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“Amazing host. Charming house and location.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Salon Haraguchi Tenseian

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Salon Haraguchi Tenseian
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Ryokan
  |   7-3 Maruyama-cho, higashiyama-ku,, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0071 , Japan   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 333 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Sudbury, Canada
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“Amazing host. Charming house and location.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

One wonders how Mr Haraguchi-san can possibly be such a fantastic host. Genuine caring attitude. We do not forget him right away. Read the previous reviews, all true.
One has the entire house at disposal. This is an independent house (not attached to other buildings). All equipment working very well. Tatami rooms.
Located right by Gion district.
Located in Maruyama Park, very pleasant. That park contains a significant Shinto shrine, which adds to it interest, especially at night (lighted by lanterns).
Mr Haraguchi instructed me to hire a cab from Kyoto station, and to ask the driver to call him on his cell phone. He gave the instructions so that the driver finds the house.
The park in on a hillside. This has implication about the physical fitness of the visitor. You don’t need to be an athlete, but this is not really suitable for someone with physical disability. I will explain.
There is usually a taxi waiting for customers in the park, about 2 minutes from the house. That is very handy when you depart from the house. For the return to the house, I don’t believe I would’ve been able to explain to the cab driver how to find the house (their mastery of English or my fluency in Japanese would not have allowed, so I did not even try). This means that you cross the premises of the Shrine , and then the Maruyama Park, uphill, to reach the house. Roughly 5-8 minutes. No problem for most travelers, but this is not the usual hotel entrance. For me, the walk in the charming park was a bonus. I am mentioning this to make travelers with mobility limitations aware.
This is self-catering, so you organise your own breakfast.
I can only mention the price that was applying to a solo traveler: 9 000 yen per night. I don’t know what the arrangement would be for couple or with children.
Please take this as only a clue, because arrangements could vary according to time of rent, duration of stay, etc.
There is something North Americans need to know about traditional Japanese houses: there is no central heating system. This is normal in Japan, and the normal way of life for the average citizen. They usually have a bath before they go to bed. North Americans usually take a shower in the morning. For me, the result of this cultural difference is that mornings in the house were very cold, in March, especially for washing time. I am mentioning this in case it is your first time in Japan. Otherwise, this is not an abnormality of that house. Once you get under the hot water of the shower, the problem is solved.
I will stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

Mr Haraguchi is the real deal! The place is set atop the hill overlooking the city. It's right in the middle of the Gion temple complex and an easy walk to the old school district. Great service with local restaurant hints and Geisha spotting tips. Highly recommended, we'll be staying again!!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

This accommodation was exactly what we were looking for when travelling through Kyoto. Traditional decor, excellent locality and wonderful hosts. Perfect for stay for our family of 5, which includes 3 kids under 5.

When entering for the first time, you will immediately immerse yourself in a special ambience that could only be real old-style Japan. The old wooden floors, the steep staircase, the washitsu (traditional Japanese room with tatami flooring and shoji doors) and of course, Haraguchi Tenseian's pottery masterpieces give off the perfect feel that make you feel like a Japanese local, even if just for a few days.

And 'old-style' doesn't mean you have to forego the everyday comforts. Toilets are clean, there are western and Japanese tea facilities and the futons are cosy.

The ryokan is uniquely placed on top of a hill. Lots of greenery and beautiful traditional architecture all around. One of my favourite moments was opening the windows on a cold chilli morning to breathtaking views of our neighbourhood. Only short walking distances to tourist hotspots including one of the largest temple gates in Japan (simply amazing to see at night!).

Also, considering we had 3 kids to lug around, it was great that there were so many things to do locally over the 2 days we were there. So avoiding long trips on buses/trains was nice.

After a long night in town, the thought of walking uphill to the ryokan was dreadful (largely due to our tired children). However, catching a taxi back was relatively inexpensive... about $USD10 to travel from deep into town to the ryokan.

Probably the satisfying experience we received from this ryokan was meeting Mr and Mrs Haraguchi. They were extremely accommodating without being overbearing. Haraguchi Tenseian generously spent half an hour with us on the first night drawing a map of town on an A4 piece of paper. It may not have been as precise and polished as your typical tourist map handouts, but it was surprising accurate and easy to follow. A truly wonderful gift from Haraguchi.

