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“If you want a truly authentic Japanese Ryokan experience - first class!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kikokuso

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Kikokuso
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Ryokan
  |   Nishi-hairu, Hitosuji-me, Shichi-agaru, Sumiyoshi-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8143, Japan   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 331 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Perth, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“If you want a truly authentic Japanese Ryokan experience - first class!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

We have stayed in several ryokans in Japan but Kikokuso is in an entirely different league. This was total cultural immersion which is what we wanted. If you are after 5star western hotel do not stay here. If you want a taste of life for the Japanese elite during Japan's post war ascendancy then Kikokuso is not to be missed. Kikokuso is owned and operated by a Japanese family who all work very hard to ensure you are welcome and comfortable. We had Japanese breakfast each day (western available but why chose this?) which was different each morning and set us up for the day. The rooms are HUGE by Japanese standards and totally authentic except for a small flat screen tv in the corner. Very close to train station - walking distance even with luggage. We had dinner in on the first night as we had been traveling all day and this was great and very welcome after a long soak in the Japanese bath. Totally awesome and definitely will stay at Kikokuso on our next visit to Kyoto.

Room Tip: We were downstairs and had a separate bedroom and living/dining/lounge room. Great not having to liv...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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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130 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We stayed here for my 30th birthday and it's a really nice traditional ryokan. The innkeeper Masami was so friendly, polite and helpful. He even drove us a few streets down to another hotel for the imperial palace tour which was really nice.
It's very close to the main station which is good when just coming in to Kyoto - less than 5 minutes in the cab... Would recommend friends & family to go there.

  • Stayed October 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

This is part 2 of our Takayama-Kyoto-Osaka Nov 2012 trip.

Having spent an earlier 4 nights in another ryokan in Takayama and 3 nites in Osaka after this stay (and also a previous trip 5 years back thru the same route), it may seem a little unfair for us to make comparison between our stay here & in Takayama/Osaka. However, I hope the inn's generous hospitality, great location and food, would be able to convince/overcome any doubts or naysaying from my posting.

First off, location wise it's a pretty nice neighbourhood, away from the city's vehicular & human traffic, but yet it is within walking distance to the Kyoto Central train station, accessible to the subway & buses, nearby laundromat, easy access to Kawaramachi area (food & shopping) & the Gion area.

Accomodation: Our family of 6 were very happy with the 1st floor large room with separate sleeping & dining area. The beds and comforters were great (much more comfortable than our Takayama stay :p). As mentioned by other reviewers, the shared toilet & bathroom facility takes a little getting used to (as well as some graciousness and understanding by fellow guests). The inn's 4-5 room capacity (some with ensuite) and a little sleep sacrifice goes a long way in the toilet/bathroom sharing. The bath area is actively looked after by the inn owner ensuring that it is well upkept & tidy for use by the next party.

We love the garden and koi pond. I had spent many quiet minutes sitting next to the glass panel (while waiting for my turn at the bath) admiring the quiet & tranquil landscape: seeking the zen-ness and appreciating the very peaceful lives of the 5-6 fat koi fishes ... ah .... what would I give to be able to do that again :)

Meals: we only had 2 nites of dinner, which we were lucky enough to be served in their private dining room. The Shabu Shabu dinner served on our last night was a lesson in the Japanese way of preparing & appreciating the fine art of Japanese dining. Together with local sake & wonderful local seasonal fruits, we had a wonderful hour & a half long session of family bonding, feasting and sharing stories with the host.

Breakfast was served in the room and again we had the chance to savour local pickles and dried fish. My daughter's only grumble was that they didn't have a rice pot on standby for extra servings .... I told her to watch her waistline.


The ryokan has been around for at least 7 generations and it is currently managed by the dedicated team of the elder couple with their son & daughter-in-law. Hopefully, the tradition will continue with the young couple's 2 children.

Thanks for the memory.

  • 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
    • 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

After spending an enormous amount of time browsing through reviews for ryokans (tough job!) i decided on this one as our most expensive one to stay in. We stayed in various different minshukus and various prices of ryokans during our stay.

Kikokuso is a bit pricey, but worth it and i'll definitely go back! It's a small traditional ryokan, and has a very homey feeling. only 5 rooms in total i think, only one of them have an en suite and i think a private bath. The other 4 rooms share toilets downstairs and a bath. I was a bit disappointed that after paying so much i did not get an ensuite, but it wasnt such a big deal after all. The only downside is the there's only 1 female western toilet (there's a japanese style toilet as well) but then i didnt have to wait at all when using it.

It's a family run business, of a few generations, i think it's 100 years old. The family that run it is super duper hospitable and go all out to make your stay as comfortable as possible. They are awesome people that show pride in the hospitabilitiy and warmthness of Japanese people. They could speak pretty good english too. We even got driven to the train station for our next journey! How awesome is that?

Our room had a small balcony which faced a small japanese garden with a waterfall - fantastic fung shui! The food was sensational too - its kaiseki style food - the bulk of your bill is to pay for dinner (around 100 dollars for dinner itself). The only disappointment i had was there was no desert - only fruits. :(

All in all, good value for money, and definitely deserved the tripadvisor prize!!

