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“Wonderful Ryokan”
Review of Shiraume

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Shiraume
Ranked #2 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Sweden
Level Contributor
56 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Wonderful Ryokan”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

To stay at Shiraume (which means "White Plum") is a fantastic and immersive experience. The owner Ms Okuda and her staff (for example Satoko) do everything they can to make sure that you get what you pay for - which is a lot and worth every penny. We stayed in the umekoyomi room on the ground floor, facing the water stream at the front of the property. Although very authentic and traditional in style, the rooms are fully equipped, and the hotel also has free wifi. The whole area is full of ambience and also recommended is for example the teppanyaki restaurant Itoh on the same street (but with the entrance from the back street). Shiraume serves a delicious Kaiseki dinner, which can be recommended, and also a great Japanese breakfast. They will help you find your way in Kyoto, and they manage to be both very friendly and accessible but never too intrusive. Despite being the ones who paid, we felt like our stay was a gift to us from Ms Okuda and her team.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank stefanerics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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418 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

What an amazing experience! Once we had worked out what went on our feet and where we could put them we were fine. This was a first class treat. Our room was on the 1 st (ground) floor over looking the little stream, with a private bathroom including wooden bath. We took the Kobe beef dinner, ordered in advance, and what a banquet it turned out to be. This was traditional Japan at its best. It was costly, but worth every yen. An unforgettable experience, the staff could not have done more to please us.

Room Tip: First floor is the same as the ground floor
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
161 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights in the Umerichin room on the 2nd floor and loved the experience. Don't worry about the price - if you want to experience a real authentic ryokan this is the place. The room was huge and we felt like we had half of the house with a separate bath area and a private hallway overlooking a garden.

Tomoko - the manager - was amazing. Very enjoyable to talk to and helpful. The location of the ryokan is right in the middle of Gion on a very historic street (people take photos all day). We did Japanese and Western style breakfasts and they were both fantastic. As was the traditional kaiseki dinner that we had on the first night (food presentation was outstanding). There is wi-fi in the room too. Staying at this place was a very memorable and unique experience. 6 out of 5 :)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DomCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apia, Samoa
1 review
Reviewed October 5, 2012

After umming and about whether we should fork out such a large amount of money to stay here for a night, we are so glad that we did. We are still reeling from the experience. This ryokan is situated by a stream in a quiet part of Gion, but is literally moments away from all the action and sights. Highlights included being served an immaculately presented kaiseki dinner in our room, which was lit by lanterns. Whilst eating, we could listen to the crickets outside and peer out into the gorgeous street below - where our daughters excitedly caught a glimpse of a Geiko shuffling past. In the morning we were served a beautifully presented breakfast in another separate, private room overlooking a Japanese garden and the stream. There were so many lovely details at this ryokan: our 'personal assistant' Satoko, the girls wearing their beautiful yukata and tabi, the welcome tea and divine sweets, and the small, gorgeous Japanese sachet gift Tomoko gave us on leaving just to mention some. We have stayed in other ryokan as well as fancy 5 star hotels, however if you want to come away from Kyoto with truly special memories and an outstanding Japanese experience, we can't recommend this ryokan highly enough.

Room Tip: Our family of four (2 girls aged 6 and 8 years) had the Umegae room on the top floor, which is like...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank antandshireen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Kyoto is already an amazing town to visit, but topping it off by staying in a traditional Ryokan in the Gion district truly helps set your mind for a fantastic experience.

Shiraume is a short walk from shops, temples, and trains. At first when my wife booked it I was a little skeptical after looking at it on Google Earth Street-View. It looked like it was going to be busy and noisy, but it is quite the opposite. Because it is literally on a heritage-listed alley, the only noise you hear is the sound of cameras shuttering and the creek right outside your window.

We got to stay in the best room of the Shiraume which is up some very steep narrow stairs, and it was simply paradise inside. Our own indoor balcony to view the internal garden below, as well as our outdoor balcony where we could watch the Geisha's walk by in the evening.

