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“Wonderful Place”
Review of Nashinoki Inn

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Nashinoki Inn
Ranked #274 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful Place”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

--I was traveling with a friend for the summer in Japan. We were mostly in Tokyo for our trip because we had old classmates and family there, but we decided on a side trip to Kyoto as well. I'm not a huge fan of big city life, so I absolutely loves that Nashinoki was set away from most of the major city (it's more in a suburb with plenty of little shops, the old castle, and several train stations nearby).
--My friend and I got a little lost finding our way to the hotel once we got off the train at the last stop because the directions we had misspelled the street name we should have turned on (we got the directions from their website too). However, after asking someone, we got ourselves in the right direction and found that it was not far at all from the station - maybe 10 minutes with our luggage.
--We arrived in the early afternoon and it seemed they weren't expecting us so soon (though we had stated in our reservations we would be early and got the okay on that). It wasn't an issue however, as our room was prepared, we just caught them off guard!
--You take your shoes off at the entrance and there are slippers available to wear inside for you, however, we were told they were not mandatory, so we were typically in our socks instead.
--Upon arrival, we were greeted by one woman (I cannot recall her name), she seemed middle aged, she was very kind and spoke English very well (which was a very pleasant surprise and we were grateful for). She took us straight up to our already prepared room and gave us a moment to settle in. When she returned, she had cold green tea and these tasty ice cream buns for us which were perfect for the hot day.
--We got settled in, storing our bags in the closet with the extra futons.
--The futons were laid our when we arrived and remained out until our departure two days later. If you wanted them folded up and out of the way, you need to do it yourself. However, because it was just two of us, we had plenty of space. +The room has a table with cushions (and backings) for you to sit at. +Water and cups were provided on the table (and refilled everyday). +There was a TV in our room, but it did not work. +The lighting was perfect (it had 3 settings) and we had the AC (plus it's controller) in our room so we could adjust it as needed. +The building is very old and the walls are thin, so you will find that the floors creak when people walk on them and unless you are whispering, other people can probably hear you in your room. +The doors do not have locks on them. They are sliding doors. However, we were never worried about someone coming into our room and/or taking our belongings (and this never happened). +Towels and a towel rack are provided in your room. The towels are a little older, so they were thin and very rough, but they worked. +The furniture in the place is older and maybe a little outdated and we did have some dust in our room, but it wasn't the end of the world and everything was still comfortable.
--When we would leave for the day, the middle aged woman let us use two of the many bikes they have for free (they're available to guests, no charge always). She also loaned us a guide book and map so we could have an easier time finding things to do and she was always happy to recommend things to us.
--The second night we were there, when we returned we were given melon flavor yogurt and cold green tea to help us relax and cool off by a much older woman, she did not speak English from what we could tell.
--Each evening, we would receive a polite knock on our door and either the middle aged woman or a younger girl (in her early teens, she also spoke some English) would inform us the bath was ready for us.
--The bath had a sign on it that you can flip over to say occupied or vacant(the bath is also in a separate room from the toilets). We never had an issue with someone else coming into the bath while we were in there because of the sign, everyone would politely wait, however, there are two showers and the tub is large enough for two people. There is a dressing room just before the bath where you can leave your clothing in baskets. Shampoo, soap, and conditioner were all provided next to the showers if you did not bring your own.
My only complaint about the baths is that the window in the bathroom, which was open as it was summer, is street level (it's a thin, long window) and people would pass by at night. Though I never saw anyone looking in, I always felt awkward about it.
--We also chose to have a Japanese breakfast each morning too. It would be prepared and served to us by 8 AM. We would get a knock on the door and chain of what seemed like the whole family would bring in an assortment of plates, bowls, pots, ETC filled with food for us. The middle aged woman would always explain to us what everything was and described some of the flavors before she would leave to let us eat. The food was very good and it was fun to try new things (it was also very convenient for us). The dishes would later be cleaned up for us, so we did not need to worry about them.
--There are toilets located both downstairs and up. We never used the downstairs one so I can't speak about them, but I do know they are both co-ed. In the upstairs bathroom there were two stalls and a urinal. The urinal is beside the stall to the Japanese style toilet and across from the western style toilet. There is a large sink with an assortment of hand and face soaps in there too. Yes, you can see the urinal from the sink and the door as it is not enclosed in anyway. However, in the three days we stayed there, never was there anyone else in the bathroom with us at the same time.
--When it came time for us to check out, we were surprised they'd already split the bill for us so we each had our own separate one, knowing we were splitting it in half without us having to ask. That was very nice. We were also given a really cute light up pen (which writes very well, I might add) as a thank you gift before we left.

Overall, everyone was very friendly and we felt very welcomed the entire time we were there. We sometimes worried we were making them go out of their way to make sure we had a pleasant stay and we were grateful for all their efforts. It was also nice to discover that English was spoken very well there. We weren't expecting that at all, so it was a nice treat (not that we minded either way, it was just cool). The inn is in a quiet area too, so we slept well, and other than other guests being obnoxious our last night, it was a very wonderful and pleasant place to stay. I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: If you have difficulty with stairs, try to get a downstairs room. The stairs are very steep!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank SnufflesandHuggles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Staying at the Nashinoki Inn was a wonderful experience for an affordable price. I looked up the inn's website on google prior to coming, which gives detailed instructions on the easiest way to get to the inn. (Otherwise may be hard to find - Takes about 10 min walking). The inn didn't have record of my reservation (done on booking.com), but they still accommodated me with the quote on my reservation print out. I was able to experience some traditional housing (sliding doors, tatami mats, communal traditional bath, robes provided) and the owner, Toyoko, gave me the sense that I was staying with family in Kyoto. The Japanese style breakfast she serves is delicious and very filling. She even has wifi and bicycles to lend out for free! While the inn is very lived in and not for those looking for something luxurious, it's kept very tidy. Would stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank jubbers604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Maybe my expectations of what a ryokan experience would be were just incorrect, but this did not meet my expectations. First, the web site gives the walking time from the closest subway station at 7 minutes. Maybe at a running pace with no bags, sure, but lugging suitcases, it's more like 20-30 minutes. Though, you do get to go down a quiet cobbled stone street lined with the walls of a college and an old imperial palace on either side.

