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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 December 7, 2009

We stayed at the Hatanaka for two nights, first of all the try a Roykan and to try the famous Kaiseki dinner. This was quite an amazing experince, where you changed close into some kind of comfortable clothing (I don't know the name) and from there the service started with tee, cakes and so on. Service was excellent and the food was quite some thing. The presentation of the food was so beautifull and quite in tune with the collors of the fall. At night time our room was prepared for sleeping, which ment taking out some madrasses, which was layed out on the floor - after two nights, we looked really forward to come back to a normal bed.
The Roykan was situated excelently in the middle of Gion, where we could walk to most of the cultural attracktions of Kyoto.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Buffe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2009

My wife and I stayed at the Gion Hatanaka earlier this November and had one of the most remarkable experiences we had ever had. We checked in early and left our bags with the front desk to take a walk around Kyoto- the Hatanaka is in a great location, in front of the Yasaka Shrine and a pleasant distance away from Kiyomizudera temple as well as other sights. When we came back to the inn our bags were in our room and we were greeted with a sweet and a cup of tea by our maid.
Everything from the thoughtful service to the fantastic Kaiseki dinner (included in the price and probably one of the best meals we'd ever had), to the modest but tasty breakfast was a delight. We stayed two nights and the Hatanaka was certainly a highlight of our weeklong trip to Japan. It should be noted, however, that this is very expensive ($350/ per person per night) but if you have the means to add even one night at the Hatanaka I would recommend it greatly.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Edstar55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2009

We wanted to stay at this ryokan partly because of the great reviews, but what sold us was the photos of the entrance on their website. It was really that beautiful in person. As you step from the front gate toward the lobby it was tranquil and inviting. Even our Kyoto friend who took us for check-in quipped how beautiful this ryokan was. It was steeped in Japanese tradition yet equipped with modern convenience, which was exactly what we were looking for. After checking-in we were promptly escorted to our room which was at the back of the property on the second floor. Our room was very spacious, with sitting area and nice size separate bathroom/toilet/vanity area. Very comfortable. The young lady then explained all the necessary details about the room. They also provided a set of lounging wear for each person, which you can wear also outside of your room.

Great amenities included hair dryer, shaving lotions and soaps, cotton pads/qtips, toothbrushes, even a hair clip. Bathroom had bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. In the closet area, they also provided items for onsen use and bathing scrubs that they called body towels. Use these like bath sponge would make your skin smooth afterward. In the sitting area, there were selections of coffees, teas (free) and a mini bar. A thermos full of hot water was readily available. There were also a welcome sweet.

We then left for dinner in Teramachi area. After dinner and a quick souvenir shopping we walked back to the ryokan, which was a very nice one. The walk included crossing the bridge of Kamo River and saw people sitting around the river bank. Then passing through a whole street long of shops. Upon returning to our room, our beds were made and a pair of yukatas were also provided. The futon beds looked very inviting and very comfortable indeed with fluffy comforters. The room was also equipped with air conditioning.

The next morning, a young lady came to our room to prepare, 1/2 hour before our appointed breakfast time. We had requested the front desk to give us a morning call to make sure we were awake before the young lady came into the room, which they did right on the dot. The young lady put our beds away and set up our breakfast. It was extensive, with attention to details and a lot of food. Menu included boiled tofu w/mushrooms, grilled fugu and salmon, mixed root vegetable in broth, assorted pickles, eggs and a sweet Japanese tangerine. It was so delicious, I am still thinking about it. After breakfast, there was a tray of plum tea with assorted sweet pickles. At this time, we were in the sitting area, savoring the moments and reading the morning paper. Then when we thought it was all done, we were served a traditional matcha and a red bean sweet, plus a paper souvenir and hot towels. It was such a great icing on the cake.

When we left the ryokan, the same young lady who took care of us in the morning escorted us out up to the front gate and didn't leave until we were out of sight.

This ryokan is in great, but quiet location. Right next to Yasaka Shrine, minutes of walking to Kiyomizu Temple, Sannenzaka & Ninnenzaka paths, Kodaiji and all the charming little streets, shops, restaurants, museums in between. Also a walking distance to the shopping area where the big dept. stores are. Subway station is also about 7 mins walk. Buy the 500 yen bus pass for the day and you can travel pretty much to the major shrines/temples. However, don't miss the Fushimi-Inari shrine with its thousands torii gates. A little out of the way and must go by subway, but it's definitely worth it.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank vacay2vacay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2009

LOVED THIS RYOKAN! Service is amazing, breakfast and dinner is served in the room. The true traditional Japanese way. AMAZING. I drool just thinking about it. They change the dinner settings to bed settings, its modern so you get air mattress instead of the wooden floor. It was so peaceful, we were always whispering. The hot tub is not my thing but very peaceful. The ryokan is in the heart of GION, very convenient. I only have amazing memories from this place.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank elim11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2009

I stayed here during a three-week trip through Japan. I shared a room with my husband and younger sister.

My stay here was wonderful. I cannot think of a place I’ve stayed with better service or better food. We arrived early and left our bags with the manager. After returning from an outing in Kyoto, we were introduced to our hostess, Hiromi, who showed us our room and explained what to expect. She greeted us with a tea service which included sweet green tea and cookies.

Our dinner was phenomenal. We braced ourselves for some out of the ordinary foods, but we loved everything. We weren’t so big on the small pickled dishes, but this is a Kyoto specialty worth trying. I had what I believed to be the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. My sister had the best cherry tomato ever. The sashimi and grilled fish dishes were superb. You get the picture. The food is amazing. While we loved the excellent service and lovely décor of Gion Hatanaka, the food alone is worth the price of admission.

Hiromi explained each dish to us and seemed amused about how overwhelmed we were with the sheer amount of food we were given. We skipped lunch all three days we stayed here because the breakfasts and dinners were more than enough to keep us satisfied. On our last night, they really stuffed us full. Hiromi helped us preparing our shabu shabu, a dish we hadn’t tried yet in Japan.

During our three-night stay, Hiromi took very good care of us. Owing mainly to her, we felt comfortable and very welcome at Gion Hatanaka. I can honestly say that it is a shame that they do not tip in Japan. We would have left her and the staff a sizable tip if it were acceptable to do so.

Gion Hatanaka’s location is ideal. It is within walking distance of the major shopping areas and sights, and the bus line to major tourist stops is nearby. It isn’t too close to the subway, but the bus is sufficient to get to most places.

The rooms are large with sitting areas. They include Japanese style bathrooms, a television (hidden away in the cabinet), and there were no issues with temperature control. In terms of the décor, it is traditional Japanese with the modern architecture and amenities available, but sort of hidden away.

Gion Hatanaka is pricey, but worth the splurge if you are going to stay in one expensive place in Kyoto (or all of Japan, for that matter). We stayed at a few ryokans (including Iwaso in Miyajima) and Gion Hatanaka had superior service and food.

Pros:
Phenomenal service
Outstanding food
Good location

Cons:
Given its central location, it doesn’t have the views other ryokans do.
Expensive – it might not be worth it for everyone, especially those with families.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank holidaybowl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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