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All reviewskaiseki dinnerpublic bathroom attendantone nightryokan experiencetraditional experiencetea servicetraditional breakfasttraditional bathtraditional ryokanmulti coursesukiyakirooms are largefuton bedjapanese cuisinewestern style hotellocation was perfect
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Reviewed February 19, 2011

My husband and I have just come back from a wonderful weekend in Kyoto at the beautiful ryokan, Hatanaka. Ideally located in the heart of Gion, we walked everywhere, even though it is mid-Winter. Although it wasn't as cheap as some ryokan in Kyoto we couldn't fault the place and experience. Staff were friendly and helpful with good English generally. We booked just the room and had the 5 course dinner in our room on one night. This was delicious and beautifully presented and our hostess was lovely. The courses came maybe a little too quickly. The onsen bath downstairs was also a lovely experience, especially for the uninitiated! For a romantic weekend, an indulgent break, highly recommended!

  • Stayed: February 2011
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1  Thank Floss71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2011

I went to this Ryokan with my American husband after Shinto wedding. The service was superb and we still dream going back to this Ryokan after a year of the stay. Their Kaiseki Dinner was not cheap, but yes, it was fully authentic and worth of paying the bill. The menu had a chef's name written along with all food in the dinner, and everything we ate was elaborate in appearance and tasted superb. The staff was always paying attention to our comfort. When we went to public bath and coming back, I went back to take the picture of the bath tub, then, a staff was waiting for me in the hallway - I think she thought I got lost. Lobby had nice small garden which mimicked a zen garden, where there was a wi-fi available. Japanese breakfast was amazing as well as the Kaiseki dinner. On the second night, we were giving a choice of either eating at room or going to the Maiko Show with dinner, so we went to the show and enjoyed watching the show as well as another great dinner. Room had a wooden bathroom, which had a Hinoki bath tub, and my husband with bad back did not complain about the futon bed on the tatami. I cannot believe they are not rated top 5 in Kyoto ryokan section (as of today.) This ryokan's Kaiseki dinner is worth a try even without staying overnight. Oh, the garden between buildings were beautifully taken care of, too. We still drool thinking about the excellent dinner... it is not cheap and not for people who are simply interested in saving money. It is worth for experiencing the real Japanese food and service.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank gl0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2010

I have very mixed feelings about the Gion Hatanaka, and I think it very unlikely I will want to stay at a Ryokan again. Though I accept the fault may be mine for not doing enough research, I had thought the Hatanaka was to be a much older historical establishment - so I was rather taken aback when we were taken in a modern elevator up to our room.

Certainly there is no cause for complaint about our very large double room - plus we had our own private shower and bath facilities which many rooms do not have. However, I'm sure it's quite fun not having your own bathroom and going for the more traditional Japanese experience of sharing a hot tub. And we also slept very well on the floor mattresses.

The adorable tiny little girl who took care of our room and served us breakfast will be remembered forever. She alone made the stay unique.

I appreciate many may think my main complaint petty, but I was irritated to have such a problem getting an internet connection. The Hatanaka claims to have Wi-Fi, but it simply did not work. I appreciate many people probably stay at this Ryokan for 1 or 2 nights so having an internet service isn't so important. However, we had a longer stay and really needed this facility.

The Maiko Dinner evening that was put on was great. In truth, if this floor show was put on elsehwere, and the room was full of Westerners, I'm not sure I would have believed I was witnessing genuine Maiko. But as the Hatanaka was 95% full of Japanese people I suspect they'd have cause for complaint if they felt the evening was flawed. So the evening was definitely the highlight of our stay.

I certainly feel the Gion Hatanaka is a very commercial enterprise. I think it was rather naff having a gift shop area in the foyer. But maybe this is to be expected in a place like Kyoto where there's a endless stream of tourists passing through for a night or 2. And like many, I think it way overpriced. You must remember you pay per person, not per room - this is common with many Ryokan.

The location is excellent - you are in Gion. And if your sole aim in Kyoto is to see Geiko (Geisha) then you stand a very good chance if you're out in the evening, around 6 to 8pm.
We certainly saw several Maiko and Geiko, and that was due to being able to leisurely just stroll around the area and wait for a chance encounter. Some nights you see them - some nights you don't. Don't be fooled by some girls who dress as Geiko who work for a local eaterie - you'll see them in the daytime. Genuine Geiko are not seen in all their regalia in the daytime.

All in all an interesting experience, but we were rather happy to leave and move to a Western style hotel. But if you're passing through Kyoto for a night of two then give somewhere like the Gion Hatanaka some consideration, especially due to its location. And even more so if you can be there for one of their Maiko Dinners.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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11  Thank Serial_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2010

When we arrive at the Hatanaka, the staff is friendly and welcoming. The room is great, spacious and bright. We thought we have to experience a ryokan stay if we are travelling in Japan for 2 weeks and we are glad to choose Hatanaka, Part of the reason, they host a Maiko show and dinner on site. The whole experience at the show and dinner was fantastic. It was thoroughly enjoyable and fun. The food was immaculately presented and scrumpious though the whole experience was quite costly. There is only one complaint, the pillows are not comfortable to sleep on. Other than that, we really enjoyed our stay at Hatanaka. The staff was standing on the footpath waving us goodbye as we drove off in the cab. They were exceptionally helpful.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Madaboutleo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2010

First of all Kyoto is a must do when you travel to Japan. We stayed in this Ryokan 3 nights (should have been 1) I am always in to other cultures so sleeping in a Ryokan was one of them. Service , Location , room it is all more than ok BUT NOT for Euro 450,-- a night !!!!!!! Sleeping on the floor for this kind of money is ridiculous !!!! So go here for 1 night take the Geiko dinner drink a lot of sake (you might not feel the ground) and close your eyes when you pay the next day !!!! Paid in The Ritz Carlton Tokio the same price which is really 5***** ++ hotel compared to this one Ryokan Hatanaka has 1 star. Conclusion very very expensieve nice experience.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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17  Thank Netherlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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