Room Tip: dont worry if you do not get the ensuite
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Canada
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

Spent 5 days, in October. Family run traditional ryokan, very genuine in providing help. The couple and three children ( I think they are the owner’s children, but did not ask) speak enough English so that communication is sufficient for comfort and avoidance of misunderstanding. Above all, everything is so well meant that is overcomes the less than perfect syntax. Very warm welcome and support all along the stay. They drove my guide and I to the station the last morning. They assisted with packaging a box for shipping to Canada.
Traditional Japanese house, with moderately spacious ( by Japanese standards ) inner yard garden. My room had a 5 panels direct view on that garden, from the first flood ( above the main floor). Gorgeous. Three Japanese stone lanterns, a water fall, big rocks, a small bridge, and 6 one and a half foot long Japanese carps in the pound ( koi, typical Japanese fish). Many smaller ones also. You get asleep at night by the song of the waterfall: a luxury.
Location is ideal: 10-15 minutes from Kyoto Station by foot.
Had 5 breakfasts there, alternating between western and Japanese menu. Both are excellent. Had a ryokan dinner, a quite extensive traditional menu, worth trying, although not for travellers on a tight budget ( 8 500 yens, or 106 can $ ).
The accommodation itself is at a reasonable price, for a traditional ryokan. 13 200 yens per night, without private bathroom ( I come back on this below). My hired professional tourist guide, Kyoto-based, said this is cheap for value, compared to the rest of the market. I consider I got plenty for my money. Room spacious enough for my needs.
I was apprehensive about the lack of private bathroom. They have rooms with ensuite, but I did not reserve early enough. Finally, things worked out very well, which is a big thing to say coming from me, with a complex multistep grooming routine in the morning. There is a small sink area at the entrance of the ghest’s room, which makes this possible and convenient.
The bathroom is Japanese style, and worked out beyond my expectations ( first time use of a Japanese bath room, for me). The shower can be hung up high enough so that one can take a shower the usual way, and they provide very good soaps, varied types. Then, there is the Japanese half body bath. The design is pleasant, they recreate a spa-type rocky environment. On a very small scale, but well built and pleasant. I was not really interested in Japanese baths from the start, to the point of not using the Japanese bath at a onsen resort in Nikko last week (a traditional Japanese resort specialised with thermal hot springs, extensive spa, pools, etc, very high standards). Here, on a more private tone, I got myself acclimated to this Japanese delicacy.
So, this is a highlight of my trip to Japan. Would come back here, and certainly recommend to anyone interested in an authentic Japanese experience.

Room Tip: book early if you wish a room with ensuite. The room I had did not have ensuite, but a whole wall (5...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed three nights at Kikukosu and were very happy. The place is a genuine traditional ryokan. Our room, while not cheap, was spacious, spotlessly clean and beautifully presented.

The ryokan is in good location between downtown and the train station. Every time you get home, there is a fresh tray with sencha, hot water and a teapot for your own tea ceremony.

The ryokan has a lovely wooden hallway and traditional Japanese garden. With only eight or so rooms, it has a home-away-from home feeling, and the service is very personalised.

The service is warm and welcoming, and staff speak more than enough English to get by.

We stayed in a room without a private bathroom, but the communal onsen was perfectly fine and we got very clear instructions about how to use it! It's worth noting you either need to book a time to use the onsen or wait your turn - though we never had to wait longer than half an hour and it didn't bother us in the slightest. The onsen bath is a great place to soak weary legs after a long day of walking!

Overall, if you're looking to stay in a ryokan in Kyoto, this is an outstanding place and you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: A eight to twelve tatami mat room is very spacious and provided more than enough room for two of us.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

I walked to Kikuso in the rain. I entered and was greeted by a smiling innkeeper, Mr Yoshimura, who runs it along with his wife. He handed me a towel to dry off and got another member of his staff to take my luggage to my room. I took my shoes off in the foyer. Then, in my room, I enjoyed a wonderful tea service with a succinct explanation of the type of Japanese tea. Mrs Yoshimura told me that it was time for a bath and pointed to the Gujarat (Japanese robe). I unwrapped it; it was unbelievably crisp, clean, and fresh. Mrs Yoshimura explained how to take a Japanese bath. I followed her instructions. I had a kaseiki dinner in my room with something like 13 different dishes, plus sake (note that sake costs extra). The staff unfolded a futon and made it for me. The meal put me to sleep. I slept (but in all honesty, sleeping on a Japanese futon is as it looks - thin and kind of hard, so if you like that, like I do, then it is no problem). I woke up and ate a giant Japanese breakfast. It kept me fulfilled until 2 pm that day. All in all, this ryokan is fabulous, and not nearly as expensive as some of the others in the city. Go for the full deal, with dinner and breakfast!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Kikokuso

Address: Nishi-hairu, Hitosuji-me, Shichi-agaru, Sumiyoshi-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8143, Japan
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Kyoto
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Kikokuso Hotel Kyoto

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