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“A visit to another time and place”
Review of Kankaso

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Kankaso
Ranked #26 of 64 Hotels / Ryokan in Nara
Oakland, California, Usa
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A visit to another time and place”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

There is a definite period feel to this ryokan just a few steps from the entrance to Todaiji temple and the deer park in Nara. It is a bit like visiting your grandmother's house (if you are lucky enough to have a grandmother who is an inkeeper with an excellent cook). The lady who runs the place and her maid, who between them seem to do most of the work, make you feel very comfortable in spite of speaking very limited English--evidently they are used to foreigners, and they manage to explain the Japanese way of doing things very effectively. The kaiseki dinner is fantastic as is the full Japanese breakfast. Although some 1950's period details (pink and blue bathroom tile) are unexpected, the overall feel is of a comfortable traditional family home of the late Taisho/early Showa era (1920's and 30's)--just enough mod cons to make the visit completely comfortable in every way. Do not be put off by a few signs of wear and tear on the carpeting and furniture in the reception area -- the Japanese style rooms at this inn are spotless, quiet, and atmospheric. This is a lovely place and you will be well cared for.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank cbx295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We make reservations an got a respond, thought everything was ok, we got there at 7 pm every thing close and dark , they did not have our reservation and no space for as.
Thank to the taxi driver that wait for us and took us to another hotel, bad experience, I will do not recommend

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Luisa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2013 via mobile

Located in right front of Todaiji, Kankado provided us an excellent experience.

Though the room was a classic style, it was very clean, quiet, and cozy. The staff woman was extremely helpful yet fun to talk with.

I'm pretty sure 21,000/night is a great deal, since I can expect the dinner/breakfast themselves could be 10,000.

We liked the private bathroom. It was almost like a roten-buro, but was inside. We could see the beautiful garden from the spacious bathtab.

If we have a chance to visit Nara in the fututre, we're sure to stay Kankaso again.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Motohiro T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

A delight traveling in Japan for the Westerner with little experience of Japan is to stay in a good ryokan, if you are prepared to forgo hotel life as you know it from elsewhere. Living for a few nights on tatami mats, sleeping in a real set of futon, and enjoying one or several traditional hot Japanese baths -- where you wash on the outside and then enter the big hot tub to relax is a great experience. Take time to enjoy the visual feast of scrolls and calligraphy and screens. Good ryokans are on the expensive side, but you are getting a lifetime experience, not just a lodging. Also, the expense (and much of the experience) in a good ryokan is for the kaiseki style dinners. This is a top quality ryokan. The second floor double room for four was comfortable, the two large first floor baths made available to us without asking (we had a small bath attached to our second floor room, unused by us) were luxurious, and the kaiseki style dinner and 2 breakfasts we enjoyed were very tasty. We had dinner in our room and breakfasts in 2 different rooms on the first floor. Our hostess was charming and indefatigable in making us comfortable. Do not expect much English (I speak Japanese well, so no problem). Kankaso will accept Visa and Master Card (not Amex), contrary to what the Japanese travel agent told us via email when we reserved about requiring cash yen. Wi-fi is available in the lobby. From the main road past the Deer park, Kankaso is literally about 150 feet down the path to Todaiji (the great Buddha). From Kyoto, take the Kintetsu Nara line to Nara station; a short taxi ride is best from that station to the hotel, especially in the summer's heat.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BTDTtattoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

This was our second ryokan stay during our trip in July. An excellent place, with exquisite food. The owners are very friendly. The lady owner does not speak much english, but she understands a lot. We had no problem communicating. We stayed as a family and the owner arranged for private onsen time for us, at no charge. When we came back in the middle of the day for a rest before heading out again, she made tea for us. We had dinner for the first night and it was so beautifully presented, and so delicious, we wish we could afford the kaiseki dinner the second night as well. I would say the dinner is worth the high price. I guess the key is to be open and willing to try new things - honestly we did not know some of the things we were eating but they all tasted delicious. When we asked what something was, she would tell us in Japanese and then get it translated to english for us. We stayed in 2 rooms: one was a private room linked to the main building by a bridge, and another room on the second floor. The private room had a beautiful view of the garden.

I found sleeping on the futon mats gave me a backache, but it was fine for the rest of my family. On the second night I put double the layers under the futon mattress and it was fine.

The only criticism I would make is that the property is a little old so there are parts of the carpet that are stained, and wall paper peeling off. However the rooms are very clean and the tatami mats in excellent condition.

Room Tip: Ask for the room connected by the bridge, or a room with a garden view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fireworkks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California, United States
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Stayed here the beginning of June. Its the only ryokan I've ever stayed at. The service was really amazing. They don't speak very much english, but we didn't have any problems. They were so friendly and helpful. We had the dinner and breakfast in the room. The food was absolutely beautiful! But a word of warming, but veeeeery Japanese. As two americans, we did find it a bit difficult to enjoy the whole dinner or breakfast. You might do well to bring a small snack of your own. Our room did not have the in room onsen, but that didn't turn out to be a problem at all. The staff was so very nice that they arranged for my wife and I to have one of the large onsen rooms to ourselves as a private bath. Both in the evening and the morning! The grounds are absolutely beautiful. And Kankaso is literally IN the nara park, so its super easy to go pet the deer.
As for getting there.... We took the non JR Kintetsu line into the station KintetsuNara. From this station its an easy 10-15 minute walk to Kankaso, IF you don't have a lot of luggage. With lots of luggage, you could still do it, but you might now like it as much. If you take the JR train in, you'll end up at the Nara station, which is even farther. That would be about a 30minute walk. I would definitely not recommend walking this with any kind of luggage.
Overall, it was a great stay. The dinner was a real experience. Very relaxing. Loved the staff.

Room Tip: We saved some money by NOT getting the room with built in onsen, but the staff was still able to sch...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2013

We stayed in 4 different ryokans during our trip to Japan, different price categories, and Kankaso was by far the best! It is a bit more expensive than average, but the value you get is amazing. First of all, it is located close to all the Nara sites, while preserving tranquility in its garden. Second, the garden and the buillding, including the room is as traditional as it gets and beautiful. It is managed by a an elderly couple - they are very friendly and apparently the husband can cook - and HOW! We had our most amazing kaiseki meal of the whole trip and we did eat excellent during our trip in general. The dinner was served in our room, which is a very exclusive tradition and a rarity these days. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, in the morning we were invited into a beautiful room where an unbelievable traditional Japanese breakfast spread was served.... no words.... If you only had one night to spend at a ryokan, I say make it Kankaso.

Room Tip: Ask for the room facing the garden.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julia_van_Bommel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kankaso

Property: Kankaso
Address: 10 Kasugano-cho, Nara 630-8212, Nara Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Nara Prefecture > Nara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 64 Hotels / Ryokan in Nara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 9
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