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“Such a lovely and memorable stay!”

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Salon Haraguchi Tenseian
Ranked #71 of 373 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Rochester, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
“Such a lovely and memorable stay!”
Reviewed February 20, 2014

We have the pleasure of confirming what previous guests have already written about Salon Haraguchi Tenseian: It’s truly an amazing experience!

First, about our most comfortable accommodations: Located above our host's pottery studio, the unit has 2 bedrooms, a small study/living room, a small kitchenette with a small sitting/dinette area, and one bathroom. It was much too big for us 2 adults but would be very comfortable for a small family or a small group of close friends. We chose the Japanese-style bedroom for our stay in December and found the room to be warm, cozy, and just perfect; we especially respected and appreciated the fact that each room has its own super-fast and responsive heating unit so that there was no wasted energy in any space that was not actively occupied (e.g., no need to heat the study/living room while we slept!). Everything was spotlessly clean; all of the appliances including the shower functioned flawlessly with plenty of hot water; the decoration was simple but tasteful and belied how well-supplied and efficient everything was, with a small fridge, a microwave, a small armoire with a large mirror, hair dryer, i.e., everything!

Second, the location could not have been any better for us first-time visitors: within walking distances to the Gion neighborhood as well as to the Kiyomizu and Kodaiji Temples, and such lovely strolls too to take in the sights of the old homes and shops of Higashiyama! BTW, do take advantage of the location and try to arrive at the Kiyomizu Temple early in the morning to experience the tranquility of the park-like complex before the crowds arrive! Despite its proximity to these touristic sites and some major thoroughfares, the apartment itself is in a quiet and very well-kept residential area, allowing us a feel for the rhythm of daily life in the neighborhood. (BTW, our hosts told us that they live just around the corner, in case we could possibly need anything above the abundance they already provided …)

And last but not least, as everyone has said, what made Salon Tenseian truly amazing and unique were our hosts, who were unbelievably gracious and kind: Our email correspondences throughout very warm and prompt; restaurant recommendations were not just a list of names but included our hosts’ thoughtful comments on the various types of cuisine and their price categories (we had a lovely kaiseki dinner at Gion Maruyama); and to our complete surprise and absolute delight, our host offered us the special treat of an afternoon visit to the stunning Fushimi Inari shrine, just in time to see the sunset, in the company of our host who kindly and patiently guided us through the history of this Shinto shrine! When we arrived, our hosts did not just draw for us a map of where to go to see things, but he actually accompanied us part of the way, to be sure that we could take in additional sights along the way. And though we didn’t expect it, our hosts even provided us with our breakfast provisions, in addition to the tea & coffee & Bernardaud china (!) already supplied. At Tenseian Kiyomizu, we were not just provided with very comfortable accommodations, we were warmly and graciously hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Haraguchi who genuinely wanted their guests to see and experience Kyoto to the fullest!

We initially had chosen to stay here because with just one day to spend in Kyoto before our work-related meeting in Kobe, we did not want to spend upwards of USD $500 to $700+ for just one night at a ryokan or other comparable lodgings. Salon Haraguchi Tenseian turned out to give us so, so much more: The amazingly personable interactions with our warm and gracious hosts; the comfortable and private accommodations; the warm feel of a residential neighborhood; the lovely and quiet walks in the area early in the morning when we felt that we had the ancient and picturesque neighborhood all to ourselves; ...

We sometimes write about how we want to keep “secret” a certain small and special hotel or B&B for fear that it would become too popular and then unavailable to us for future visits. With Salon Tenseian Haraguchi, we would gladly schedule our visit around the availability of the Salon: a stay there, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Haraguchi, is a worthwhile experience in itself! Because of this amazing stay at Salon Tenseian, we are now planning a return visit to Kyoto either later this year or earlier next year, depending on the availability at this gem!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank pln1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014 via mobile

Mr & Mrs Haraguchi were the most thoughtful & helpful hosts for my husband & me during our 4 days (first trip to Japan), meeting us at bus stop on arrival, driving us to the beautiful Golden Pavilion & to the marvellous Bamboo Grove, as well as recommending excellent local eateries that weren't expensive. We enjoyed sole use of Kiyomizu Tenseian, where we had the choice of futons or Western style beds; the little kitchen and the washing machine were greatly appreciated too. We were cozy inside with the heating & feather duvets. The guest house location is handy to many 'sights', shops, convenience stores & public transport.
If I ever return to KYOTO, I hope to stay once again at Kiyomizu TENSEIAN!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Eddrake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2014

There is not a bad thing I can say about this place or Haraguchi-san.

We stayed in the Kiyomizu Tenseian, above his art studio. There is an option of western-style bedroom with twin beds or futon on tatami mats (why anyone would choose a western-style bed while experiencing ryokan hospitality is beyond me). There is a washer-dryer unit for your laundry, as well as a little kitchenette.

Haraguchi-san and his wife obviously take great pride in their ryokan, and they are attentive to doing whatever they can to improve your stay. We got a wonderful tour of the pottery studio (did I mention he is a famous celadon-style potter?), and he even offered to drive us around Kyoto and see some of the historic highlights. He is very happy to live in Kyoto and very enthusiastic to help you get the most of your trip here. He has good restaurant suggestions.

Kiyomizu Tenseian is located in a small residential area west of Kiyomizu Temple, and is easy walking distance to the temple, as well as historic Gion area. There are plenty of convenience stores very close by, as well as a larger supermarket.

