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“Like staying with a favourite aunt”
Review of Ishihara

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Ishihara
Ranked #191 of 373 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Twickenham
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Like staying with a favourite aunt”
Reviewed April 9, 2014

This was my first visit to Japan and this our first place to visit. I felt like part of the family rather than a hotel guest and loved it. Each evening when we returned from our sightseeing Hiroko would bring us tea and chat with us about our day and we would show our photos. Local restaurants were recommended and we would be walked to them. Breakfast was a delight of Japanese dishes. You do have to go down the corridor to the loo and it is a shared bathroom. These would usually mean a complete no-no for us. It is all so spotless and such a delightful place that these became part of its charm.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank PAH2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2014

We loved our stay at Ishihara. Our hosts were so friendly, and hospitable. Was a little tricky to find at first but with the help of a local we found it tucked away. The courtyard garden is beautiful. It has a tortoise that is 48yrs old! The home cooked breakfast was amazing. So much effort and detail in every little dish and different every day. If you're looking for a cultural, traditional, warm and homely stay then this place is for you. It was definitely one of the highlights of our stay in Japan.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tahli542
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We spent a week at this fantastic ryokan booked through the Japanese Inn Group. Hiroko and Motoharu are true hosts. Everything is perfect, even in its imperfection. If you are looking for flawless accommodations, you should NOT come here. But, if you are looking for silence, a sense of culture and community, and perfect service with a Mothers touch, then this is the place for you. Details from the shoes set out for us ready each morning, our rooms made warm before we return from sightseeing, tea with a different and special tea cake each evening, quiet moments talking to Hiroko, our delicious breakfast daily, all done unobtrusively, with elegance and dedicated budo. Hiroko made us feel so special and Motoharu's cooking was inspiring. We now miss all those pickles we took for granted. Having breakfast in intimate settings with Maruchan the turtle to peek at is something we will always remember but the real strength in this ryokan is the special ability to feel like family while being guest.

Ishihara is also located close to some spectacular spots like Nishiki market. Aritsugu, the 300+ year old knife shop is highly recommended. Bring cash and don't be nervous about asking questions. Go early if you wish to really explore before the tourist groups arrive.

Great places to eat closeby includes Apollo which has great atmosphere and a fantastic bar. Try their yuzu-shu, it comes in different sweetness. Another super find is the Misoka-an Kawamichiya. They have been making handmade soba noodles for over 300 years. Their herring soba is the tastiest and has an incredibly smoky and unique flavour.

Will certainly return here if I am ever in Kyoto

Room Tip: Ask to stay in the Kuwahara room
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laryngospasm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
En route
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2013 via mobile

Nice Japanese home in central Kyoto area between Karasuma Oike subway and Kyoto Shiyakuahomae subway. The signage out front is in Japanese. Walking from Karasuma Oike subway along the Oike Dori, turn right on Yanagibanba (street marked in English). Look out on the left hand side of the street for "石原". Beautiful courtyard garden, excellent Japanese style breakfast, olde worlde Japanese furnishings. Has a bathhouse downstairs. Excellent value for money. You can get to both Karawamachi for shopping and dining and Keage station for the Philosopher's Trail to Ginkakuji by riding the subway line within walking distance of this ryokan. Some English spoken but if you can speak some Japanese it will be much easier. The owners will ask you what time you want breakfast. Latest breakfast seems to be 8:30am. Note the 11pm curfew. Be aware of the correct bathhouse etiquette and don't get the bath water soapy. Take your shoes off at the entrance before you step up onto the boards of the house. Don't wheel your luggage across the tatami. Very welcoming hosts. Beautiful rooms. Enjoy breakfast by the courtyard garden.

Stayed November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Frogmirth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2013

This was our first trip with our 6 month old baby. I was determined to stay in a ryokan instead of a regular hotel. It was a lovely place. Hiroko runs the place with her husband. They are helpful and friendly. I loved the breakfast-healthy and fresh every morning. It is close to Nishiki Market and many excellent restaurants. The futons were very comfortable and the rooms are clean. It is a bit pricey but worth it for some history and a unique experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank shrimpchip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Ishihara Ryokan is centrally located and is a great place to stay for your sightseeing time in Kyoto. The Ryokan (Japanese inn) is housed in an 80 year old building, which the current owners, the Ishiharas, bought 50 years ago when it was an antique shop.

Room prices include breakfast (western if you ask in advance) and the room we stayed in had a private toilet and bath.

Ishihara Ryokan was the favorite place for the famous film director, Akira Kurosawa, to stay in. Ask Mrs. Ishihara to show you the slippers he wore when he stayed there. At the time, they had to go out and find a pair big enough for his feet. He autographed the slippers and she keeps them under the steps.

Take not of all the lamps in the Ryokan. These were all handmade by Mr. Ishihara using kimono dying pattern material that he gets from some of the kimono makers.

Be sure to say hello to the 42 year old turtle who lives in the little concrete pond in the garden. He was hibernating while we were there.

Ask Mrs. Ishihara for recommendations to dinner. She knows of several places that are within walking distance. There are also several restaurants on the same street the Ryokan is located on.

The Ryokan is within walking distance of several interesting areas including the Nishiki Market, Gion, and the central heart of Kyoto. It's also a short walk from the subway line that runs directly to Kyoto train station.

Room Tip: If you want to stay in the same room Kurosawa stayed in be sure to book well in advace.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank jp2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2012

I had a great stay at Ishihara ryokan. It is superbly located right in the heart of Kyoto - covenient for sightseeing, shopping and nightlife! I was made to feel very welcome there and the breakfasts were excellent. Highly recommended.

Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank DannyRosenbaum8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ishihara

Property: Ishihara
Address: 76 Anekoji-agaru, Yanagi-banba, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8101, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Hotel Style:
Ranked #191 of 373 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 6
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