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“Creative Tasty Japanese Food in Ryokan Setting” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kinoe

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Kinoe
4.0 of 5 Ryokan   |   4-44 Bishamoncho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0812, Japan (Gion Higashiyama / Kita Shirakawa / Kurama / Yase / Ohara)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #104 of 192 Kyoto B&B and Inns
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
“Creative Tasty Japanese Food in Ryokan Setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

This was a treat of a stay - I was here mainly for the food. The ryokan itself is very small; it is located on a corner of a small street and a semi-mainstreet. The entrance is on the quieter street. There are a few restaurants in the area, and a kimono rental shop, as well as shrines and city parks are within walking distance.
I did not try the communal bathing room, because I don't like that concept to begin with.
My other comment on the neutral/negative side is about the concept of ryokan itself. Your shoes get stored by the hotel staff at the entrance, the hotel staff comes by multiple times to provide tea, make the bed, or deliver food (which has multiple courses). I can't seem to relax when the staff comes in so often to "serve you."
However, the food was great. There were a few items that I didn't enjoy out of the variety of dishes that came out. We had sushi, slices of fresh sashimi, creative appetizers in bite-sizes, soup, rice with scallops, fried and twice cooked mackerel, etc. They also make their own Brown Sugar Kuzu Mochi - which had a very smooth texture. I would have to say, although I typically am not a great fan of Japanese cuisine, I was well fed with delicious food at the end of the meal.
When I was there over Christmas, the place was very quiet. Perhaps I had the room farthest from the mainstreet. I am also happy that the ryokan stored my luggage on the day of my departure while I toured the city. Depending on your tastebuds, this could be the hidden gem you could find, in terms of the meal. IF you're looking for a high quality spectaculer Ryokan, the property itself will not live up to that expectation.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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18 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

For a Ryokan, you shouldn't be paying these prices. The staff are friendly, the rooms clean as you would expect, but I expected much more for the price e paid. Having to pay per person is surprising. If you want the ryokan experience, shop around a bit. If you can, visit a Ryokan in the Japan Alps for better value.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hollywood, Florida
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

We arrived in Kyoto and wanted to check in to the hotel slightly before 3:00 p.m.. the front desk said absolutely not! I left my bags and went to lunch, at 2:40 I came back to the hotel and asked if I could check in, the answer was no!
Unlike our stay at the Kyoto Hotel Okura, which had a similar check in time and when we arrived the front desk said check in time is at 3:00 but your room will be available at 12:30.
The rug in the lobby is old and dirty, the toilet is in a closet and the rooms are noisy. The breakfast has no options and if you are not the adventurous type, eat out.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Yokohama, Japan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

Stayed 3 nights in mid April for cherry blossom viewing. This was my 2nd stay at Kinoe. Though Kinoe's service did not satisfied me when I stayed last Autmun, I chose Kinoe this time mainly because it's location, food and size of the room.

Unfortunately, I'll not choose them again. Quality of service was getting worth, 2nd and 3rd night dinner were surprisingly very poor.

[Room]
We booked same room as we stayed in Autmun which is named "Minori" located on 1st floor (No. 101). 29400 (thr) and 32500 (Fri,Sat) JPY/night per adult including breakfast and dinner.
I did not realise last time but there was no memo and pen in the room. No explanation of how to use in-room bath, what are in the room, what facility and service they have.
It is small thing but I was surprised at the towel in in-room toilet. Amazingly, there was a give-away towel of other shop's. (Shop name was printed on the towel. It is usually free and used for advertising) I have never seen such a towel at hotel especially in expensive room ( room 101 is suit).

[Food]
First night dinner was good but 2nd and 3rd night dinner was surprisingly poor. 2nd night dinner was 8 pieces sushi, beef shabu-shabu and fruit. That's all. It was not Kaiseki but scamped work. 3rd night dinner was looked like Kaiseki, however, there was no dish worth to say "main menu." Was egg-drop conger eel in a push-up bottom plate a main? Or, was overfried vegitable tenpura a main? NO WAY. Though there were not so much dishes, dishes were served so sloly, it took 2 hours to finish without having alcohol, thus we could not go to Koudaiji temple night lighting up cherry blossom viewing.
Regarding breakfast, a couple of dishes were seemed to be reduced compaired with last time stay.

[Service]
Not good.
When I made a reservation by email, it took approx 3 weeks to get reply from them. Though I made a reservation, they made a phone call to my parents based on guest card we wrote last time. I did not inform this booking when Kinoe made a phone call to my parents, dad was very surprised. They apologized on the phone and told me to inform detail by email but they emailed me 3 days after. It is too lazy compairing with the hotel of same range.

Staff was not well trained. I was asked breakfast time 3 times by different person. It would be caused by poor communication between staff. Information they provided to us was wrong 2 times (time of light-up show, duration of home delivery service).
They vacumed the lobby floor late at night arround 22-23. Room 101 is only the room on the 1st floor just next to the lobby, they seemed to forget there are guest want to sleep. Electric fan in the public bath remained uncleaned this time as well (it was also uncleaned last time). It was too dirty to use.
One night, I was doing research by using free internet at lobby. Internet coner was in front of the reception desk. Though they realised I was there, they started to discusss the problem of the reception desk staff. It is good to discuss but that kind of things should be done at backyard. Guest does not want to hear such business.

