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All reviews kaiseki dinner public bath one night room attendant ryokan experience traditional experience tea service traditional breakfast traditional bath traditional ryokan multi course sukiyaki rooms are large futon bed japanese cuisine western style hotel location was perfect
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Reviewed February 13, 2013

Great service, arrived early but the staff fixed up the room for us. Bags were taken to the room and we were given an informative run down of events and amenities at the hotel. Great room on the fourth floor, huge size. Afternoon tea and sweets were served in the room by an attentive member of staff who took the time to explain what she was serving. She waited until we went out for dinner before making up the beds. She phoned in the morning and cleared away the beds and set up the room for breakfast. There was free WiFi in the lobby. With only a handful of rooms the hotel was so peaceful. Pricey but well worth it.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PJ343
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

I was worried about the price...not cheap and I thought, "ok why is this so much more than others?" As a friend who lives in Tokyo said..."In other countries sometimes more expensive doesn't necessarily mean better food or service. In Japan it definitely translates to getting better of both". Service and meal were beyond and for a traditional experience it was an amazing experience well worth the high price-tag for a few reasons. Service, food, and location.

The room was gorgeous in its simplicity. And it was centrally located in Gion so there were many places to walk, run, and site-see. Very close to the subway line as well.

Service was wonderful and the food, so plentiful, varied, delicate, and gorgeously presented. A foodie treat probably best not wasted on children, or travelers who are not adventurous eaters. They do get raw, local, and a bit esoteric. There are ryokans w/o food so if just the traditional sleeping experience is what you are looking for this isn't the place. Very nice wood tub in the private bath and the communal tub.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jnsnsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

The quality of this establishment is excellent! Nice with your own servant preparing breakfast and dinner at your chosen time. Good bath in the basement to rewind and cleanse. No wifi in room which underlines this to be a place where you calm down. Wifi in reception although. Very personal and calm with sitting area and view over the temple park. Short stroll to downtown Kyoto.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank MorDet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

We stayed here with our 20 year old granddaughter, for whom this was the first trip to Japan, and this was a delightful way for her to experience the best of this gracious reminder of old Kyoto and its hospitality. Our room, all tatami, was spacious and beautifully appointed, and the ofuro (separate for men and women on the lowest level of the inn) was great! We had our traditional Japanese breakfast in the room on our second and last morning, served with great grace by our lovely attendant, but we dined out at night --- at places that were less expensive but excellent in their own right. For an old Kyoto experience in the traditional Gion area, this is the place to stay!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank jop2map
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

We stayed at the Gion Hatanaka for 2 nights on the recommendation of a US-based friend who had stayed there a few years prior when he travelled to Kyoto.

When we made the reservation, we were taken aback by how expensive the ryokan was, but we were assured by our friend that the vast expense would be justified by the experience and the meal service. Overall, I'd agree that it was a reasonable value for the expense, but it's more than I would typically want to spend for accommodation so it's just more of a splurge, as even the cost of the room without room service was significantly greater than local 4-star hotels. The cost of the meal service was comparable to local high end restaurants.

When we arrived at Kyoto station, we showed the taxi driver the address of the ryokan and he shook his head as if he didn't know where to go, but when we said Gion Hatanaka, he nodded vigorously. Apparently this ryokan is extremely well known and everyone in the city knows about it.

We arrived about 20 minutes before checkin, but they were able to accommodate us early. I'm not sure they would have let us in if we had been even an hour early, though, as no other Japanese hotels allowed early check-in so we think it was quite an accomodation they made for us in this case.

I was surprised at how modern the facility was, given that it was billed as a "traditional ryokan", but I'm not complaining.

Pros: The ground floor room we stayed in was beautiful, large, and well-stocked with minibar, bathroom amenities, and traditional attire. We had a sunroom with a small table, 2 chairs, and minibar area which also doubled as our bathroom sink area. The closet had our bathhouse essentials, as well as our lounge wear for when we ate dinner in our room. The living room had a table and a couple chairs in the corner and our bed mats were in the middle of the floor. The mats get cleaned up during the day so that we can eat in our room.
Our room had A/C and the best way to maximize its efficiency is to keep all the various room doors closed to stop the air from escaping.
The bathroom was actually two separate rooms - in one small room was the toilet and a sink, in the other room was a private wooden bathtub and a shower station. The water pressure on the shower was fantastic. Toiletries were provided.
The public bathhouse was in the basement floor of the ryokan and was extremely beautiful. I spent only half an hour down there, but it was an awesome spa-like experience, complete with a giant picture window facing a garden area (not accessible to prying eyes, of course).
We signed up to have breakfast and dinner on one of our two nights at the ryokan. We knew we were signing up for an "authentic" Japanese meal experience and were prepared for some unusual dishes. What we received exceeded our expectations. The food was beautifully presented, deliciously prepared, and extremely diverse and authentic. We didn't walk away from the table hungry...or disappointed!
We were very conveniently located next to the Yasuka Shrine and within close walking distance of bus stops to other parts of town. The Gion district has lots of great shops to walk around and peruse.

Cons: The Wi-fi was available only in the lobby...and even then, it was limited. Of the two evenings we spent there, we couldn't get internet access from the lobby on one of those nights.
The floor beds were not as comfortable as regular beds of course, but after the first night, I didn't have any trouble sleeping on them. My husband did not sleep well either night, though. We did find the single pillow each of us got to be insufficient as well.

We enjoyed our stay at Gion Hatanaka and would recommend it to friends as a special short-stay experience but would not suggest they stay there long term in lieu of a regular hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank tvnewseditor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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