My family (my husband and i, kids aged 7 and 3) booked tenseian after searching tripadvisor, for our first trip to Kyoto. We didn't know exactly what to expect, even after reading the reviews. What we saw was enchanting.
The home is 100 years old and is at the edge of a lovely park filled with cherry blossoms at this time of year. We expected it to be in an isolated place, but it is near a few other ryokans and feels absolutely safe.
We arrived at past 10 in the evening and Mr. Haraguchi was there to welcome us, give us the keys and bring us quickly around. It is not a hotel. It is a local home. No meals are prepared or served, there is no housekeeping. The house will be turned over to you and you're on your own. Mr Haraguchi got for us some bread and had coffee and tea stocked up. Our beds were laid out on tatami mats in the second floor.
The house has a charm that is hard to explain, and to have the house all to yourself gave our family a wonderful privacy and oneness with nature. Our favorite time was in the morning, with the kids asleep sipping our coffee in front of the house with the cherry blossoms in front of us.
The house has its cons, don't get me wrong. The bathroom and kitchen could use some more cleaning and upgrade. The toilet was in the second floor and the tub and shower were in the first floor. That was a bit of a challenge even with the high tech toilets in Japan. Our luggage was in the first floor away from our bedroom. Also, you need to be moderately physically fit to walk to the house from the park.
And yet with all that, the cons couldn't affect our fond experience and memories of the place. Mr Haraguchi was kind enough to drive us around for 2 hours on our second day to show us the sights and sounds. He gave us advise on where to go, eat, shop. And if you're lucky, like we were, we got to buy a few pieces of his works. He is truly an artist.
If you want to have a unique kyoto experience like a local and near the gion district, choose this over the other places.
- Also Known As:
- Salon Haraguchi Tenseian Hotel Kyoto