Drinks in the fridge were charged by mistake. After check out, we asked them to keep our baggages for a while. They accepted but our baggages were placed in the lobby floor, where is difficult to see from front desk, without putting any tags or numbers. There would be risk of being stolen or mistaken by other guest.

When we leave hotel, reception desk staff did not come out from the desk to say good bye and thank you. Young landlady realized our leave and suddenly came out for catching taxi cab for us.

I did not know what was happened to Kinoe since our last time stay but this low quality of service is unacceptable comparing the price we paid. I'm going to visit Kyoto in May but reserved another hotel. I'll be Kyoto this Autumn for autumn leaf viewing with my parents, but I'll not book KInoe.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

This was a very expensive but really disappointing ryokan. The location and very helpful staff are the only reasons to stay here. The rooms are large but depressing. Smoking is rampant and the food was mediocre. My traveling companion accurately described this as the 'Motel 6 of ryokans'. Worst of all, it was ridiculously expensive. Probably the worst cost/value of any place I've stayed.

Room Tip: There aren't any!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yokohama, Japan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2011

Stayed 2 nights in late November for autmun leaf viewing. I was looking for the Ryokan located walking distance to one or two temples and shopping facilities with spacious room since I have elderly parents. Kinoe fulfils this condition.

[Location]
Heart of Gion and Higashi-yama. Very close to Kenninji temple, Kodaiji temple, Gion, Ninenzaka & Sannenzaka shopping streets.

[Room]
Named "Minori" located on 1st floor (No. 101) over looking small zen garden with approx 20 tatami mats space. Enough space for 3-4 adults.
In room safe, bath, toilet, fridge, TV, air condition, hot water pot, hair dryer, yukata, bath socks, towels, tooth brush & paste, hair brush, free wifi access. Public bath is also on the 1st floor, very easy to go.
32500 JPY/night per adult including breakfast and dinner. Considering location, spacious room and very high season, price is avarage. Dinner is very delicious. Breakfast is simple and so so.

[Service]
Avarage. Not very good but not bad.

[Others]
Not so may rooms, it sems 8 or 10. So, front desk is not hectic though late Nov is very crowded high season. Staff remembers guest's face and we could feel relaxed sense of time.
Free internet desk top PC, free mineral water machine, cofee machine (100 JPY) are on lobby floor.

[Day 1]
My parents went to several temples in Arashiyama area by sightseeing taxi cab. They checked in 17:30.
Started dinner from 19:00. We asked chef to serve quickly so as to go Kodaiji temple for night lighting up of garden. After dinner, we walked to Kodaiji temple and Intokuin. Night viewing of illuminated trees and Japanese gardens were awesome!! Autumn leaf's red, bamboo green and moon lights were reflected on black pond like mirror, it was really beautiful. I highly recomend to go night time (put additional socks for keeping your foot hot. Night time, temple floor is very cold.)

[Day 2]
Had break fast in the room 7:30. Left Kinoe at 8:30 by taxi cab to go Tofukuji temple. We arrived around 8:45 but already crowded. Then moved to Eikando, Manshuin, Koumyouin and Shisendo. We got off taxi cab at Nishiki market. We had a lunch at Nishiki market, did shopping and walked back to Kinoe.
After dinner, we went to Shoureiin monzeki for seeing illuminated garden. A little bit far from Kinoe, so we took taxi cab but still within walking distance for person having good knee.

[Day 3]
After breakfast, we went to Kiyomizu temple by taxi cab. Then walked back to Kinoe through Ninenzaka, Sannenzaka doing shopping. There were plenty of shops and restaurants. From Kinoe to Kiyomizu temple is uphill, from Kiyomizu-temple to Kinoe through Ninenzaka & Sannenzaka is down hill, so I recomend to go taxi cab to Kiyomizu then back on foot enjoying shopping. We went back to Kinoe10:30 and checked out around 11:00. We had a lunch at Gion after check out. Front desk kept our baggages during we were out for lunch. Then we took sight seeing taxi cab to go Bishamondo, Shogunduka and Sennyuji temple.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2010

We waited till the last minute to book our stay and paid a huge premium for it. Nevertheless, we were very happy with Kinoe and very pleased by the attentiveness of the staff and the proximity to temples which had mesmerizing fall leaf foliage around the grounds. My wife was pleasantly surprised that the staff had cleaned and brushed her Ugg boots. The staff also provided good advice in English! Kinoe is near the tradtional tea houses. We were able to catch a glimpse of the geisha in their full kimono splendor going to work.

The kaiseki dinners were superb particularly on our second night of our stay. We enjoyed the kaiseki dinner which was served in the privacy of our room. Though a bit pricey, this was one of the few splurges we have done in a long while and worth every yen of it.

Kinoe is the place to be for a delightful visit to Kyoto,

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kinoe

Address: 4-44 Bishamoncho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0812, Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion Higashiyama / Kita Shirakawa / Kurama / Yase / Ohara
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #104 of 192 B&Bs / Inns in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kinoe 4*
Number of rooms: 13
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