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Review of Kyoto Yoshimizu

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Kyoto Yoshimizu
Ranked #109 of 405 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 15, 2012

Both of us enjoyed our stay at Kyoto Yoshimizu.

The location was a little of a headache initially as we had large luggages/backpacks. However this was resolved by getting there by taxi (as recommended on the ryokan website). Later on, the ryokan staff also helped call for a taxi at no extra charge.

All that remains about the location is walking through Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park to get to the ryokan. Again, I was proven wrong as the walks were very enjoyable and were a nice change from your usual hotels that are located in concrete jungles. It definitely helped that the cherry blossoms at Maruyama Park were in full bloom during our stay.

I have to really commend the ryokan owner (a man with long centre-parted hair). It was raining very heavily on our first day at the ryokan. When we came back from our adventure on the ryokan's bicycles, we were immediately invited to take a bath even though the common baths were not open for use yet (from 5 - 11.30pm).

Later on at night, when I went to get some advice from the owner, I saw him personally using a dryer and newspapers to dry everyone's shoes. Every single pair of shoes had newspaper stuffed in them. I was absolutely impressed with that. I am sure everyone ended up with almost dry shoes the next morning.

Do keep in mind that the 'continental breakfast' simply means a semi-boiled egg, bread which you can toast yourself and some tasty soup. The portion was a little small.

Please also note that the rooms cannot be locked so you will just have to trust the system there. It is a nice and cosy ryokan where the service staff and owner are on top of things all the time.

All in all, it was a very pleasant stay. Easily the ryokan with the most character which we stayed in.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank richiemccaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 - 99 of 136 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2012

it's a bit quirky if you haven't experienced a traditional japanese inn before. you make your own bed up and bathing times are regimented. this just adds to the experience. wonderful staff - helpful, friendly and knowledgable of local restaurants and sights - complement this amazing stay. the location, on top of the hill is great if you don't mind the walk but taxis are cheap and plentiful.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank chrrul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

First the bad news - yes it is about a gentle 15 minute walk from the very bottom of the hill (from on the street in front of the first shrine gate, to the front door) It is only 15 mins (I timed it one day) and it can be a little bit tiring if you've had a long day. However, I am fifty and never found it too much, and was there five nights. The walk is through a park and temple complex and I can tell you it is a very interesting walk to make.

What the walk gets you. Absolute serenity in a beautiful natural setting, with a pair of racoons if you are lucky enough to spot them! The ryokan is great, with good facilities (although no coin laundry). The breakfast is very nice and the staff are incredibly helpful and all speak english reasonably well.

My room was good - very clean and tidy with a lovely view out onto the bambooo grove behind the ryokan. The ryokan IS quiet, peacful and relaxing, which is what the traditonal ryokans are intended to be. The walk down the hill takes you to the end of one of the main streets for Kyoto, and about 2 minutes from the Gion area, which is fascinating. It is about a 15 min walk to the nearest railway station too.

Room Tip: They do have a room with two western-style single beds, which is an option if your back just can'...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank Alistair S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

High on the forested hillside above Yasaka shrine and Maruyama park, Yoshimizu is a peaceful traditional ryokan in a 100-year-old former Buddhist monks' residence. Simple natural materials are used throughout, from tatami mats on the floor to woven bamboo on the ceilings.Sheets and blankets are of fine organic cotton. For those who don't want to sleep on the floor on a soft futon that is put away during the day, there is a room with raised beds. Some rooms overlook a beautiful raked-sand garden with a venerable cherry tree and red maples. Guests enjoy breakfast and each others' company in a pleasant common area with a woodstove. In the evening, there is the great luxury of a deep hot Japanese bath in which one can float in privacy. Discreet use of modern amenities is capped by heated toilet seats. The staff members are unfailingly kind and helpful. Many shrines and temples in the wooded Higashayama hillside are within easy walking distance. Staying here is such a pleasant experience that one would like to return again and again.

