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“Great experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kinmata

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Kinmata
Ranked #151 of 351 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
zuerich
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

We stayed 3 nights in Kinmata in September. It was a great experience in a wonderful ryokan. We enjoyed the hospitaly from the owners very much. The keiseki dinner we had on 2 nights was very nice. The location is good. We would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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?
2 Thank solitaire72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    32
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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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Bastrop, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
47 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2012

We stayed at the Kinmata several times and loved the experience each and every time. This is a beautiful traditional ryokan tucked away from the bustle of the city. It is an oasis...as soon as you enter, you are whisked away to another time. Ukai-san, the proprietor and chef, is a charming man and a gifted chef. The rooms are charmingly decorated and comfortable. Although the ryokan is very traditional in style, it has modern amenities (A/C, TV). The meals feature the freshest ingredients of the season and are beautifully presented. This is our all-time favorite place to stay in our favorite city!

Room Tip: All the rooms have tatami floors; the seats are very low and you sleep on futons. This is very comf...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 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 dabasan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2012

When we arrived in Kinmata we were promptly met by Mr Ukai-sai and family. We came before check-in time and they had no problem holding on to our luggage while we explored NIshiki Market which was around the corner. Mr. Ukai-sai's son speaks perfect english and pointed us to all the attractions and handed us a map of Kyoto which we found very helpful. There were 3 couples in our party. All the rooms were comfortable and cosy with one en-suite and 2 rooms sharing a toilet downstairs. It was a unique experience to sleep on the Tatami mats which some of us took some getting use to. Not everyone found it comfortable but we were all there for the experience. It would not be fair to compare it to an all mod-con 5 star hotel. We went during the cherry blossom peak season and the prices reflected it. There is a cedar bath tub which can be booked in advance. Since there was no one else but our party staying there was no need to book it. I suspect that they do not book all the rooms at one time in order to give a better service. We were in Cherry blossom week after all.

They accommodated us by hiring a Maiko to entertain us during dinner. What made this ryokan experience memorable was the exceptional service. It really helped that the staff were able to communicate in English.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank slowmo74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at this delightful ryokan which has been run by rhe same family, now in their eigth generation. Located on a busy and narrow side street just a few steps away from the busy Shijjo-dori, the ryokan stands out as possibly the oldest surviving structure on this street. The character is unmistakable as you enter and you feel like youve been transported back in time.

The hospitality, from the moment we entered and were politely proffered house slippers, to the service and delicious meals was typically Japanese, coupled with a warmth which made us feel part of the family for our stay.

There are only 7 traditional rooms, although only 2-3 are typically occupied at any time to ensure their full attention. During our stay however, we were the only guests therefore we had the place to ourselves (particularly useful at bathtime since we could shower when we chose, except when we wanted the full bath in the traditional cedar tub, which required a few minutes advance notice to ensure the water was wonderfully hot to enjoy a long relaxing soak).

There are two meal options, breakfast only and breakfast with dinner. We went for the full dinner option on our last night. Breakfast was elaborate Japanese, with grilled fish, a 'main' dish (sesame tofu or nori or grilled salmon), miso soup, pickles (tiny fish or mushroom or nori), together with seasonal fresh fruit, japanese tea, and, because we asked for it, fresh coffee.

Our dinner was simply amazing, superbly presented, well thought and elaborately served over nine courses. Well worth the price we paid for it. Each course was described by our servers, what it was, how it was made and even, in the case of the red snapper head, how it should be eaten (use your hands to help suck out every last bit of the succulent flesh from the cheeks!).

The rooms were comfortable and simple, wih Tatami mats and the ubiquitous sliding partitions. Although we went in late spring and it was warm, the paper partitions had glass at the back to ensure some degree of insultation for colder weather. We slept on traditional cotton and foam mattresses, laid on the mats, and enveloped in the fluffiest comforters you ever saw. I can understand why some reviewers may have found the mats hard, however we slept well.