Overall, I cannot recommend this highly enough. It makes for a nice home base for travelers interested in losing themselves in the streets of old Kyoto. You will not regret staying here.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We were lucky to stay at Haraguchi san's beautiful house at Maruyama park for 2 days, followed by 2 more days at his Kiyomizu studio. Given the chance, we would love to stay there again. Salon Haraguchi was beautiful, and the surroundings were breathtaking in the fall season. The house is extremely clean, and rooms were warm and comfortable. Hanaguchi san and his wife ensure that you are well taken care of - his restaurant recommendations are spot on. We tried each of them and loved the food everywhere. He was kind enough to show us the Fushimi Inari shrine and helped us transfer our luggage from Maruyama park to his Kiyomizu house.

Location of both the places is excellent - close to Shijo dori when you are at Maruyama park, and close to Kiyomizudera when youre at his studio.

We would like to thank him and his wife for making our stay so nice. A big part of why we love Kyoto so much is because of their hospitality.

Room Tip: Great to have the entire house to yourself.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank traveller584
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

My sister and I stay at Haraguchi San's Kiyomizu Tenseian for 3 nights and it was too short! We wanted to book our 5 nights with Haraguchi San, unfortunately, 2 of the nights we wanted were already booked so we could only book 3 nights (even though we contacted Haraguchi san 6 months prior our travel date!)

We loved our stay at Kiyomizu Tenseian, it has 2 bedrooms, one study room ,and one small living room/kitchen. The place was so big for just the two of us (considering it is Japan and all the hotel rooms are mini and compact), we had all the spaces to move around without bumping into each other, even have spaces for our luggage. The futon bed that Mrs. Haraguchi made for us was so comfy and warm at night. On the check-out day, Mr. Haraguchi even drove us to the Kawamaru station to catch our train to Osaka so we didn't have to take bus with our big luggage to the station. During our stay, Mr. Haraguchi offer to take us out and show us around Kyoto; however, we had to politely decline the offer because we already had our plans made (otherwise, we would definitely accept his kind offer!)

For the price we paid and for Mr. & Mrs. Haraguchi's kindness, we will definitely stay at Kiyomizu Tenseian again when we return to Kyoto in the future. We just hope by that time, the place will not become so popular that we wouldn't be able to book!

Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Four of us travelled for the fist time to Kyoto and checked into two different accommodations owned by a same potter/artist, Haraguchi-san. The first was Kiyomizu Tenseian located in Takemura-cho, just above his art studio. it is complete with two bed rooms, one small living room and a kitchen. The location is more than ideal as it is just 15 minutes walk up the hill to the picturesque Kiyomizudera Temple, while the areas are full of shops selling renowned Kiyomizu-yaki products ranging from teapots, bowls to other ceramic wares. It is a wonderful place to experience a typical, modern Kyoto life in an ordinary neighbourhood, in which one is spoilt for choice when it comes to eating!

Our second 'home' was Salon Haraguchi Tenseian, just next to Maruyama Park and up in the hill, less than 10 minutes' drive from the Kiyomizu branch and still within the Higashiyama district. It is a traditional Japanese wooden house that gives you a glimpse into how life was lived in Kyoto in a not too distant past. One bonus is the famous Chion-in Temple bell next door that is said to be the heavist and biggest in Japan. Yes, it is just less than one minute's walk from the house! Go early in the morning for some quiet time or just to feel lost in the serenity and beauty of the surroundings.

Both places are strategically located and within walking distance to many tourist attractions like Chion-in Temple, Kiyomizudera Temple, Kodaiji Temple, Yasaka Shrine, Gion (Geisha District) and Kawaramachi Shopping Area, although walking up the hill back to Salon Haraguchi after a long day out may test one's tenacity!

Haraguchi-san and his wife kindly prepare two bicycles in each of the two places for tenants to fully enjoy Kyoto. The excursion to the Bamboo Forest - rather far out from the city - was one of the highlights of our week-long stay, which could have been easily missed out if not for the fact that Haraguchi-san actually took the trouble to drive us there.

Kyoto is indeed a beautiful city steeped in culture and history, but the hospitality and helpfulness of Haraguchi-san and his wife - from simple things such as calling taxis for us over the phone to writing down must-try local delicacies - have made our short stay most fruitful, fulfilling and memorable. If there is a place for one to live like a Kyoto-jin, albeit for a short while, it has to be either of the two Tenseian accommodations. We will be back for sure!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ubikampong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013

Unfortunately we could only spend one week at the Salon Haraguchi Tenseian but we could easily have spend 2 or three weeks at this lovely place if we could have taken more time off work!
The location is fantastic with much of what you would wish to see in the city within walking distance. When we began to get a bit tired in the feet during the end of the week we also took taxis, which conveniently stop nearby. Also Mr Haraguchi was kind enough to drive us to several sights (Fushimi Inari, Kurama-dera, Kibune, Arashiyama and Kinkaku-ji) that would have been difficult for us to get to.
The house and its surroundings within the park were simply magical. The House is traditional, cosy and very charming. The house is a fair size with many rooms and would probably accommodate parties of at least six people if needed.
Mr Haraguchi is an extremely kind host and knowledgeable local guide. We got help with all sorts, including hand drawn maps, arrangements with the airport taxi, making reservations with restaurants and tips about where to eat.
We will definitely want to stay at Haraguchi Tenseian again, hopefully soon!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Matthew856
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:
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
Salon Haraguchi Tenseian Hotel Kyoto

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