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“Smokey and pokey”
Review of Ryokan Kyoraku

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Ryokan Kyoraku
Ranked #132 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Queenstown, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
461 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 301 helpful votes
“Smokey and pokey”
Reviewed December 10, 2010

The great thing about the Kyoraku is the location. From there it is downhill. Rooms are tiny and with no amenity or facilities. Bathroom is a porta-loo of sorts. Beds firm, but ok, and th wireless is excellent. Owners make a big thing about no-smoking, but smoke infiltrated our non-smoking room each nite. Smoke in the hallways and in the office area, so they have a problem here. And to top it of the place is a bit pricy. Worst value for money on our 3 week Japan trip, but Kyoto is a bit disapointing that way. And was a bit noisy with other guests at nite. The day time curfew for cleaning was also a bit heavy.
Would recommend in terms of location to trains, but otherwise, look for something better.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Constant T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 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 (6)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2010

We stayed at Kyoraku for our 2 days trip to Kyoto. Arriving early at about 8am, the old lady who attended us was very nice about keeping our luggage prior to checking in at 3pm. The Ryokan felt rather homely and comfortable.

Location - 5 minutes walk from Kyoto main station, Ryokan was located on a small street slightly off from the main street, so it was good and quiet. Nearby there are a few eateries, restaurants and convenience stores, so it was perfect. If you like, you can just walk down to Kyoto station for all the available shopping and dining.

Room - had the twin room with private bathroom. As we are not big-sized people, the room was comfortable and just the right size. I believe for bigger sized people the size would sufficed as well. A pity that the air con heater wasn't working optimally, so it was rather cold at night, with the cold temperature outside. Private bathroom was equipped with amenities, soaps and shampoos, had no complaints about it. You have to lay out your own futon, but it was no trouble at all.

Facilities - there are public toilets and bath available on the 2nd level, and most of the times they are empty. Computer stations with internet are also available on the 1st and 3rd level. They have just started to provide wireless internet throughout the ryokan, so it just perfect for us since we needed it!

Price - a little pricey for us, but eventually it was quite worth it.

Overall - If the room was a little bit warmer, everything would have been perfect. Would definitely come back again if we go back to Kyoto!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Wiliam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2010

I reserved this inexpensive ryokan through the Welcome Inn system. My room was simple and clean. The staff didn't speak much English, but what do you expect at this price. The best thing about the hotel is that it is conveniently located about a five minute walk from Kyoto Station. No real complaints other than the coin dryer doesn't dry very well.

Please note in ryokans, you sleep on futons on tatami floors.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Paul7878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2010

I stayed here for two nights in late September, and was a little disappointed.

Although I only have limited experience of accommodation in Japan, I doubt this is really a "Ryokan" -- more a hostel for foreigners.

For example, the service is no-frills. Futon is just folded on the floor, and you have to lay it out yourself. The staff were not unfriendly, and they could communicate well, but service was very, very basic.

My impression was that they are catering to the Lonely Planet crowd -- aiming for cheap rooms, communal Internet access, and no frills. In addition my room was not up to the usual Japanese standards of cleanliness and repair: the paper shutters had a big coffee stain on them, and the walls were badly marked. That is fine -- the rooms were clean enough, and I'm not used to living in a palace, but I doubt a Japanese person would stay here (I didn't see any -- only foreign travellers/backpackers).

While the hybrid Japanese/Western no-frills hostel is no doubt a good business niche, and is popular, the price is too high for that.

Given the price point and the "Ryokan" in the name I expected something more.

The place next door is called the Hana "hybrid hostel", and seems to be cheaper and newer. Ultimately it seems to be more honestly positioned.

I wanted a ryokan experience while in Kyoto and didn't feel that I got it (yes, this might reflect more on me than Kyoraku). Maybe I should have just paid more.

Aside from the initial disappointment that I wasn't really in a ryokan, things were O.K. It was quiet and conveniently located, and the manageress cooked me up a nice Japanese breakfast (however I didn't get much choice as to the time).

It turned out there was wifi access in the room. However I didn't realise this until the second night: The access passwords are kept in slips next to the communal computers. Odd choice, as people who have their own devices and want to use wifi will be unlikely to use the communal (and busy) computers.

