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“Great Ryokan!”
Review of Yuzuya Ryokan

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Yuzuya Ryokan
Ranked #91 of 374 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 1, 2013

This is an amazing Ryokan. The lobby is covered with Yuzus- everything is Yuzu themed. The hottub is amazing with the yuzus floating in it. The hot tup in your room is also worth it. The view from the bathroom while you sit in your tub is so so good. I kept my window open for the cold air to gush in as it can get hot with the water.
The Kaiseki meal which is served in the restaurant is divine and the courses are endless. A lot of the cuisine is yuzu themed and it is AMAZING. The presentation, the food - its takes a whole 2 hours to eat this meal and you dont feel like you have over eaten. It feels so right. I was on a high post the meal and went and oaked my self in the onsen.
Slept like a baby on the Futon... Its so comfortable an you can add another duvet which is in the cupboard to make it even more snug.
The rooms are quiet and good. The Ryokan did mess up a bit on my request for no view of parking lot.They landed up offering a view of the parking lot but turned out to be a minor niggle after all.
There was no noise of the parking lot anyway. You will not land up using the TV at all so don' even bother. You have to change into the robes they give you once you check in and you really moan once you have to check out and wear your jeans and shoes and face the world.
A very good experience. Once you step out you really wish you could stay in there forever.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank LuxeTravellerIndia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2013

Perfect Ryokan Experience: Check!

Look no further, we've found it. The search for the perfect Ryokan, with spectacular rooms, impeccable service, but most of all a truly outstanding dining experience, is over.  Having just checked out, we were simply awed by the experience of it all.  Set next to a famous Kyoto temple and about in our favorite area of Kyoto, the Yuzuya had us mesmerized fairly early into our one night stay.  The beautiful, minimalist decor with an abundance of subtle pleasant smells and beautiful wood was exactly what we were looking for after booking on Ctrip.com.  We were greeted by staff dressed impeccably in traditional attire, and in an instant the attendant had whisked my bulky bike box up some rather steep stairs into our room.  We arranged for a late dinner, and set out on one of our many Kyoto walks, this one required a cab from the hotel to a canal, but was absolutely worth it.  

We returned to what was hands down our favorite meal in Japan.  We'd eaten Kansai the night before and were unimpressed, so we headed in rather skeptical that a place that already had us as captives (food is included in the price of your room) would excel in any way.  How wrong we were.  Course after course of local or regional fresh specialties kept coming, with thorough explanation and abundant flavors.  The tofu hot pot course, miso/cheese sampler, and succulent fatty beef courses were among our favorites.  We've been lucky enough to have eaten in some very high end, sought-after restaurants before and we can easily say that this experience was right up there as among our favorites.

After dinner, we set out on a walk to try and find an ATM for our early bus to the airport and were unable to find one that accepted foreign cards, or ATMs that worked at all.. After coming back to the hotel , the staff, on their way out, brainstormed and rather than send us on a wild goose chase, elected to charge our credit card and give us cash.  I offered to pay the 3% merchant charge they no doubt faced but they insisted against it.  Above and beyond...

Feeling mighty relived that our one and only job was over, we retired to their sauna room, which was glorious. Picture a giant wood tub, filled with limes (they like limes a lot at Yuzuya), pouring a constant flow of hot water.  I know it sounds weird but it was so, so refreshing and make sure you take a sit down shower in the sauna as well, kind of amazing.

The room had the beds laid out on the tatami mats, which were comfortable and we slept soundly.  The only issue with this place is that their SUPER fast wifi is only available in the lobby area.  If they extended it to the rooms, the hotel would get an 11.

We don't often say we'll go back to a place, let alone a hotel after we've been there but I am fairly certain we will get back to the Yuzuya. 

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank iamthecoley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

What can I say?

Let me start by advising that i am a very frequent business and leisure traveller.

Certainly the ryokan is 'peaceful', 'tranquil' and 'traditional'. I guess I stayed here for the same reason most people do - they are looking for an authentic experience, however I can honestly say that unless you want your experience to involve being fleeced with extortionate prices and receiving very little in return, you should look elsewhere.

The small lobby is quite attractive, with a nice view of a typical Japanese indoor garden and small waterfall, however the rooms are tiny, spartan bare and whilst traditional are uncomfortable and impractical. The fit out cost for the room was probably paid for by one month's occupancy as so little was actually in there. I was obviously expecting traditional decor, but to not even have one comfortable piece of furniture to relax after a day's walking, or even a comfortable common area isn't acceptable for the prices that are being charged.

A Japanese friend of mine told me that in Japan high prices usually run in tandem with high quality and service - I.e you get what you pay for. This seems to run true in other aspects of japan, but did not seem to be the case here. The service was no better or worse than any boutique hotel and certainly not worthy of $600 per night when so little in other amenities are on offer.

Now onto the food - i was hoping that this would make the experience something to remember, as Kyoto is known for great food in Japan. The food was really quite uninspiring and unexciting. The quality of the food was acceptable, but there were no courses that I would want to eat again and none that jump out at me when writing this a day later. Therefore we come back to the cost - $125 per head for average food - terrible value for money. We booked half board and the experience of the first night was enough for me to ask the manager for a refund on the second night's food in order for us to select a restaurant outside to eat. Initially they refused to do this, however after I had returned in the evening (around 6pm) they had agreed to refund the money for the second dinner.

