My husband and I stayed at Inn Kawashima for two nights during our trip to Kyoto. I was very excited to stay in a ryokan, having an amazing experience at another in Nikko a couple of months earlier. I have to say, I was a little disappointed, although Inn Kawashima does have some really good attributes.
First of all, the location was perfect for us. It was just far enough away from the craziness of Gion so that it felt neighborhoody and peaceful, but close enough to walk for dinner or a drink or a night out. Also, the subway and bus stops are just a few blocks which made getting around very convenient.
Second, the Ryokan is beautiful. We had the room in the back and on the second floor. The size was impressive, with two separate rooms--one with a table and one with the futons. It also had a wall of windows with a breezeway that looked out over the little garden. Everything was decorated nicely and very clean.
A few of the disappointments:
I was a little put-off by the owners attitude. He just didn't seem very welcoming, which was really disappointing compared to the warm welcome we received at our previous ryokan experience. However, other reviews I've read of Inn Kawashima tell a different story, so maybe we just caught him on an off day. Nonetheless, when you are staying in someone's home, as is the case with a ryokan, it's nice to be made to feel welcome. Along the same lines, there was no bath drawn for the guests either night we stayed. Again, I've read other reviews that say differently, so maybe just an off day? It's just something I've come to expect when staying at a ryokan. It would be nice to have the option, especially after a long day of sight-seeing around Kyoto.
The noise is a real issue. I know other reviews address this, and I didn't take it too seriously. The severity of course depends on who else is staying at the Inn. Unfortunately, we had a gaggle of noisy girls directly below us who insisted on carrying on until the wee hours of the morning. The first night we got very little sleep, the second night we went out and found ear plugs. It's a give and take. The paper walls add character and authenticity, but very little noise insulation!
Breakfast was okay. I loved that they brought it up to our room.
Price overall was pretty good for Kyoto. Just bring your earplugs!
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- Also Known As:
- Inn Kawashima Hotel Kyoto