They have a lock-out from 10am-3pm. I felt this was a little over-bearing, as the rooms weren't commensurately clean. But they were up-front about it, and informed me upon booking, so I can't complain. However the whole place had a bit of an inflexible atmosphere. If you end up feeling sick and need to stay in during the day, I can't guarantee they wouldn't kick you out. Hopefully I'm wrong: fortunately I didn't have to test this.

Whoever cleaned my room was over-zealous in moving my things around too. I had left a pile of clean shirts folded on the tatami mat, and the cleaner had put them back into my suitcase. In addition they took my laptop, put it back into it's case and moved it and various other items to the table on the other side of the room. No big problem; I didn't get the feeling that they were going through my things, and they certainly were not stealing. However, it did cross the privacy line: it felt more like parents cleaning a child's room.

The room was O.K. The bathroom was small and basic but acceptable. The doors had big gaps under them: careless design. This would have been OK, but my room was next to the communal Internet computer on the 3rd floor, and people occasionally smoked there.

Ultimately, I came with a little gift to give to the owners, as a friend advised me that this was the "thing to do" when staying in family-run ryokans in Japan. However, in the end, I didn't give it away. Not because I was deeply dissatisfied, but more because this was just another no-frills hostel, and it just didn't feel appropriate for the service I had received.

Pros:
- Location is good, convenient for the station. Upon booking you get excellent directions
- The staff had enough English to communicate and were professional, albeit not very friendly
- Free Internet, including Wifi in the rooms (look around the communal computers for the password)

Cons:
- Not really a ryokan: No-frills room and service. As such, the price is too high.
- Clean enough but quite shabby
- The cleaner moved my belongings around just a bit too much
- Over-zealous lights-out and 10-3 lock-out felt like a youth hostel (but they were very honest and up-front about this)
- gaps under doors seem a bit careless, and people might smoke outside.

Verdict: I'd have no problem staying here again if other places were booked, but I would first try looking at either cheaper "hybrid hostels", or a more upmarket ryokan. Might be able to get one night in each for the same price as two nights in Kyoraku,

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wollongong
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2010

We stayed here for 3 nights. Of the three ryokan hotels that we stayed at during our time in Japan, this was the least impressive. Close to Kyoto station and numerous eating outlets. There are breakfast offerings that are cheaper and better between the hotel and the station. Our room on the western side of the hotel was incredibly hot on our return from sightseeing each day.
The entry door to the room and the ensuite door have a 5 cm gap at the bottom.
The highlight of our stay in Kyoto was a day trip to Nara and a walking tour with narawalk.com

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank crash955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2010

We stayed at this hotel for three nights when we were on our honeymoon. The Ryokan is ideally located just a five minute walk from Kyoto Station with rail and bus links. The Ryokan is modern but still retains the charm of a traditional inn with Japanese style rooms and hot spring baths. The Ryokan was scruptilously clean and the owner, with her motherly style, was very helpful when planning sightseeing days and booking restaurants. The owner provided guests with a Japanese breakfast at an additional charge. There is internet in the lobby and a lift to go up with heavy bags. The building was located in a quiet area and there was air conditioning in the room which helped with the heat. I would definitely stay here again if I visited Kyoto.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AliMaddo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyoto, Japan
2 reviews
Reviewed August 22, 2010

We stayed one night because other ryokans were full (hopefully we did not plan to stay there more) for one triple room and charge were 4600 yen per person. Far from nice ryokans we went to in Kyoto Kobe Osaka & Nara where you can have your own room + private bathroom under 4000y
The manager was in a hurry to show us our room. When checking out she refused to keep our luggage for the day more than 5 hours.
And yes it closes at 11pm at night. Got to go to bed early !

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Romano84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ryokan Kyoraku

Property: Ryokan Kyoraku
Address: 231 Kogawa-cho, Schichijo-agaru, Akezu-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8149, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shimogyo-ku
Hotel Style:
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Ryokan Kyoraku 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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Also Known As:
Ryokan Kyoraku Hotel Kyoto

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