The meals were fantastic, we had Japanese breakfast on two of the mornings but decided to see what the owners thought a Western breakfast was on the other. It ended up to be a whole heap of rolls, far too many different types of rolls for two people! Not really a complaint though, haha. The Japanese breakfasts were as authentic as they come, the mountain vegetables were simply delicious and I only wish they were easy to grow/harvest in Australia but they are not available here. The Japanese still source them wildly from the hills of Kyoto and dry them out on their driveways!

Whenever we arrived back at our room we were greeted and asked if we wanted tea. They provided us with some traditional Japanese snacks throughout the day as well. It was a conundrum of having to leave heaven to see the most peaceful town in the world.

They were extremely hospitable for a B&B. On one of the days we took the train to Osaka (30 minutes only) and didn't get back until almost midnight. This was fine. Our only trouble we had was at check-in when we arrived there far too early (damn train from Tokyo is WAY too fast!), but it wasn't an issue, it was more a language-barrier difficulty as we just wanted to leave our suitcases in the lobby and go wander around Kyoto for a couple of hours.

If you want the authentic traditional Japanese experience, this is it.

Room Tip: The room upstairs would definitely be the nicest.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Putnum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilversum
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Shiraume is a charming ryokan, right in the old geisha district of Kyoto. There is a little river that runs right by it, and old cobblestone streets lead to it. It is surrounded by beautiful old wooden houses. Our family stayed there for two nights, and we all absolutely loved it! Our two daughters loved the kimono's we got to put on, and the toe socks provided were a constant source of amusement. One night we had the traditional kaiseki dinner in our room. Each course was beautiful and delicious, and had obviously been prepared with a lot of effort and eye for detail. The breakfast was served in our rooms as well, and both the japanese and western versions were delicious and beautifully served and presented. The rooms we had were beautifully furnished, we had the family apartment, which consist of two rooms which get turned into bedrooms at night, a large bathroom with a large cypress bath, a separate toilet, and all facilities you could ask for, like wifi, flatscreen tv, robes and pyamas provided. You can also book the ryokans cypress bathroom with extra large bath. You can enjoy that with two people to get a real feel for the traditional japanese bath ritual. Tomoko explained to us how to do this, and my daughter was delighted with it, she felt like a real japanese girl! The owner Tomoko clearly loves what she does: she is so welcoming, and she made us feel like we were the only guests staying at the ryokan. When you do go visit Kyoto, try and stay at Shiraume, it will give a you impression of japanese culture and cuisine!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Shiraume is an absolutely amazing ryokan, it was by far the best night we had our entire trip in Japan. Everything was perfect!

We stayed in the Umekoyomi room with a beautiful view of the river. To reach our room we were escorted through tiny hallways and secret gardens, they actually gave us a map. The room consisted of one tiny welcoming room, a bathroom with a room for the toilet and another for the wooden bath, then one large main room. The view of the river was surreal, everything just looked like it was out of a movie. While you could sometimes hear people outside ( probably admiring how beautiful Shiraume was ) it wasn't that bad, from time to time we could actually hear geishas that were upstairs playing a shamisen!

We choose to take our kaiseki dinner in our room. It was the most delicious and authentic food we had during our trip. Every dish that came out was literally some of the most beautiful food I have ever seen, you could tell so much care and detail was placed into everything.

After our dinner and a walk around the area we booked one of the shared wooden baths, it was an experience that you shouldn't miss if you stay here. When we were finished our room had been cleared and our super comfy beds had been set up for us.

The next morning we choose to eat a traditional Japanese breakfast in the dining area. The breakfast was delicious and huge which was really nice for the action packed day we had planned. The dining room also overlooked the river but had a privacy panel that blocked views from the foot traffic outside.

I think what really helped make this the best experience was the staff was super friendly and the owner went out of her way to make us feel comfortable, it felt as if we were the only people staying there. I couldn't thank her enough for the experience, I wish I could go back right now!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Frosterra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shiraume

Property: Shiraume
Address: Shirakawa-hotori, Shinbashi-dori, Gionmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Shiraume Hotel Kyoto

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