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“A friendly place to stay in Kyoto”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Rakucho Ryokan

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Rakucho Ryokan
Ranked #152 of 366 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
47 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“A friendly place to stay in Kyoto”
Reviewed January 15, 2010

We stayed here 3 nights and it was very pleasant. The staff are so lovely and friendly. You get a good taste of a ryokan but with a modern touch. The tatami beds and rooms were comfortable and all amenities were clean. There are washing facilities which are coin operated and free internet in the lobby. Also there is a fridge which you can use, there is a little Japanese supermarket up the road which you may want to visit and store some snacks in the fridge.

I had read previous reviews before booking and I did note that there is an expectation that you are quiet while staying here. In saying that, there is no curfew but most guests are back at a decent hour and respect the noise level. The hushed voices and lack of noice really do make the ryokan experience more traditional and enjoyable. This is a lovely place to stay to get a feel of a ryokan and somewhere relaxing to return after a long day of sightseeing around beautiful Kyoto!

The Ryokan is not in Central Kyoto and is a solid 10 minute walk from the train station (which is not a JR station). We didn't mind the walk but was a little bit of an effort with suitcases (well mine at least!). Not being in Central Kyoto does add to the feel that you are experiencing another side of Kyoto, however worth noting for the purposes of JR passes. It is only a 12-15 minute train trip from Kyoto on the local line and was 250 yen.

If you stay here, you must try Chabana - The Okonomiyaki restaurant down the road from the Ryokan. The staff at Rakucho will give you a map with local eateries, sights and so on - it appears on this map. Try a traditional okonomiyaki preferably with a glass of beer after a long day on your feet and you will be on top of the world! Also if you are after some cool bars in Central Kyoto - try A Bar and Bar This Way!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank champagneplease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
NY, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2009

We loved our stay here at the Rakucho Ryokan. It is an older wooden house but all the other guests were polite and it was very quiet. Our room and the bath was remarkably clean. Of all the tatami mats we stayed on, these "beds" were actually the most comfortable. Our room was warm, overlooked a lovely garden and there was internet service!

It is a bit outside the main Kyoto area but was easy walking distance to the subway. There some great places to eat near the ryokan and it is smoke free, a rarity in Japan!.

My only critique would be that this is family owned so the owners weren't around 24/7 but were very friendly.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank vgmodell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nagoya, Japan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2009

This is a very reasonably priced Ryokan in a good location. The owners are very friendly, and we were made to feel very welcome during our stay. The rooms were clean, very comfortable and had all the essentials you might need (tea, water heater, heated blanket/air con.) Towels were not provided but this is quite common at ryokans.

The only downside is that since it is a very old (and attractive) building made entirely of wood, the soundprrofing isnt great. They have signs everywhere reminding you to be quiet and luckily it seemed like everyone who was staying there at the time was very considerate of all the other guests. So although noise was not a problem at all for my party, it is something to be aware of, and it might not be an appropriate place to stay if you have a large group of noisy teenagers or young childeren.

It was not as close to the station as we thought but it is still in a very nice quiet suburban part of kyoto. It is easy to get to all the major sights by bus/subway and it is worth buying day passes from the subway station for 500 yen (one single trip is up to about 220 yen depending on how far you go. You can buy the day passes in advance as you validate them the first time you use them during the day.)

It may not be a palace, but it is a very nice place to stay, especially if you want to experience staying in a traditional Japanese building with tatami mats/futon etc. Can't fault it on anything really!