Now, I had expected that when on the web site the couple running the place "spoke English," this should be taken with copious salt. I also expected what would be called a "ryokan" with a higher price tag than the business hotels we'd had would be like a hotel, but with traditional Japanese rooms and styling, something nice and clean and pretty. I also did not think that it was unreasonable to expect that, though I said we'd be checking in at midnight, that there would be no problem if we came at 11 PM. But it was a problem - no one answered when we rang the bell and knocked several times. I would have been totally out of luck if I hadn't had a WiFi device to make a Skype call to the front desk.

Inside, the place was more like what I would have called a bed-and-breakfast, or really just a large house, than an inn. It looked worn and lived-in, not really a place you invite guests. The hostess' English skill was extremely minimal and she communicated only a few words and a lot of gestures.

The room itself was nice though, Japanese style floor and futon with a low table that thankfully at least had back rests (Japanese style tables give me serious lower back pain). She did serve us tea and little sheets of mochi when we came in. However, our room was kind of cold (this was November), we didn't know how to work the heating system, and the shared restroom in the hall was unheated and totally freezing.

More frustration came when my traveler's checks were not accepted, even though the Web site indicated they would be accepted. There was simply not enough English comprehension to communicate this, and we ended up having to use up a chunk of our cash.

The most awkward part when was when the hostes gave us yukata and invited us down for a bath. Now, I had taken a shower that day and frankly had no interest in bathing, just in sleeping. But was this expected of us since we'd been traveling? What was going to happen if we refused, would she be offended that we slept on our beds with dirty bodies? I don't consider being told what to do and when to do it part of a relaxing experience, but we just went along with it. At least we got to experience a Japanese style bath (i.e., shower first, then bathe in a hot tub.) However, the bathroom wasn't especially clean, and my boyfriend suspected this tub may have been the origin of an infection that later appeared on his foot.

All in all, a large disappointment from what I expected from a ryokan experience, but maybe I'll know better for next time and choose a different place.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Remix_Sakura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bratislava
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2012

This hotel is very clean and very fine with best breakfast. Is not about luxes, but is about experience. The owner (perfect old lady with good english) can recommend to you many possibilities in Kyoto. She was always helpful and it was really good place. Ryokan have small onsen and bikes are for free. Hotel is located next to Imperial palace. Next time again!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank piggee1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2012

I am writing this from the Inn itself, at the end of my week-long stay. I am a female solo traveler attending a conference in town.

I can only replicate other people's comments: the owner, who has been in charge of the Inn for 40 years, is adorable and very caring (she had fresh cherries waiting for me every evening), the place is cozy, impeccable and quiet, and the availability of free bikes made my entire experience in Kyoto memorable. I should say that contrary to what their website says, THERE IS WIRELESS AVAILABLE. I was somewhat concerned about that (since I had to prepare my talk), and was relieved to find out their website is outdated in that respect.

There are two common toilets and one bath (including onsen-style sitting showers and a hot bath). Yukata, shampoo and conditioner are provided in the bath. I had no problem finding a time to take a bath, despite the fact that one day there were five guests. The bath is kept immaculate, so no worries about that either.

NOTE: Breakfast is served at 8am sharp, so even if you're not having any, expect to hear some noise in the corridors as they call the other guests to go eat.

The Inn is conveniently located close to the subway and next to a major street along which major bus lines can take you pretty much anywhere (although you will not need to use any public transportation if you use the bikes).

And on top of everything, the price per night is SO much cheaper than anywhere else. I would have happily paid twice as much for the experience. My final tip: if you're flying from Osaka, make sure you reserve a spot on an MK shuttle, rather than taking the train. It will take you directly to the Inn for very cheap (2,300 yen).

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank alemenchaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2008

Stayed at Nashinoki Inn last October for three nights; a fine experience. Cozy and clean. Bicycles were available to use for free and were handy in seeing sights. Japanese breakfast was not cheap but well worth the price. If you appreciate a quiet location a bit off the tourist areas, the breakfast and the bicycles, would recommend definitely.

TM, Finland

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Teemu76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2008

I was having a terrible time trying to find a reasonable priced ryokan in Kyoto in late March, and after emailing 26 different places, the Nashinoki got back to me! It's run by an older couple who don't speak much English, but we were able to get by. The ryokan is nothing fancy, but clean and serviceable, and the price can't be beat! We paid about 5,000 yen a person, and that included a great traditional Japanese breakfast. They also have bikes to hire for 300-600 yen a day, which was a very nice option. The location is a bit further away from many of the sights, but with the bikes and the excellent bus system, we didn't have any problem.

  • Liked — Great value!
  • Disliked — Rooms and bathroom were plain.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sprout47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nashinoki Inn

Property: Nashinoki Inn
Address: 184 Yanagifurocho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0838, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Hotel Style:
Ranked #274 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
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