Would I recommend this Ryokan? - absolutely not and only maybe if they halved the price of everything, and maybe then it may still be too much. However, I feel that you can get the same experience elsewhere at a place the fraction of the price, and save the money for some truly excellent meals in Kyoto.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

I planned my trip to Japan with a first stay in Kyoto in order to get the historic side of the country before hitting Tokyo. And Yuzua was perfectly introducing me, in a smooth way. Located on the border of the busy Gion and next to a shrine with a parc, very good starting point to reach all the things to be seen in Kyoto. Once you are inside, you forget anything else. The house is in traditional japanese style, all made in wood, with a central little garden, like a light well. Rooms are in the first floor, tatamis on the floor and you sleep on a futon. You have always what to make tea, the japanese way in a wooden box with all accessories. The bathroom is typically japanese also, first you shower on a stool and then you enjoy your bath in a wooden bathtub. Once you put on the yukata, the vest and the socks, you just feel....well. And I did it the japanese way, dressing up normal only when going outside. Which means wearing it for dinner like you see your japanese neighbors doing it or for breakfast in the morning. Dinner : I had the full dinner on my second night, and it was amazing, gastronomic and far away from the usual things you will eat the rest of the time somewhere else. And each dish was explained once served. Like everybody, I also had the japanese breakfast the first morning. Again, surprising in its detailed quality. But for the rest of my stay I chosed the continental breakfast, special remark for the bread stuffed with chestnuts and the top of it : the home made yuzua jam. And sorry to say Fortunateson, you never had a real croissant, even in Paris. Another highlight of the house : the public bath, and not onsen like everybody calls it (onsen is a hot spring, generally located outside), where you get rid of your hours of touristic walking, floating with the yuzua limes.
All the staff is constantly nice and ready to help you in any way, very professionally managed by my good fairy as I finally called her. She seems to be very distant in the first place but finally you discover such a nice person who is taking care about the tiniest detail to help you.
I spent 5 nights there and the place absolutely matched what I expected to find. Simply have a look at the pictures of Yuzua Ryokan, the reality is the same.

Room Tip: only 8 rooms, no difference,
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Claude G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

When going to Japan, you simply have to stay in a Ryokan, and this one was great. Although you walk in from the extremely busy street, once you're inside, you're in an oasis of calm.

The dinner was interesting - ate things I wouldn't have eaten otherwise. Very glad I opted for the continental breakfast, as fish for breakfast isn't my thing!

I can understand reviewers who say they expected more. However, to my mind, the experience was worth it. It was the night of my birthday, which is why my boyfriend and I decided to splash out,

It's definitely an expensive choice, but for one night in Kyoto - I'd recommend it as an experience!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GemGib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

Admittedly, don't have any similar properties or experiences to compare with. However, based on copious research and reviews, expected to walk into 19th Century Kyoto upon entering and, though the property and the onsen are traditional and, aside from the owner/manager (who seemed to be just going thru the motions), the service sweet and gracious, well it just didn't deliver the experience I expected for the cost. This was our first trip to Kyoto and my lovely wife's desire was for the traditional Kyoto style so I bit the bullet and booked this property after considering several. We got the traditional stay but understand that this is an extremely expensive option which does not include dinner and whose charm is compromised the minute you walk out the door onto a major Kyoto thoroughfare. Breakfast (included) was great first day(I opted for western style it came with a croissant which would have been the pride of any Paris bakery) but the 2nd day the bkfst came with what seemed to be a Pillsbury crescent roll instead - atrocious for the level and cost of this ryokan. Similar inconsistency for my wife's Japanese breakfast option. On positive note, staff very gracious and helpful - made best efforts to direct us to obscure locations- and the bkfst room is quiet and lovely. Definitely loved Gion and proximity to the back alleys and old city also a plus. Hope to visit again soon but will look for other accommodations and think that it is possible to find better value for at least equal experience.

Room Tip: Request a room at the back away from the street. Some rooms also have a traditional wood tub but not...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Fortunateson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

This was the most expensive ryokan we stayed at during our travel to Japan - almost 600 euro per night - which delivered on location (close to major sites), interior, and food. It does have a few luxurious details: the yuzu theme (soaps, refreshments, decoration) and the modern glass design meets traditional decoration with beautiful decorative details. The food was excellent, with the quality of breakfast at par with that of dinner.

However, there was one MAJOR drawback. The restaurant where they serve dinner is open to guests from outside the ryokan and our dinner was rather disturbed by a group of tipsy Japanese men who were having a very loud interaction. Japanese men have very strong voices, and if you've been to Japan you'd know that their society is very focused on not making too much noise in public, so that loudness was very much out of place while we were trying to enjoy the relaxing dinner as it's meant to be. Maybe we had bad luck with those men being there, but when you pay that much money for one night (and dinner is the main highlight of your stay of course) this kind of unpleasant things shouldn't be happening. I find such a situation unacceptable for a ryokan of such price range, and I didn't notice the ryokan assistants say anything to the men. In general, a ryokan that expensive could be serving dinner in the rooms, to begin with, or at least not have the restaurant open to the public from outside.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 Yuzuya Ryokan

Address: 545 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0074, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#26 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
#26 Luxury Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range: $325 - $822 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Yuzuya Ryokan 5*
Number of rooms: 9
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Also Known As:
Yuzuya Ryokan Hotel Kyoto

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