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“Live like a Kyoto local” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Salon Haraguchi Tenseian

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Salon Haraguchi Tenseian
Ranked #45 of 352 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Live like a Kyoto local”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2012

This accommodation was exactly what we were looking for when travelling through Kyoto. Traditional decor, excellent locality and wonderful hosts. Perfect for stay for our family of 5, which includes 3 kids under 5.

When entering for the first time, you will immediately immerse yourself in a special ambience that could only be real old-style Japan. The old wooden floors, the steep staircase, the washitsu (traditional Japanese room with tatami flooring and shoji doors) and of course, Haraguchi Tenseian's pottery masterpieces give off the perfect feel that make you feel like a Japanese local, even if just for a few days.

And 'old-style' doesn't mean you have to forego the everyday comforts. Toilets are clean, there are western and Japanese tea facilities and the futons are cosy.

The ryokan is uniquely placed on top of a hill. Lots of greenery and beautiful traditional architecture all around. One of my favourite moments was opening the windows on a cold chilli morning to breathtaking views of our neighbourhood. Only short walking distances to tourist hotspots including one of the largest temple gates in Japan (simply amazing to see at night!).

Also, considering we had 3 kids to lug around, it was great that there were so many things to do locally over the 2 days we were there. So avoiding long trips on buses/trains was nice.

After a long night in town, the thought of walking uphill to the ryokan was dreadful (largely due to our tired children). However, catching a taxi back was relatively inexpensive... about $USD10 to travel from deep into town to the ryokan.

Probably the satisfying experience we received from this ryokan was meeting Mr and Mrs Haraguchi. They were extremely accommodating without being overbearing. Haraguchi Tenseian generously spent half an hour with us on the first night drawing a map of town on an A4 piece of paper. It may not have been as precise and polished as your typical tourist map handouts, but it was surprising accurate and easy to follow. A truly wonderful gift from Haraguchi.

If you're looking to experience Japan like a local, we highly recommend Salon Haraguchi Tenseian.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Leakypenguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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165 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    150
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Anahola
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2012

Thanks to all the people who sent reviews and convinced us to stay here. We were at the Kiiyomizu Tenseian for 3 days at the end of September, 2012. Everything that people mentioned about Mr. Haraguchi's warmth & hospitality, from taking us around to some temples, to giving us pointers on where to eat, were all true. It was reminiscent of the aloha spirit shown in Hawaii, where we come from. We loved the location, close to bus stops and Kiyomizudera Temple, one of our favorite sights, and my husband especially loved the neighborhood bakery which was open from early in the morning. It was really reasonable and the living quarters were more "home-like (2 bedrooms, small kitchen, bathroom,outdoor shower/tub, washer/dryer, coffee & tea) than your run-of-the-mill hotel room. It is not fancy or luxurious, but gives you a feeling of staying at someone's home in Japan.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jkyAnahola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

We stayed in the flat and it was wonderful. Very traditional experience and we were awoken each morning by the voices of kids as they played on the sports field behind the flat (which you could see from the balcony). Although the accommodations were nice, the best part of staying here was the Host. Such a wonderful and helpful man who also spent an afternoon driving us around the sites and waiting for us. Without him doing this, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to see as much as we did. Highly recommend staying here if you visit Kyoto.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CarlyB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
261 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

When my Japanese girlfriend asked my sister and brother in law who are travelling with us if they would like to experience traditional Japanese hospitality she chose Kyoto and Salon Haraguchi. My sister was a little dubious about "sleeping on the floor", but after three nights on a very comfortable futon she is now converted!!! What a super place this is. Quiet, scenic, convenient for Gion and the temples, restaurants that abound there. The welcome from Mrs Haraguchi was warm and informative. She showed us through the park to where we could have breakfast and buy essentials. Haraguchi-san spent a delightful afternoon with us showing us local sights such as the Golden Temple. The Salon is very comfortable with everything you need. Aircon heats/cools. Washer and dryer. Good shower room. All around a great experience that we were sad to have come to an end.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mike G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

We just spent 3 nights / 4 days at Salon Tenseian Haraguchi, and found our stay, and our host, wonderful. I won't waste time on the charms of Kyoto itself, but focus on Tenseian itself. The location is very convenient while at the same time being very quiet. It's a short and lovely walk through Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine to get to Shijo Dori and some ridiculously good shopping and dining. Several nice restaurants are close-by (some Michelin-starred) and Haraguchi-san made reservations for us weeks in advance, forwarding my wife and my food allergies, talking to the staff to instruct the taxi where to drop us off, etc. He made some other spot-on dining suggestions, from pork cutlet sandwiches from a small cafe to a nice but not-too-expensive sushi restaurant (and actually dropped us off there).

He also spent the better part of an afternoon taking us to a couple shrines (Fushimi Inari, which I'd read about - and Sanjusangen-do - which I hadn't, both good calls) and offering walking suggestions for later that evening. He was a perfect gentleman, and extremely generous with his time.

As for the house, I am not sure what some reviewers have meant by spooky (this seems to be a cultural holdover - it's not a large and brightly lit [and stale] hotel). We enjoyed the seating areas, learning how to use the old style blinds and windows, etc. It gave us an insight, however small, into life in a traditional Kyoto house, and since we were the only family, it actually felt like we were walking back to our own little house each evening. I did get a bit turned around one night (although I have to admit to having had 2 bottles of sake;) walking back, but my wife and I never felt unsafe - I mean no disrespect to the "Poor" reviewer, but I felt much more safe everywhere in Japan and Kyoto, than I ever would in most American cities, so it's hard to say how much of this was perception (?).

The house was comfortable (the heaters work very quickly) relaxing, and very well appointed (not least with Haraguchi-san's outstanding blue celadon artworks). We found this a wonderful way to experience Kyoto.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2012

Had a lovely 4 days staying at Haraguchi-san's house in October. Fantastic to have the whole house to ourselves and we loved walking back through the beautiful Maruyama park each evening. The house is really well located and one can access the restaurants and sites of Gion nearby. Haraguchi-san was a generous and attentive host.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Deburca78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed in the Haraguchi-san house Kiiyomizu Tenseian which is close to Higashi-Dori and Gojo-Dori. This is a wonderful location close to major Kyoto attractions, good and not very expensive restaurants, and shops. You need just to cross Higashi-Dori to be in the center of action. House itself is very nice with internet, tee, coffee, toaster, fridge, and microwave. It is quiet and has air condition/heater. Haraguchi-san who lives in his own house just 50 yards apart was very nice to us. His restaurant advice was superb. He gladly shared with us his Kyoto knowledge. We will definitely stay there next time.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank amilosla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Salon Haraguchi Tenseian

Property: Salon Haraguchi Tenseian
Address: 7-3 Maruyama-cho, higashiyama-ku,, Kyoto 605-0071 , Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
Salon Haraguchi Tenseian Hotel Kyoto

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