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“Lovely, calm and traditional inn - if a little lonely”
Review of Gion Yoshi-ima

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Gion Yoshi-ima
Ranked #80 of 395 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 30, 2013

Entering your room is really what you imagine Japan would be like. No chairs (at least not with legs.)Some carefully arranged flowers, a low table with a lacquer box filled with tea paraphernalia. I found very calming sitting there in the afternoon, making myself tea, drinking it and feeling peaceful. They had also very nice cotton kimonos, three kinds actually. I really loved them and bought two to take home. The bathroom is very small and old fashioned. Not to my liking, however there was an onsen bath I regret to say I didn’t try that. Bed is a made up every evening and you sleep on a futon. Breakfast was served in the room and I found that a little lonely. I would have loved to see some of the other guests. They arrange a lovely tea ceremony.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Hanica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 23, 2013

We are on honeymoon and after a week in Tokyo thought it would be lovely to enjoy a peaceful night in a ryokan. We were wrong! The paper was peeling off the wall, the table was chipped, the patio doors were broken, as were the bamboo blinds that opened onto the garden, there was no natural light or air available. Breakfast was lovely,but again as another review highlighted we were constantly interrupted by staff, the material hanging before the bathroom we requested to be changed as it smelt of urine, in fairness it was taken away but never replaced. The bathroom was less than desirable, the grout on the tiles were black and I felt I would be cleaner not using it! This coupled with the fact that someone tried to come in the patio doors at about 4 am made the whole experience less than desirable. Even though breakfast was lovely and staff presented us with a gift on checking out I would never recommend this to anyone.....go for a look but don't stay!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Spent 3 nights here and well we were somewhat disappointed. We arrived pretty late at night, about 10pm, got to the Inn and well, it felt like we were doing a homestay literally, felt we were "controlled" from the time we checked in. We didnt know the rules, so we took off our shoes on the ryokan and we were told off not to, so we put the shoes on the floor instead and wore the slippers instead, but we didnt know the slippers were meant only for the interior of the house and not suppose to touch the tiles. Next thing was, the owner came over and cleaned the wheels of our suitcases with a wet cloth, that was such a sight, we werent sure what to make out of it but for sure, the owner is a neat freak!

Anyway, we were put in room 211, the rooms were larger than what i expected honestly, everything was working it should. Bathroom is a little small, but more than adequate, air conditioning was very effective. You can choose your breakfast timings, 7am, 730, 8am and 830am. 15 min before your breakfast chosen timings, they will serve you breakfast in your room, they will clean up your beds so have to be showered and ready when they come over.

Beds to be were comfortable, pillows were filled with beans so it took some getting used to, by the 2nd day onwards it was fine. However there were mosquitoes in the room and we killed 4 of them, somehow they seem to be coming in from somewhere, although the doors were closed shut and they bit us every night.

Breakfast was great, traditional japanese breakfast, servings were quite big and it was delicious.

By the time we checked out, the owners were alot friendlier, maybe its the first impressions that matters most. We were joking and talking together, it was fun, sure wished that they could be a little friendlier when we checked in on the first day though.

Overall the ryokan is pleasant. Honestly I cant say if its a brilliant place or if the place is horrible, its somewhere in between. It was a brilliant experience, and have no regrets experiencing it. I wouldnt stay for 3 days, a day or 2 would suffice and also for the price we paid (SGD $390 per night), its lacking in everyway and if you ask me thats what you pay for experience, its definitely an overpriced experience, considering we just stayed for 3 days at the Westin Miyako before coming over to this Ryokan and we paid only SGD $120 a night says alot!

I would encourage those who want an expeirence to come stay for a day, maximum 2 days. Some will like it, some wont. It was a hit and miss for me, considering there were good moments and some bad moments.

