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“WOW!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shiraume

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Shiraume
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Ryokan
  |   Shirakawa-hotori, Shinbashi-dori, Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 331 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“WOW!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Months later, I still can't help but smile when I think of my 2 nights and 3 days at Shiraume. When we planned our trip to Japan, we certainly wanted to include a ryokan for at least a couple nights. There were numerous options, especially in Kyoto, and many for quite a bit less money. Based solely on the excellent reviews here on Trip Advisor, we selected Shiraume, and all I can say is that even our lofty expectations were exceeded. The service was completely top notch, and the proprietor (whose name I cannot recall!) spoke perfect English, a rarity in Japan. This was very helpful when planning various activities and travel in and around Kyoto. While some of the food, especially for breakfast, was not to our liking while in Japan, we thoroughly LOVED the food at Shiraume. I highly recommend adding on the dinner option for at least one of your nights at this lovely ryokan. It was simply a special experience, with one dish tasting better than the next.

They also offer a little guest lounge with internet, library, and complimentary beers and sake, as well as a beautiful deep soak hot springs bath.

Very romantic, and an unforgettable experience. If you have the means, this is a MUST.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Umeichirin room, which was great and had a private bath.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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242 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

I decided to book the Shiraume after reading the reviews on Tripadvisor and I am so glad I did. Everything you read in the reviews about the place are absolutely correct. I could probably rate this as one of the most amazing experiences ever. I was very, very sad to leave but will return!

Tomoko and her staff are the perfect hosts and from the moment we walked in the door through to when leaving and Tomoko waving us goodbye as we turned the corner at the end of the road she and her staff gave 100% perfection. I don't want to appear gushing but it truly was a life changing experience staying at the Shiraume. We stayed two nights and ate there both nights; both meals were a truly amazing traditional Japanese experience. I cannot recommend this Ryokan highly enough, in fact, I should not recommend it at all as I don't want it to be fully booked when we definitely visit again next year!!

I wish the Shiraume, Tomoko and all her staff every success as they deserve their #1 status as THE place to stay in Kyoto. It is well deserved and has to be experienced to be believed.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

I cannot imagine experiencing Kyoto without having stayed at Shiraume. It's like taking a step back in time and experiencing traditional Japan. The staff was incredibly gracious and seemed to take much joy in ensuring a magical experience for its visitors. I think I slept better that night than I had during our entire trip in Japan. Although I went with a friend, it would've been an incredibly romantic experience with a special someone. Also, the location is ideal for spotting Geishas. It's a bit pricey, but worth every penny/yen! You have to experience it at least one night!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

This was a phenomenal experience in a traditional ryokan located in a fantastic location in Gion, Kyoto. We had a room looking out onto the little stream but it was one of the last rooms at the end of the windy corridor, so it was extremely quiet and peaceful. Just outside our room was one of the Japanese baths, which almost felt like our own private one. This was truly a fantastic memorable experience to experience the ryokan experience - sleeping on the tatami, having the kaiseki courses served to you in the room by amazing hosts.

What I liked:
* Great location for walking to the Gion shrines and across the river to downtown and the Nishiki markets
* Gorgeous traditional accomodation, and looked out on a pretty little stream
* Fantastic hosting from owner Tomoko, and our helper Satoko
* The food was incredible. We had kaiseki on both nights and they were completely different, filled with new experiences. For example, puffer fish was in season so we tried that. No pressure to eat in the dining room if you want to just get in your kimono and be served in the bedroom

What I didn't like
* Can't really complain about anything but you should note that this is not a cheap experience. It is worthwhile and the cost of adding on an amazing 8 or 9 course meal is definitely worth it
* The Japanese baths were relaxing but if you are into onsen, you would find this less exciting
* Heating was great in winter but didnt extend to our bathroom....not a big deal, just makes for some cold moments

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

My husband and I went to the Shiramue sometime in October 2012. We had a quaint room upstairs with our own bathroom overlooking the river.

It was a wonderful experience. The host was hospitable, the food was delicious, and the ambiance was so nice and relaxing. It was a bit expensive but so well worth the money. It was a luxury that was worth every penny.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

As a foreigner, what does it mean to visit kyoto? in my mind The Gion district is Kyoto in a nutshell and Shiraume is a little treasure. we stayed for two nights and I was amazed when we saw the front streetscape as if it came out of the movie Geisha. when we were first shown our room I was blown away by how traditional it was! Other reviewers have described the other charms of this ryokan so well I won't repeat them. The fuss and effort that they went to to make our stay memorable make this ryokan worthy of very high praise. When I close my eyes and think of Japan, some of the images from this wonderful place and this magical city will surely come back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

I decided to splurge on my last night in Japan and stay at Shiraume (mostly thanks to the amazing reviews on TripAdvisor), and I'm so glad I did.

Everything is amazing and perfect, and Tomoko, who runs the ryokan, was such a sweet and accommodating hostess.

I'm still dreaming about the amazing Japanese bath (an absolute must if you stay here), the tatami mats on heated floors (you'd think sleeping on a floor wouldn't be comfortable, but I can't remember a better night of sleep) and the traditional kaseiki dinner.

This place is worth every penny.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shiraume

Address: Shirakawa-hotori, Shinbashi-dori, Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Shiraume Hotel Kyoto

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