Room Tip: I loved my room on the second floor overlooking the garden.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank sevadar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

We had a great stay recently at Ryokan Yoshimizu, recommended to us by an ex-pat friend living in Osaka. The proximity to Kyoto's eastern sites simply cannot be beat. And the hospitality put forth by the helpful staff was an added bonus.

We were allowed an early check-in, and our bags were kept nearly the entire day when we checked out. Even better, one of our hosts recommended a restaurant in Gion where we had the best meal of our entire trip to Japan. I've not found it on Tripadvisor, but the English translation name of the restaurant is Ippei-Cha-Ya, and is located near the Kabuki theater near to the river.

To echo an earlier review, do not expect a luxury Ryokan. You do have to make up your own bedding, and yes the walls are thin, as they are tatami mat rooms with sliding doors. There were, however, no guests opposite ours during our stay, so I suppose we lucked out. One constructive critical point I might make would be to replace some of the old and worn bedding, particularly the sheets. But other than that, no complaints. I would suggest arriving by taxi, as the inn is about as high into the park as one can go.

All in all, an all-too-memorable trip to Kyoto and Ryokan Yoshimizu.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank darkling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

I love this place. This was my second visit in a few years and was welcomed back warmly. It is located at the back of Maruyama Park & the Yasuda Shrine in Gion. it is very very convenient for Gion, central Kyoto shopping, the eastern temples and experiencing a traditional ryokan.
A forewarning - if you do not like thin walls/sleeping on tatami/hearing all the sounds of nature early in the morning/making your own bed- then it is probably not for you.

If you like to experience the traditional baths of Japanese guesthouses and relax in a wonderfully peaceful location it is perfect. I almost don't want to recommend as it feels like a Special Place to Stay.
Yoshimizu enabled me to see again all the temples of Kyoto in my weekend stay. I thoroughly recommend hiring a bike Y1000 per day from the shop about a 10 min walk away on the main street. It may be helpful to ask the staff to write down what you want to hire, as the shop does not speak English. I have been able on both occasions to cycle to Ginkaju-ji and the Philosophers Walk as well as Kinkaju-ji and the Northern side. It is also walking distance to the Yasoda Pagoda and the craft shops of that area. it can be easy to get lost on the bike, but it is also fun to discover the backstreets of Kyoto.

The baths are open until 23h and there is also a curfew at this time. There is a clear policy on baths but this is written in the handbook in each room. Only showers in the morning, baths (incuding showers 7-11) at night. Staff speak a little English so it does help if you speak some Japanese. There are some guide books in English in the library and the staff have maps for buses/trains and sightseeing. Breakfast is simple, but has improved since my first stay and now includes scrambled egg and fruit. Wifi is free and there is a laptop for guests to use in the evenings.

Taxis from the station cost around Y1,200 and take about 20mins. In daylight it is easier to find once you have been there first. Otherwise, take the 206bus to Gion and walk up through the park - which at night has the shrine lit up - until you hit the top near the cemetery. I don't think it is an arduous walk back from the main drag as some reviews have commented. The Ryokan is very centrally located compared to some of the bland hotels in Kyoto.

I would also recommend the okonomiyaki shop on the basement on the main drag to the left of the main park entrance. I think it is called "Beat Up" but the food is awesome - large portions - which are great after a days cycling and a lot less fussy than Gion.

Room Tip: Ground floor tatami
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank NiaNat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2010

We had a lovely evening here and would definitely recommend. The roykan has lots of character and is a calm retreat after a hectic day of lots of sight seeing. We arrived in the dark which is a bit daunting to navigate and i would recommend arriving via taxi after dark rather than walking through the park although i:m sure it was very safe. In the daylight you can really appreciate the venue and area and many shrines. The host is very helpful and kind and made a nice breakfast for us. The Inn also has an indoor onsen which was nice to use together in private rather than public baths where you are segregated. This Inn was expensive for us as sterling very weak however it was worth splashing out for one night for a real japan experience and a truely restful treat.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LPreece
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kyoto Yoshimizu

Address: Bentendoue, Maruyama Koen | Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0071, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #109 of 405 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Price Range: $89 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kyoto Yoshimizu 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We do not have laundry service. ... more   less 
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