If you're looking to experience Japan like a local, we highly recommend Salon Haraguchi Tenseian.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anahola
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Thanks to all the people who sent reviews and convinced us to stay here. We were at the Kiiyomizu Tenseian for 3 days at the end of September, 2012. Everything that people mentioned about Mr. Haraguchi's warmth & hospitality, from taking us around to some temples, to giving us pointers on where to eat, were all true. It was reminiscent of the aloha spirit shown in Hawaii, where we come from. We loved the location, close to bus stops and Kiyomizudera Temple, one of our favorite sights, and my husband especially loved the neighborhood bakery which was open from early in the morning. It was really reasonable and the living quarters were more "home-like (2 bedrooms, small kitchen, bathroom,outdoor shower/tub, washer/dryer, coffee & tea) than your run-of-the-mill hotel room. It is not fancy or luxurious, but gives you a feeling of staying at someone's home in Japan.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

We stayed in the flat and it was wonderful. Very traditional experience and we were awoken each morning by the voices of kids as they played on the sports field behind the flat (which you could see from the balcony). Although the accommodations were nice, the best part of staying here was the Host. Such a wonderful and helpful man who also spent an afternoon driving us around the sites and waiting for us. Without him doing this, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to see as much as we did. Highly recommend staying here if you visit Kyoto.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

When my Japanese girlfriend asked my sister and brother in law who are travelling with us if they would like to experience traditional Japanese hospitality she chose Kyoto and Salon Haraguchi. My sister was a little dubious about "sleeping on the floor", but after three nights on a very comfortable futon she is now converted!!! What a super place this is. Quiet, scenic, convenient for Gion and the temples, restaurants that abound there. The welcome from Mrs Haraguchi was warm and informative. She showed us through the park to where we could have breakfast and buy essentials. Haraguchi-san spent a delightful afternoon with us showing us local sights such as the Golden Temple. The Salon is very comfortable with everything you need. Aircon heats/cools. Washer and dryer. Good shower room. All around a great experience that we were sad to have come to an end.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We just spent 3 nights / 4 days at Salon Tenseian Haraguchi, and found our stay, and our host, wonderful. I won't waste time on the charms of Kyoto itself, but focus on Tenseian itself. The location is very convenient while at the same time being very quiet. It's a short and lovely walk through Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine to get to Shijo Dori and some ridiculously good shopping and dining. Several nice restaurants are close-by (some Michelin-starred) and Haraguchi-san made reservations for us weeks in advance, forwarding my wife and my food allergies, talking to the staff to instruct the taxi where to drop us off, etc. He made some other spot-on dining suggestions, from pork cutlet sandwiches from a small cafe to a nice but not-too-expensive sushi restaurant (and actually dropped us off there).

He also spent the better part of an afternoon taking us to a couple shrines (Fushimi Inari, which I'd read about - and Sanjusangen-do - which I hadn't, both good calls) and offering walking suggestions for later that evening. He was a perfect gentleman, and extremely generous with his time.

As for the house, I am not sure what some reviewers have meant by spooky (this seems to be a cultural holdover - it's not a large and brightly lit [and stale] hotel). We enjoyed the seating areas, learning how to use the old style blinds and windows, etc. It gave us an insight, however small, into life in a traditional Kyoto house, and since we were the only family, it actually felt like we were walking back to our own little house each evening. I did get a bit turned around one night (although I have to admit to having had 2 bottles of sake;) walking back, but my wife and I never felt unsafe - I mean no disrespect to the "Poor" reviewer, but I felt much more safe everywhere in Japan and Kyoto, than I ever would in most American cities, so it's hard to say how much of this was perception (?).

The house was comfortable (the heaters work very quickly) relaxing, and very well appointed (not least with Haraguchi-san's outstanding blue celadon artworks). We found this a wonderful way to experience Kyoto.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Salon Haraguchi Tenseian

Address: 7-3 Maruyama-cho, higashiyama-ku,, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0071 , Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
Salon Haraguchi Tenseian Hotel Kyoto

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