  • Stayed March 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank super-ninja-gaijin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2009

This place was about a 10 minute walk away from the Kitaoji station on the north side of Kyoto, but the bus is also easily accessible. There staff was very friendly and it was a well-maintained place. The ryokan is made entirely out of wood, so it's not soundproof and you have to be quiet while in the the rooms and hallways. On the main floor, there are 2 showers and 1 japanese bath for everyone to use (access is limited to a few hours in the morning and in the evening). Toilets are on both the first and second floors. Free wireless internet is provided and they also have a shared computer in the lobby. They provide a shared fridge and unlimited coffee and tea. A washer (100 yen) and dryer (200 yen for 40 min) are available for use.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank winedineexplore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2009

A great place in the north side of town, a little bit of a hike from the center but Kyoto's excellent bus system makes it a breeze. Loved the second floor toilet that raises the seat when you enter the room, rather charming. They have buss passes, maps and a ton of information on sightseeing, airport transfers, etc. If you like your yukata (bath robe) you can buy it for $20. They have free internet on site and wi fi as well. No breakfast but check this out: if you walk down to Kitaoji Dori (the main avenue), take a right, cross the bridge and walk about a block there is an OSOME bakery with with excellent pastries, we totally overdosed in there, no hot coffee but a cooler with all the usual cold suspects, go early and get them straight out of the oven, the plain looking one in the form of a star is filled with Camembert.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gatochaton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
84 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2009

We stayed for 3 nights at Rakucho Ryokan in March and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The welcome was great and welcoming. You remove your shoes at the front and slip into slippers (they even have ones big enough for big footed westerners - not usually the case). The futons were very comfortable and they had very fast wifi available throughout the accomodation.

The bathrooms and showers are shared but kept very clean and you are given robes to walk around. There is also a shared kitchen if you want to save a few dollars on eating out. There are a few places in the neighborhood but it is a quiet area of town. On the walk towards the subway, on the last block before crossing over to the subway block is a fantastic sushi place on the right. A little pricey but easily the best sushi we had in Japan (and the world for that matter). There was also a small noodle place close to the Ryokan that was tasty. Finally there was a great bagel place and bakery on the main road running from the Subway to the hotel.

They recommend you to take the bus because it goes closer to each area, but it is very very slow and makes numerous stops. It's actually faster to walk to the subway and take that into town instead.

Besides of a little trek into the city, I can offer no downsides to this homey and unique stay in Kyoto. Finally, make sure you go to Arayishama on the outskirts of Kyoto. There is a semi-monkey park on a mountain, and a great little community. We almost missed this place and would have missed out big time. Include it in your plans!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank losttravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 27, 2008

My partner and I arrived at this Ryokan at 11.30pm after a delayed flight, and the key to our room with a map of the property was ready waiting for us when we arrived (the owner didn't wait up, which was fine). Don't forget to take off your shoes when you enter this lovely, quaint little Ryokan, it is very traditional.

The room itself was larger than expected and extraordinarily clean. It was a twin room, with the most comfortable bed/futon I have ever slept on. The room had air con/heater and an electric blanket, as it was a cold autumn during our stay. Rooms also contained a kettle, tea serving set and the bathrooms all included hairdryers, shampoo, conditioner and body wash. A nice addition.

The toilets were amazing, with automatic sensor lights, toilet seat covers and seat warmer. It was a fun experience to just go to the bathroom. The toilets/bathrooms are shared, however, but this was never a problem.

The property itself is a creaky one, so after dark every footstep echoes through the house. There were also signs everywhere urging patrons to keep the noise level down as the walls were paper thin.

We were not looking for a party-type stay in Kyoto so were happy with the noise rules.

Location wise, the Ryokan was a little removed from the city center of Kyoto, but nonetheless, easy to get around via public transport. There were few bars and restaurants in the area (though they existed, they weren't 'pumping').

Breakfast is not included, but the closest convenience stores are a 5 to 10 minute walk up the road, where they serve all the food groups.

Free internet in the foyer was a fantastic bonus, as well as the shelves of Lonely Planet Japans etc on offer to guests.

We stayed two nights and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The only complaint would be the slight inconvenience of location and the noise levels IF we were out to party, which we weren't at this stage. It was however, the best night's sleep I received in my stay in Japan!

  • Liked — comfortable beds
  • Disliked — location
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Lara A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rakucho Ryokan

Property: Rakucho Ryokan
Address: 67 Higashihangicho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0824, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Northern Kyoto
Hotel Style:
#9 Best Value Hotel in Kyoto
#62 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Rakucho Ryokan 2*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Rakucho Ryokan Hotel Kyoto

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