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“Like staying at someone's home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hiiragiya Bekkan

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Hiiragiya Bekkan
431 Yamamotocho, Gokomachi 2jo Sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-0933, Japan (Kawaramachi/Karasuma/Shijo Omiya)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 194 Kyoto B&B and Inns
Miami Beach
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Like staying at someone's home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We stayed at the Hiiragiya Annex for two nights but I wish it had been for a week! The service was impeccable and the amount of English spoken was substantial for what we experienced otherwise in Japan. The room was comfortable with a closed in glass porch overlooking the beautiful garden. Yuka, the woman who looked after us, could not have been more gracious and accounted for every detail. The Annex has baths (I believe two) which you can reserve for an hour as many times a day as you like. They are like indoor hot tubs and were such a treat after being out in the cold all day long. The in-room meals were out of this world and having the kaiseki experience in our room was one we will never forget. It certainly gives you a glimpse into traditional Japan and, for the cost (which was reasonable compared to other ryokans with this level of meals and amenities), there is no other place I would have rather had it than in here.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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47 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Grimsby, Ontario CANADA
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for two nights after a 3 night stay at a regular 5 star hotel in Kyoto. National Geographic has listed a stay in a ryokan as one of the 50 must do things to do or see before you die. And so we chose this inn as I did not want to pay the very steep prices of the Hiiragiya Main. Even so our 2 night experience here during low season still set me back for over $1,000US for 2 persons.
But life is a series of experiences and this experience is definitely a defining moment of our ten days stay in Japan. The building is 90 years old and our room was a bit faded but still lovely, truly evocative of old Japan. As it was a quiet month the inn gave us the best room in the house, a corner unit with glass walls on two sides facing a very pretty Japanese garden.
Everything done here is done with tradition in mind, and the service was unimpeachable. We were looked after mostly by an older but very elegant Japanese woman in a kimono. Although she did not speak much English, I sensed she wanted us to enjoy our stay at the inn completely and did her part to accomplish that goal.
The ten course keisiki meal had some exotic items that might not appeal to the western palate, but this is part of the overall experience. The sumptuous Japanese breakfast was delicious.
Overall I think a two night stay here was just right, one night would be a terrible rush and I think with 3 nights you might be overdoing it. In summary an amazing experience of traditional Kyoto life and of Japanese culture.

Room Tip: ask for the corner room on the first floor facing the garden on 2 sides
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Top Contributor
182 reviews 182 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

We descended upon Ryokan Hiiragiya with 2 adults and 2 kids and they handled it beautifully. Our kids are little 5.5 and 4 years.

Rooms - a large 14 tatami mat room - spacious enough for 4 people. lovely garden view, private bathroom. Very comfortable and exciting to be staying there.

Meals - the dinner set was brilliant, a real culinary journey. We had ordered a kids alternative which was brilliant as the kids tucked into that heartily. Breakfast was not to our taste at all, it was special, it was amazing and for love nor money would any of us, except me, eat it. Intense flavours of fish is just not breakfast for my kids.

Spa Area - look this was pretty disappointing. Its an internal spa, very average looking, basic tiles and not what we had hoped for. However, upon reflection, staying in central Kyoto I could not expect anything to amazing from the onsen. The spa was actualy very good, and we had a great family time in there both before dinner and before breakfast.

Service - impeccable. Amazingly friendly and there was more than enough english to ensure we were well looked after. The lady who looked after us was generous and caring.

For Kids - special utensils and toys and just a bit of extra care was provided. It was terrific and they were happy.

Value - costs a bomb, however, its totally worth it.

Best - whole experience
Worst - spa was very good not as amazing as the rest
Go Again - for sure

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Tallinn, Estonia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

This hotel is a nice example of a classic ryokan (traditional Japanese accommodation). They provide almost full board - with the exeption of lunches everything you might need is provided. No need to even bring own amenities. They have everything from toothbrushes to a magical hair tonic that I wished I could take home with me because my hair never lookd or felt so good. You get a 9 course Japanese dinner with a menu so you know exactly what you are eating. And if you stay longer than 1 night, they will, without prompting, modify the menu the next day to include only the things you loved the night before (I don't know how, but that's waht happened with us). You eat in your room, so it is very private also for couples. The traditional hot bath is amazing and the service is all around magical. Eating and sleeping happens in one room, on a bamboo tatami and they switch the dinner table fot a 2 mattress bed when you're finished.The bed will by default disappear back into the cupboard after breakfast unless you tell them otherwise. Sleeping on the floor might seem uncomfortable, but it really is not and the special pillows are truly relaxing for a stressed uptight neck.
All in all Hiiragyia Bekkan is a magical cultural experience rather than just a hotel and if you are in Japan to get a feel of the Eastern way of life, then you should really try this one.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uk
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

A real taste of traditional japanese hospitality, we loved our stay here. The garden views are lovely and the staff were incredibly polite and friendly. Our favourite thing about our stay though was the food, which was absolutely incredible. As good as anything we tasted during our trip.

Room Tip: Garden views were the nicest.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

Hiiragiya Bekkan feels like a traditional Japanese family. There is one lead attendent who served us during our two night stay. She asked us what time we want breakfast and dinner to be served, and when we want to take our shower (morning and night shower). She only offered two time options for meals and shower (7:30am or 8:30am for breakfast) and (7:30pm or 8pm for dinner). So in a way, she was like a mom who passively make us wake up early during our holiday.

The ryokan obviously has a rather long history. It shows its age here and there. So if you are looking for a very luxurious stay, this may not be the choice for you. However, it has a nice garden, attentive staff, and a reserved shared bath (reserve a time for you and your spouse / family). It makes you feel like staying at a traditional Japanese family.

I am not sure, but I think I might have pick a simple breakfast and dinner. I felt the dinner was quite standard kaiseki. Food tastes good, but no special / premium ingredients like fatty tuna or such.

The location is great. It is only 2 small blocks from subway station Kyoto-shiyakusho-mae, on the Kyoto city Tozai line. On the hotel street, there are some Western restaurants on the street, and the fashion store Commes Des Garcons. Near the hotel, there is the Musemum of Kyoto, and a nice market.

20mins walk from Gion on Shijo dori. To go to the temples in the Eastern Kyoto, you can take the subway for 2 stations and get off at Higashiyama and then change to bus.

One bad thing about the location is, it is right next to the street, so for people who stay on the side facing the street, you would hear some cars passing by at night.

Lastly, no wireless, but there is a laptop with internet service at the hotel's living room

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms away from the street. But corner room (which is closer to the street) also has a n...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

If you can afford it, stay in the more expensive sister ryokan, the Hiiragiya.

That said, this is one of the nicer ryokans in this price range. Nicer than Montonago. Kaiseki dinner has many items that may not suit the western palette. Pretty traditional Japanese gardens. Make sure to ask for a room with an en suite bathroom, otherwise shared restrooms. Shared hot tub is nice and can be reserved for private use.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hiiragiya Bekkan

Address: 431 Yamamotocho, Gokomachi 2jo Sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-0933, Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Kawaramachi/Karasuma/Shijo Omiya
Amenities:
Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 194 B&Bs / Inns in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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