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.
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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