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“very very nice place”
Review of Watazen

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Watazen
Ranked #53 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“very very nice place”
Reviewed April 15, 2012

We have been travelling around japan with all the family (14 people) and this ryokan has been the very best hotel of all! Very friendly and helpful staff including housekeeper, breakfast and reception. The hotel is located in central Kyoto and very convenient. Brekfast is just excellent, whether you choose japanese or western style. The hotel is not very new but very clean and the rooms especially the traditional japanese rooms very large. We enjoyed our stay here very very much!!! Thank you for your good work! We will be back!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank thecornerhotel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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280 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Tustin, California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2012

Our stay at Watazen was fantastic. The staff is very friendly and helpful, the location is central, and the authentic experience is priceless. Highly recommended!

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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank The_Chos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2012

The location of Watazen is great. I walked and rode a bike all over town. The staff were so helpful, and assisted me in planning my short two day visit. I really enjoyed my time, and would definitely stay again. I did find everything being on the floor like the bed, the table, and my luggage - a bit difficult, but I know that this is the traditional way, and part of the experience.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ActiveGirl9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, March 1, 2012
Thank you for your staying at WATAZEN RYOKAN.
We are very glad to hear your stay is enjoyable.
KYOTO city is good location by cycling. It was good at a good weather.
If you will come back to KYOTO, please stay at WATAZEN.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2012

I stayed here with a few friends in 2011, and the experience was excellent. The ryokan itself is a little bit old, and shows a few signs of wear, but the room we were in was free of holes/stains etc. It >was< a smoking room, which put me off a bit, but I guess the previous guests did not smoke, or they cleaned the room quiet well, because I couldn't smell any stale cigarette smell that seems to be common in Japanese hotels. The room was also big enough to move our futons around a little bit, so we didn't have to sleep side-by-side (which seems to be the preferred Japanese way). The staff didn't mind setting up our futons where we moved them to, either. Only real gripe is the Internet in the lobby, and nowhere else, but if you're not there for business, this isn't so important.

The staff are also extremely friendly. While only a handful could speak English, those that could were excellent communicators, so we had no problems finding our way around town. The older gentleman at the desk even searched movie timetables and whether or not the movies were dubbed or subtitled. They also give you some traditional Kyoto snacks each morning (along with the standard tea most places offer), which were all really tasty. If you're stuck in your room for whatever reason (sick, for instance), they also have a satellite broadcast subscription, which has a few English channels, such as Fox.

The highlight, though, was the 3400yen voucher we were given which let us buy anything from their omiyage store or their drinks in the fridge in the lobby. Definitely saved us some money (all three of us are students). That, and a staff member offered to hang my washing on the rooftop since I had a bit too much to hang in my room, and they don't have a dryer.

Extremely friendly staff, excellent rooms, close to everything. Not much more I could ask for :)

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank GHartlem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
424 reviews
218 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 467 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2011

Just spent our Christmas vacation here. I particularly wanted to try the traditional Japanese Ryokan (guesthouse) with tatami. So well before our trip, I did a thorough search on internet. To my surprise, this kind of accomodation (decent ones) is very pricey and unreasonable. This Watazen is the best choice in that the price is affordable, location excellent, good staff with acceptable English, cleanliness.

Location: very strategic. It's in the more traditional area, Kawaramachi, where there are lots of restaurants and shops. By walking, you reach the long walkway of Nishiki Market in 2 mins, Gion (after crossing the river) in 15 mins, the most famous Kiyomizu Temple in 45 mins, nearest underground station in 5 mins. The big Kyoto Station where you can take JR trans to other cities are just 2 stations away.

Price: I directly booked on their website (it has English). The rates are not in line with the usual concept. Commonly, room type (size) forms the basis of price calculation. But here in Watazen, the basis is the number of persons staying in the room. The rate quoted is per head. I was quite confused, but anyway at the end, we 2 persons booked a room (which can at maxi accommodates 5 or 6 persons) at the total price around 15000 yen per night with private bathroom.

Room: very spacious. One have to move around always near ground zero level. There is no table or something at a height that is suitable for placing and packing your suitcases. Beddings (futon) will be set by the lady at evening. Comfortable and interesting. Toilet and bathroom are separate. The toilet room is very small. The toilet seat is that kind common in Japan, keeping warm all the time but we chose to switch it off in order to save energy and the earth.