Room Tip: choose rooms on the first floor so that you dont have to lug your luggage up the narrow stair cases...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank volvoc70m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Fabulous location right in the heart of Gion one street over from the geisha street. Quiet traditional rooms with tiny not so new bathrooms (hope you can fit in the shower!) show some wear typical of a busy centrally located inn.The food is exquisitely prepared and presented, and ryokan service is very good but it is always helpful to speak/understand Japanese to get complicated questions answered. It was helpful that there were two guidebooks (in English) in the common sitting area written for local walks. Staying in a place like this you should be self dependent on deciding what to do each day (versus staying at the Hyatt and working with the concierge). One very special event for all guests is an invitation to a traditional tea ceremony in the ryokan garden, where the history of the ceremony is explained. The inn has been owned by the same family for a hundred years or more, and they have a tiny museum of artifacts and family memorabilia, plus the back of the inn fronts the geisha street. Wi-fi available in the lobby. For some reason it also worked in our room during our stay (our room number was #205), so ask. There was always someone there who could speak some English. Don't stay here if you don't like sleeping on the floor, because even if you have two layers of soft matting between you and the tatami mat, you might wake up a little stiff. But do stay here if you want the experience of staying in an authentic Japanese inn with excellent local cuisine. You can request a western breakfast or traditional Japanese. Pricey but worth it for the great location.

Room Tip: One tip: if you like fluffy bath towels, bring your own! The bath towels are not anything to brag ab...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AJMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We arrived in Kyoto in the morning on the Shinkansen at around 9 AM and did a great walking tour through east Kyoto from the station all the way to this Ryokan. After walking for 6 hours, arriving Yoshi-ima was a great reward. We were escorted to our room and after booking our dinner and breakfast time we got a chance to unwind. This is a modern style Ryokan which means they have many rooms but the quality of the service isn't badly affected by this at all. Our room was located in what I think was the best possible location. We had a great view of the beautiful and lush inner garden. Being in an old-style Japanese room is incredibly relaxing, the tatami floor is a pleasure to walk on and quite frankly I dont get cement floors anymore because of it. We went for the Japanese style breakfast/dinner to give it a try and while the food was expertly prepared, Japanese cuisine has a lot of textures which we werent accustomed to and very strong flavours right as you wake up which meant that we didn't finish every meal....The rice was great though. Regardless the quality of the food is very high and there is a western style if your palate is not accustomed. They are also willing to provide if you're vegetarian or have other food requirements.

The japanese style baths are perfect for relaxing AND cleaning yourself, a real treat after a long day walking. We decided to stay in after dinner since we were quite exhausted but the area is fantasic, a short walk from Maruyama Park and the geisha district.

Whole-heartedly recommended.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jacobo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

I truly enjoyed the staff. They were very sweet and attentive. I also enjoyed the tea ceremony. I would recommend staying here for the experience for a night or two tops but warn that (my room especially the bathroom needs updating). My bathroom was as clean as it could be however it was really rather gross and very cold. However my room was warm and the tatami mat / flooring was clean.
Great location. Good overall experience.m

Room Tip: I booked this leg of my trip through a travel agent since I do not speak the language I didn't w...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

I was tossing up whether to give this inn a 3 or 4 star rating. Many things were wonderful about the hotel - the location is great, right in Gion and only a brief walk across the canal to tonnes of shops, restaurants and nightlife spots. The staff were really friendly and helpful and spoke enough English for there to be no problem with communication. There was free wi-fi available in the lobby area. The garden was absolutely beautiful, albeit freezing cold! The "family bath" was an interesting and unique experience for my partner and I. The breakfasts supplied in the morning were good, but just a caution - if you're someone who likes to sleep in past 8am... You don't have that option. 8.30am is the latest breakfast serving time and they knock on your door at about 8.10am to prepare the room.
The only real negative experience was comfort. On our third and last night, our backs were aching and we were dreadfully sick of sleeping on the thin futon on the floor. The floor always seems to be freezing too despite having the air con up high. The pillows are like tiny little bean bags. Awfully uncomfortable for my personal tastes in pillows. I would not recommend this type of accommodation for people who don't like camping, have bad backs, rely on an afternoon nana nap (they fold the beds up at 8 am and don't bring them out again until the evening), or for those who might like somewhere comfortable to lounge and read.
Overall it was an interesting, new and good experience. Would I stay there again? No, thank you. I was incredibly happy to move on to a comfy hotel bed the night we left kyoto!
In hindsight, I think we should have stayed one night, not three.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jaimie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gion Yoshi-ima

Address: 229-2 Nishinocho, Yamato-Oji Higashi-Iru, Shinmonzen, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0088, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range: $186 - $382 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gion Yoshi-ima 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Gion Yoshi-Ima Hotel Kyoto

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