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“wooden geisha house in the heart of Nara”
Review of Seikanso

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Seikanso
Ranked #21 of 63 Hotels / Ryokan in Nara
Paris, France
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“wooden geisha house in the heart of Nara”
Reviewed February 13, 2012

unforgetable memories of our travel in japan in the old typical house around a garden

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank pierreber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    28
    10
    4
    0
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10
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2012

This inn is only a short distance from the train station via a local bus, which travels in a seeming circle and comes quite frequently. There are very helpful tourist information center attendants at the station who know the location of many of the local inns and can tell you the easiest way to get to whatever inn you are staying at. They spoke a considerable amount of English.

The hosts were exceptionally friendly and hospitable, and fluent enough in English to make communication a simple process. The room was cozy and attractive. The food, both breakfast and dinner, we outstanding. I would have the hostess as my personal chef, if I could. The bathrooms were clean and the sinks were communal.

Just outside of the room's window was the lovely garden as pictured. Off of the walkway along the garden is the bath room. While communal bathing was not something my wife and I were hesitant about, it is nice when others thoroughly rinse before entering. We unfortunately found ourselves in a bath of hair and skin flakes, so be warned to check the water first. The water of some baths are, as a result of some guests, not as clean as other inns. The time you get to the bath will also make a difference.

Just down the street from the inn are many shops selling food and crafts of all sorts. Shop keepers were welcoming and friendly even if they did not speak English. All of the food was, as always, tasty and fresh. Don't hesitate to get something on your way to Nara Park and on your way back.

A little farther down the street from the inn is Nara Park.

Overall, a fantastic stay!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Austin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2012

My husband and I came to Japan 5 weeks after the tsunami and there were not many guests at any location we stayed. Other than the owners, as far as we could tell there was only one other guest staying in the ryokan. The owners were nice, but were not very involved in our stay and had quarters in part of the ryokan. The building itself is very old, but our room seemed newly renovated, with fresh tatami mats and paint and new bedding. The garden is as lovely as the pictures, and our room on the second floor had large windows overlooking it. There is a large Japanese style tub room that can accommodate a family and be booked privately. Since it is Japanese style, the bath water is only changed once daily and there was no filter. You are supposed to shower before getting in the bath but the other guest used the water before us and it was pretty dirty and gross. There is a common area with a computer and a Japanese style dining room where we had breakfasts and dinners. The food was very good Japanese style! We took one bus from the train station and the ryokan was only a few blocks off the bus route.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MelanieRP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 6, 2011

We arrived in Nara on a long weekend with nowhere to stay. This was the only place to have any accommodation available. We arrived early and left our bags to walk around town and when we came back at check intime our bags had been taken to our room and or beds made for us. It is a wonderful character filled building. It was previously a Geisha house and the bedrooms are housed in the old rooms. The bathroom facilities are a bit of a walk from the bedrooms and pretty basic, but there is a great traditional bathroom with a big bath that the lady fills each evening. The gardens are also pretty septacluar and it is next down to a beautiful temple. We also had the breakfast each morning which was fabulous and really cheap. If you want a real sense of old Japan this is the place for you. Do not go here if you are looking for luxury, cable television, bar fridges etc. We loved it!

Room Tip: I think they are all pretty good
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Melga W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2010

Spent one night here for visit to Nara...easy walk from town centre, through old neighbourhood - happy with the location and interesting to explore the back streets around Seikanso. Although the frontage of this ryokan is fairly unassuming, inside it is all built around a fabulous garden area. Comfortable enough room, clean and tidy, with tea making facilities and separate seating area with views over the beautiful gardens.

Walls are very thin, so you hear every movement up and down the corridor, which can be a bit disturbing, but there is a 11pm "curfew" when they said they close the doors, so folk aren't up that late. Great to experience the old world feel about the place and it's a good option for those not wanting to spend a fortune, yet get to the more authentic side of japanese accommodation. Free internet in the lounge area downstairs.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Mandogirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
138 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2010

We loved everything about Seikanso. The courteous proprietors were so kind and accommodating, the smell of the wooden building, delightful garden and wonderfully authentic rooms, meals served in a traditional setting, tiny balconies overlooking the cloistered courtyard . . . all made for the most memorable stay in Nara.

This is the place to stay for a genuinely relaxing taste of Japanese hospitality in a homely and natural environment. Reviewers comparing this beautifully simple and traditional ryokan with others (benefitting from Western ensuites, wifi to all areas and free airport transfers) have missed out on taking the time to breathe in the atmosphere of this historic building, and enjoying the peaceful freedom from commercial chain hotel 'luxuries'.

If you desire to experience this enchanting culture then discovery of the real Japan starts here. Couldn't commend it highly enough.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank timpaws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed October 5, 2010

I chose this Ryokan because of its historical significance as a Geisha house and its location in Nara, which I believe is the oldest settlement in Japan. The gardens are stunning. I did not mind sharing a bath down the hall, nor that the building was old. This added to the charm. Location was superb, easy walk to bus and loads of shopping in historic center of town. I took their loaner bicycle for more sightseeing.The owners are vintage race car enthusiasts and stable their rare sports racing car under a car cover in the LOBBY. I loved chatting with them about racing. They knew all about the corkscrew at Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA. Stay here if you have an interest in history and culture and have a sense of adventure.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TravelJones_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Seikanso

Property: Seikanso
Address: 29 Higashi Kitsuji-cho, Nara 630-8327, Nara Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Nara Prefecture > Nara
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Nara
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Nara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
Seikanso Hotel Nara

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