Bathroom: There are two communal bathrooms (not onsen/hot spring) for the two sexes and we bath everyday there instead of the bathroom in our own room. It's more relaxing to dip in the pool, particularly your foot will be so tired after the whole day walk. So if I could choose again, I would have booked a room without private bathroom which price is lower. But a reminder, for ladies who estimates their "monthly special days" fall within the staying period, then better book and stick to your own private bathroom.

Meals: You may pay some more and add a breakfast/dinner to your staying package (there are different kinds of set) or otherwise you simply take the free continental one with minimal coffee/tea and bread. I suggest you to try once the Japanese breakfast: tofu, fish and hot rice in beautiful setting (though the food is not that substantial, everything small in size and quantity. And you may sometimes feel like eating something you don't know exactly what it is. I believe that westerners may not love it, but give it a try anyway). For dinner, I recommend to dine outside as the area around the river is eating paradise. This guesthouse is not like those in remote hillside where dining-in is a good and only choice.

TV channels: limited, all are Japanese speaking channels. I am fine with it as it makes me stick to Japanese atmosphere.

Cleanliness: The outlook of the guesthouse may not be very attractive, yet, the interior is quite good. Room very clean. I tell you what. On our second day of stay, after taking the breakfast at appointed time 8:30am, we went back to our room to sleep until 12 noon. We could hear the heavy cleaning sound from upper floor or next room. We could sense that the ladies were washing the floor and cleaning the room seriously and thoroughly.

Staff: very nice, polite, helpful, can speak acceptable English. The confirmation email at booking is in understandable English too.

Guest type: we only saw 5 westerners during our stay while the rest are mainly local Japanese. 1 or 2 pairs are Chinese.

Overall, I enjoy and recommend this guesthouse to those who want to experience the Japanese traditional tatami room and hospitality at a reasonable price.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MissHK2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2011

We spent one night at this ryokan as we were staying in Tokyo and just wanted to spend a day in Kyoto. The staff were very friendly and the hotel whilst dated was very clean. However we appeared to be the only non-Japanese visitors at the time and were quite disappointed to find at breakfast that everyone else was served grilled fish, cooked at the their tables, whilst we were served tofu. When we asked for an explanation were told that fish was very special (?!) We would quite happily have paid more if we had been asked. This casual discrimination left us feeling a little uncomfortable and spoilt what was otherwise a very nice stay.

Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Rukhsana740
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, November 24, 2011
Thank you for your staying at WATAZEN RYOKAN.
Please let us explain your misunderstanding about breakfast.
We have two kinds of Japanese breakfast.
You ordered "To-fu breakfast."
The breakfast that you saw is "Bubuduke breakfast."
This breakfast is rice with Japanese tea and many kinds of pickles.
Many foreign guests disliked this.
Therefore, we did not explain that there was other breakfast to you.
This is our big mistake and is never discrimination.
We are very sorry that you felt regretted.
Please have the breakfast, when you come to the next time.
We are looking forward to being able to meet you again.
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Austria
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2011

we stayed for three nights. it was our first ryokan experience. the room for three was quiet spacious and the maids and hotel staff were extraordinary friendly and helpful. you have the possibility to get japanese breakfast which we would highly recommend. also the kaeseki menu is great. the location is minutes away from nishiki foodmarket and most of the temples etc. can be eached by foot. when its cold outside have a relaxing time in the bath. we would definitly go there again.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gerold-Vienna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, August 20, 2011
Thank you for your staying at Watzazen.
We are very glad to hear you that you enjoyed your stay.
We are looking forward to meeting you next time when you travel Kyoto.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Watazen

Property: Watazen
Address: 413 Izutsuyacho, Rokkaku Sagaru, Yanaginobaba, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8113, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shinkyogoku Shopping District , Kawaramachi / Karasuma / Shijo Omiya
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Watazen 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WATAZEN is a Classical Japanese Inn with modern amenities, located in the center of Kyoto. It has been a familiar inn for many travelers to Kyoto since [Tenpo Gannen](1830). Today, many people enjoy our traditional harmonious atmosphere in central Kyoto. We are confident that our excellent service and cuisine will make your visit to Kyoto a memorable one. Please enjoy Kyoto and relax at WATAZEN. The cost is from 6300JPY - per person. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Watazen Hotel Kyoto

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