due to time constraints. He took us to a lovely, authentic Japanese restaurant for lunch. A pleasant experience all in all.
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Kyoto

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