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All reviews kaiseki dinner public bath one night room assistant kyoto cuisine ryokan experience traditional experience traditional breakfast traditional ryokan tea service traditional bath sitting area shabu shabu multi course highlight of our trip excellent ryokan spoke english
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Reviewed November 14, 2013

The Ryokan is beautiful, the rooms were comfortable and the public bath was really good. Service was also really good. The Kaiseki meal and breakfast we had at the Ryokan were both excellent as well. The location is also, in my opinion, one of the best in Kyoto. Right in the middle of Gion, next to plenty of temples and shrines; good food, shopping and sightseeing all in one. Please note however that this Ryokan is quite expensive and its something that should be factored in if you're deciding on whether to stay here.

Date of stay: November 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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1  Thank 555_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We stayed at the Gion Hatanaka with another family in early Oct. (each family had two adults, a 13 and 11 yr. old) and really enjoyed it. The service was fantastic. Megumi met us at the door and remembered everything about our reservation including some food allergies. We were able to leave our luggage early.
Our rooms were clean, quiet, lovely and spacious. The futons were comfortable. We are a tall group (my husband is 6'8"/200 cm) and we fit just fine. Since we were eight people, we ate dinner and breakfast in the banquet room. I don't remember her name, but the same employee checked up in and served all of our meals - she was delightful.
The bath was lovely and featured high quality shampoo and conditioner. Strong wifi was available in the lobby for free. The location was excellent - in the middle of Gion.

Date of stay: October 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank travelfan26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

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.

Date of stay: October 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Banana_abroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We are so happy to have chosen this ryokan as our first ryokan experience. As we had expected, the Japanese hospitality was always attentive and impeccable, spotlessly clean in the room, toilet, communal bath etc. Their staff is very helpful and articulate in English that makes life so much easier for foreigners looking for advice in food, transport and tours. If you are looking to stay in the Gion district, where the geisha and maiko are traditionally bred, cultured and trained, this location is perfect. We loved walking and exploring hidden alleyways leading to beautiful private gardens and inns, and occasionally spotting maikos in their full regalia walking around so gracefully and elegantly. Top marks for a 2 night stay. Reliable wi-fi service in the lobby area.

Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank CarolineLim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

I booked this ryokan for my trip with friends to Japan because we wanted to experience Japanese culture at least once. At about 25,200 yen pp per night, we had 4 people in one room on the top floor and with plenty of space to move around despite having two very tall guys with us. Our room looked out to greenery and it was peaceful area. There was barely any noise coming into the room from outside or inside the ryokan. It looks very traditional and blended in with Yasaka Shrine just beside it, literally.

Service was excellent, very polite and helpful. If you do not speak Japanese, it still should not be too much of a problem. The ryokan provided a set of booklets etc upon arrival that teaches you how to use the bath etc and information on the ryokan. We walked around the ryokan ourselves to explore and saw a nice small garden and the bath area looked out to a garden outside although view was limited due to the condensation on the window. Nevertheless, the bath was wooden and interiors were Japanese style yet classy and clean. The area to pre cleanse was large and it did not feel awkward at all for us throughout the entire experience. Toiletries were all provided and shampoos and conditioner were lovely to use. Apparently, it is the largest bath in Kyoto. If you're looking for a real onsen experience, you would have to head out because most hotels in the city do not have access to real spring water.

We bought the breakfast and dinner package as well and were served some interesting dishes! I would not say it is challenging to eat as most of them were made from commonly used ingredients around Asia, but they were interesting in the way the chef used them and hence the food had pleasant and delightfully new tastes. Presentation was lovely and the lady who served us would explain to us what we have on our table. The small samplers filled us to the brim despite their serving size!

Sleep quality was excellent as well. Futon was so comfortable my friend almost wanted to buy a set home so she could relive the experience. Other than that, there was nothing we could complain about and can see ourselves coming back again for something simple like a time of relaxation and reflection or something more exciting like some pampering and living and breathing the atmosphere in Gion.

Warning though, this is traditional styled inn but it is expensive and I would expect they have to provide guests with a exquisite experience. Hence some features are modern like the toilets and glass windows etc. So if you're looking for something 100% traditional as though you're out in the mountains by the lake etc, this is not the inn for you. If you are looking for comfort, quality and still experience what a real ryokan stay is like, this would be suitable for you.

Room tip: Very private place so I reckon any room would be quiet yet easy to get around.
Date of stay: August 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Thank krayfi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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