Traditional yukata robes were provided in our room and we reveled in walking around in them all the time we were in the ryokan, feeling very Japanese indeed! 

The only slight drawback we felt was the lack of storage space apart from a wooden stand with hangers, which meant we weren't truly able to unpack and our suitcases were placed on a rubber matsun the living area, making our otherwise zenlike room, a bit unsightly. This is perhaps how it is, therefore we would advise travelling light if you want to have this uniquely Janese experience. On the positive side, it did make packing a breeze when we left.

Staying in a traditional ryokan is something which must be done to savour true Japanese hospitality and experience something unique. Kinmata embodies this spirit with its delighlful rusticity, authenticity and the warm hospitality and kindness of its innkeeper Ukai-san, his family snd staff. 

The superb location, in the heart of Central Kyoto, minutes from Gion, shopping and the restaurants and izakayas on ponto-cho is the icing on the cake. 

Top ryokans are expensive however and lack the creature comforts of comparable five star hotels, therefore this is not for everyone. Definitely not if you don't much care for an authentic Japanese inn experience (although 'western' breakfast is available). We stayed here after 3 nights at the superb Conrad Tokyo, however knew almost exactly what to expect.

We also researched extensively before choosing to stay here and were delighted by our choice. We would happily stay here again when in Kyoto next and recommend it wholeheartedly to like minded travellers.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rohit G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2011

Kinmata was absolutely fantastic - from the hospitality shown by the innkeepers to the incredible cuisine to the tranquil feeling of the place. I would recommend it extremely highly. It is also in a great location in Kyoto, right next to the Nishiki market. I think my highlight at this ryokan was the food. Everything was beautifully prepared and presented and our host explained everything we were eating (and even how to eat it, which isn't always so obvious to a Westerner!). I would go back in a heartbeat.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Doug M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2011

I spent two nights at Kinmata as part of a visit to Kyoto. It's expensive, but I was traveling alone (as an add-on to a business trip to Korea) and I wanted to be somewhere where I would really experience traditional Japan. Kinmata was all that and more -- I was the only westerner in the place and many Japanese guests were amazed to encounter an American there. I've traveled all over the world and I've never stayed anywhere more welcoming, friendly, and beautiful than Kinmata. The dinner I was served -- ten or so courses -- were absolutely mind-blowing. The innkeeper/chef and his wife are genuine artisans and take enormous pride in their inn and their way of life. But a ryokan is not for everyone, particularly not every westerner. First, after my first night on a traditional futon (despite a blissful soak in a hinoki wood tub), my back was pretty sore, which led to a comical interaction at a drug store where I told the pharmacist, while pointing at my back and grimacing, "ryokan... futon..." I got fixed up with ibuprofen and icy hot and all was well, but this might not be the best for older folks or people with bad backs. Second, if you aren't willing to spend a little time on the web, reading up on Japanese ryokan etiquette -- what to do with your shoes, how to treat tatami mats, how to wear a yukata -- then don't bother staying at a ryokan. Being a guest at a ryokan requires thought and effort and a willingness to blend in with a culture that's very different from your own. But if you are willing to read up a little, to learn a little polite Japanese, and to bow appropriately, you will be met 95% of the way by the gracious host and hostess at Kinmata.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lhpotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
60 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2010

The Kinmata Inn, centrally located in old Kyoto, is a traditional Japanese Inn, a Ryokan - except for air con and some sanitary installation it's unchanged since 1801 or so. The owners are very sweet people and are in charge for many many generations - running the hotel really is their life. You will sleep on the floor on a futon which will be rolled away every day. The owners run a Kaiseki restaurant and you are expected to have some meals whilst staying there - which is quite worthwhile anyway. It's a unique experience and maybe even more genuine than going to the far larger and better known ryokans such as the Hiiragya. Definitely worth going!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RatmanKL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kinmata

Property: Kinmata
Address: 407 Dainichicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8044 , Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Hotel Style:
#63 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Kinmata Hotel Kyoto

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