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“Superb stay!” 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 605-0071 , Kyoto Prefecture   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 342 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Jakarta, Indonesia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Superb stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

I'm no good with words but I think it's worth to share our best stay experience in Kyoto for other travellers. We (a group of 4) stayed at the Tenseian at the beginning of april 2013 and we don't regret it a bit. We had the whole house for us (the policy of Mr. Haraguchi) and it couldn't have been any better. The house is full of characteristics, everything arranged by Mr. Haraguchi himself and all is functioning well. Now, the location is just a 10 mins walk from Gion. The view along the way from Gion is breathtaking. Well, so did the walk, as it was an uphill walk, but it was just fun! The sleep was comfortable, rooms are big, with cherry blossoms view from the upper room window.
The raves from other reviewers were all true 100%. We just don't think we could've found a host better than him. He often offered us to take our luggages (4 of them) from our previous accomodation, with this own private car!! With this car, he also brought us to his studio where he created his magnificent works and showed us some of his masterpieces. He helped us book one of our best lunch in a 2-star michelin restaurant in Kyoto. I'm running out of words of praise :) I don't know about your stay preference when travelling but it did not fail us.

Room Tip: No bad rooms. All are good. Hey, you have the whole house for yourself!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (10)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Manila, Philippines
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Best time to go is end march to April for cherry blossoms and second week of November for autumn lea...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Sudbury, Canada
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

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
17 helpful votes 17 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.
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Additional Information about Salon Haraguchi Tenseian

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

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