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Nara Ryokan

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Scotland
posts: 123
reviews: 18
Nara Ryokan

Hi guys, looking at breaking up 4 nights in Kyoto with a night in a ryokan in Nara. Looking at:

Kankaso

KKR Nara Mikasaso

Edosan

Think Kankaso will be too pricey. KKR looks lovely on japanguesthouses.com but no reviews there or here and website is Japanese. Anyone know anything?

Edosan looks fantastic, got great reviews on the web (although couldn't find any on here) but again website is all Japanese, and its not listed on japanguesthouses so I presume I have to book it directly which I am worried about as I don't know any Japanese yet.

Anyone got any views?

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,633
reviews: 1
1. Re: Nara Ryokan

Seen from outside, KKR looks like just an ordinary Japanese house, as does Aobajaya, which is nextdoor to Edosan. The three accommodations are good, location-wise. Edosan, though old, is pretty chic and nestles in the shaded green area from where you could encounter roaming deer the moment you step outside. KKR is located in the very quiet living quarters: http://www.kkrnara.com/ (see pics), and, yes, you’d love the peacefulness of the surrounds. From here it’s about 5min on foot to hit the worshippers’ lane to Kasuga Shrine, through “Whisper’s Road,” a short-cut to that shrine. Umm, FYI, don’t take that road at night unless you carry a flash light: there’s a brook 1.5meter down the tiny stone bridge and you might fall down in the sheer darkness like I did one day last summer. One miraculous summersault I made and a big swell as well on my head, lol. Sorry for sidetracking. Then again, the whole neighborhood in here is very atmospheric. You'd love it for sure.

Enjoy your trip.

Scotland
posts: 123
reviews: 18
2. Re: Nara Ryokan

Thanks, for the reply.

Will definately go with either KKR or Edosan. Both areas sounds like they are great, really peaceful and beautiful.

I might be back a bit nearer the time to ask for help booking as I can't understand the websites.

If I may ask, would you hold a preference for either? Taking into account price, quality of food etc..?

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,633
reviews: 1
3. Re: Nara Ryokan

Either place will be fine, but KKR is obviously cost-effective. As a visitor to Nara, you'd like to opt for peaceful environs, for which I'd favor KKR over Edosan a bit more, particularly when some event is going on in Deer Park.

Scotland
posts: 123
reviews: 18
4. Re: Nara Ryokan

Thanks.

I can't quite understand why KKR is so cheap to be honest, it looks stunning, which makes me wonder whether I am missing something haha!

Hopefully when it comes to booking later this year there will be a few reviews of the place.

Scotland
posts: 123
reviews: 18
5. Re: Nara Ryokan

sorry for the double-post, doesn't seem you can edit messages here.

My one reservation with KKR is that it doesn't seem to have any private toilets and that dinner is not served in the room.

But then I guess that adds to the traditional experience!

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,633
reviews: 1
6. Re: Nara Ryokan

KKR's offer modestly-priced accommodations nationwide and are run by "Federation of National Public Service Personnel Mutual Aid Association," meaning that they are a quasi-government body and that everybody is entitled to the use of a KKR. As I did some google search, I came to find their homepage saying specifically that EVERYONE can stay at a KKR. I may possibly be wrong, but that could be construed literally as KKR's being open to everyone, regardless of their nationalities. Think I'll call them tomorrow to make sure if I am right. Let's see what they have to tell.

Scotland
posts: 123
reviews: 18
7. Re: Nara Ryokan

Thanks that would be great. At least I know if its not suitable for foreign visitors its an easy choice.

I managed to translate a little of their website, and although the fact there doesn't seem to be private toilets concerns me, it would save about £90 to stay their over Edosan so think we would go for it.

It really does look lovely from the pictures.

Ontario
posts: 447
reviews: 56
8. Re: Nara Ryokan

Another good bet is the Seikanso Ryokan in Nara. We stayed there years ago and loved it. Seikanso is still rated #1 among 40 B&Bs/Guesthouses in Nara on Tripadvisor. You'll find it as cheap as anything else, and very atmospheric. Also check the recommendation in the Fodor's guidebook or online.

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara, Kamikochi
posts: 6,633
reviews: 1
9. Re: Nara Ryokan

Called them just now. The lady staff over the phone says they have been taking overseas tourists! But she did ask me if you are able to communicate in Japanese and I answered, no. She went on to ask if you already know about the meal times and the non-availability of private bathrooms and I replied, yes, and asked in return if it's ok faxing from Scotland to book a room. Then came the answer like: "Yes, if it's done in simple English."

All of these suggest that, unlike extroverted well-known ryokans in somewhere else, they do not have much experience to cope with English speaking tourists, which I suppose doesn't mean they are lacking in confidence to take you in. Use your fax machine, where you state your name and address and in particular the dates of arrival and departure and the number of your group.

Good luck!

Scotland
posts: 123
reviews: 18
10. Re: Nara Ryokan

Thanks Shot for all your help. It really is incredible.