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“centrally situated traditional inn” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Inn Kawashima

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Inn Kawashima
3.0 of 5 Ryokan   |   207-2 Ayazaimoku-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8072, Japan (Kawaramachi / Karasuma / Shijo Omiya)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #52 of 192 Kyoto B&B and Inns
Rome, Italy
Top Contributor
269 reviews 269 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
“centrally situated traditional inn”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Close to public transport, in an area full of shops and cafes and restaurants, this is a great place to stay in Kyoto and experience the comforts of a traditional Japanese inn.
The owner speaks English, which is always a help, and she's very friendly and helpful.
My room was small but well-appointed, and the street isn't noisy as there's hardly any traffic at night.
The shared bath is basic but very clean, and I got addicted to those evening hot baths while in Japan, perfect to soothe tired muscles after a day's travelling or sightseeing. The owner draws it for you, all you have to do is undress, wash (very important) and then get in and soak.
Breakfast was a hearty mix of rice, grilled salmon, poached egg, pickled vegetables, and an incongruous a green salad.
And it's good value, although ryokans are never dirt cheap.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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40 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Baton Rouge
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

My teenaged son and I stayed here three nights on our first trip to Kyoto. Great location: close to bright lights and depatos, old streets of Gion, and easy-to-use subway system, but feels a world apart. Hospitable owners took extra steps for us to feel comfortable, for example helping me print out boarding passes and loaning us awesome umbrellas when a storm passed through. Great rooms: you'll know where you are. Fine breakfast every morning (changed daily), plus tea and a light treat in the afternoon (again, different every day). Wasn't too full when we stayed, but noise did travel pretty well among the few rooms being used; that's all I can imagine as a possible problem (it wasn't for us). Would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Houston, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

Cozy, family-run ryokan tucked away on a quiet street but still a stone's throw from the main shopping area and the subway station, so the location is fantastic. There are also some cute little cafes and restaurants along the same street.

If you're the sort who needs cable TV and a private bathroom in your hotel, then don't bother staying in a ryokan. But I'm really glad we stayed here instead of opting for a Western-style hotel because this place had so much more warmth and character. I was there with my elderly parents for 4 nights and the room we were given was very comfortable, spacious (especially by Japanese standards), clean and airy. Our room had a little balcony that overlooked a traditional rock garden. There is a common shower and toilet but since there are only a few rooms in the inn, it was nearly always unoccupied every time we used it. And they're kept pretty much spotless so kudos to the innkeepers. I even had a suspicion that after every time I used the sink, someone would come to wipe it down.

Our room was very quiet even though the walls are (literally) paper thin and we all slept well because the futons they have are more comfortable than most mattresses in fancier establishments!

We had a kaiseki-style dinner here on our first night but the food was mediocre. They don't have a fully equipped kitchen on the premises so they get the food delivered from another venue. Don't bother wasting your money, Kyoto has lots of great restaurants that can offer better food at better value.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay here and would recommend this place to anyone looking for a unique ryokan experience.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2012

A brother and sister team run this third generation inn in Kyoto - they are very helpful. The rooms are spacious and you can let the fresh air into the upstairs ones. The location is great - close to main shopping area and a short walk to Gion. The narrow street which houses Kawashima also has lots of little cafes and restaurants. The only downside, apart from the thin walls, is the shared bathroom/ toilet - which means if a family is staying you may hear noise from 0630, especially if you are in the garden room adjacent to the communal hand basins. Good value for money though.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms are less noisy and you can get a breeze into them
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

A little hard to find at first but when you finally spot it, you heave a sigh of relief and ask yourself, "why didn't I see it initially?". The entrance is pretty enough to stand out from rows and rows of less conspicuous shops. It's located at the back of kyoto's best shopping paradise - shijo street. They gave us a really huge room, much bigger than luxury ryokans may offer. Couples can share a common bath and lock the door. This is something that luxury ryokans do not practise - they're mostly communal. The futon is made of a special material too but I can't quite describe it except that it gave me the best sleep I've had this year. And we're talking about deep, uninterrupted sleep. It's walking distance to Nishiki Market which has some of the most amazing food at unthinkably affordable prices. And if you are thrilled enough, you can trudge down to Gion and it's probably the most flavourful place I've been on a given night. Gion is sexy, stylish and quaint at night.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Austin, Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

My first stay was in November 2010 and I had a single room. This time I traveled with a friend and was able to experience Kawashima's 2-occupant rooms. It was easily the most spacious room we had on our travels through Japan, having relied on business hotels elsewhere. Its sleeping area was larger than a single-occupant room and it had a separate dining/lounging section overlooking the inn's garden-shrine.

The inn is still cozy and clean as ever. The innkeepers are still as friendly and welcoming as I remember. And the location still can't be beat - just a short walk to the Shijo-Karasuma subway station, Nishiki Market, and Gion.

I look forward to my next opportunity to visit Kyoto, and this will be the first place I look for lodging when that day comes.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2012

The inn was a bit difficult to find at first (I walked), as I wasn't really expecting such a lovely, peaceful place to be tucked inside such a busy street. The room was beautifully decorated, and sleeping on the mats made me feel as if I were stepping back in time. The Japanese breakfast was quite different from what I am used to, but quite tasty. The small garden is well-tended and pleasant. I only stayed here for one night, but wished I'd stayed longer! The owner was very nice and helpful, and spoke English very well. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Inn Kawashima

Address: 207-2 Ayazaimoku-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8072, Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Kawaramachi / Karasuma / Shijo Omiya
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 192 B&Bs / Inns in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Inn Kawashima 3*
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Inn Kawashima Hotel Kyoto

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