Gion Hatanaka was a nice introduction to ryokans but didn't shine in terms of service or food. Having said that the rooms are lovely, it's in a convenient location and is definitely an experience.
The rooms were larger and quieter than I'd expected. We could not hear any other guests from our room (apparently this can be a problem with other ryokans), though the fridge was unusually noisy. The communal bath is lovely (though it's indoors, not outdoors) and it was great to have a nice deep cedar bath in the room too.
Having meals served in your room is a lovely experience, though our meal seemed a little rushed and, while visually stunning, was not as delicious as at restaurants (I guess to be expected). The breakfast and dinner are quite large and offer a good variety of food.
Gion Hatanaka is in a convenient location - close to the subway and a short taxi ride to Kyoto station.
Overall, the Gion Hatanaka was a lovely ryokan experience but the staff seemed less friendly and service-orientated than our other stays in Japan (spent over a month in Tokyo and Kyoto staying at international, Japanese and business hotels). It seemed the staff were a little tired of visitors - it was a peak time given China's Golden Week.More
- Free Wifi