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“Good experience”
Review of Watazen

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Watazen
Ranked #51 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Good experience”
Reviewed February 19, 2014

Watazen is a nice Ryokan in a great location in Kyoto.
The staff are friendly, the rooms spacious and their dinner and breakfasts are very traditional. I'd say the highlight was the meals - they were delicious and something definitely outside what I would normally choose (dried fish and rice for breakfast - sounds weird but was great). The dinner served in your room is certainly worth doing.

The location is right near the Niskihi food markets (which are excellent), and it's walking distance to both the bus terminal and several stations - including the tram line that goes to Arashiyama.

The hotel itself looks a little dated, but the rooms are very traditional, my only criticism would be that some of the fixtures seemed a little old - that low table you see in the pictures is plastic and ours was a bit worn. It has an Onsen in the basement which is excellent, and almost always deserted when I visited.

My only other recommendation is that it's not really suitable for children - we had an 8 month old who loved the fact that everything was low and he could trash the whole room! If you're not into co-sleeping you will have issues to - Japanese babies sleep between their parents, so no cots are offered!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Fest_mkiv
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 15, 2014
Thank you for your staying at WATAZEN.
We are very glad that you enjoyed Japanese traditional meals.
We are so sorry that the Japanese room is not fit your very young child.
In Japanese room, we prepare flower arragement on "Tokonoma" (alcove).
We hope your experiences in Japan was something pleasant to look back on.

We are looking forward to seeing you again.
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284 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
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English first
Bologna, Italy
1 review
Reviewed February 18, 2014

Nice traditional ryokan, placed in a good area at walking distance from shopping and restaurant districts. Staff was very helpful and they made the overall experience easier by providing maps and suggestions on how to reach the main Kyoto attractions. Warmly suggested.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank rijkaard15
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, February 21, 2014
Thank you for your staying at Watazen.
We are so glad that you satisfied our location and informations.
We hope your experience in Kyoto and Japan was enjoyable.
We are looking forward to seeing you again in Kyoto.
Thank you again.
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Shanghai, China
1 review
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Very convenient location in Kyoto; Friendly Staff and the owner; dinner was great; traditional Japanese style room - we spent a great time there with total 3 nights in Kyoto, and will go there again for sure in future

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Winnie20140121
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, February 9, 2014
Thank you for your stay at Watazen.
We are so glad to hear you that you enjoyed Japanese dishes.

We hope we can serve you again next time when you travel Kyoto.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2014

We stayed at Watazen ryokan during our trip to Kyoto and it was a marvelous experience to say the least. We arrived in the morning, so our luggage items were stowed while we explored the nearby Shijo shopping area and Nishiki market. Our luggage was delivered to our rooms by check-in time. At check-in, we were guided to our rooms and green tea was served, along with complimentary Yatsuhashi (a Kyoto specialty). Dinner was served at 19:00, and we opted for the Kame Kaiseki meal. A significant quantity of food was served, at a pace I was slightly unable to keep up with. Nevertheless, all dishes were of impeccable quality and I especially enjoyed the Kami Nabe (paper hotpot).

During our dining session, we were visited by the madam (owner) who, while does not speak a word of English, greeted us graciously. Once we had finished with our meals, our futons were laid out and we were subsequently given the opportunity to bathe downstairs. The futons were comfy and warm, which was welcomed at a time of chilly weather in Kyoto.

In the morning, we opted for the traditional style Japanese breakfast. This meal was also of exceptional quality. It was novel to see that the Yudofu dish was served in a Kami Nabe reminiscent of the meal from the previous night. When we checked out, we hired bikes that were offered at a competitive rate.

In summary, it is worth visiting Watazen for an authentic ryokan experience. Delicious cuisine is served that makes excellent use of local produce and exhibits the regional specialties of Kyoto. The staff are friendly, courteous and willing. It is an opportunity to enjoy yourself at an affordable expense.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ray T
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, June 27, 2014
Thank you so much for your comment.

We are happy you enjoyed your stay in Watazen.

We will be happy if you come to visit us again.
And next time we will try to ease the pace of serving food:)

Thank you so much!
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Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2014

This was a really great place -- if you are walking be absolutely sure you know where you are going ... it took us a long time to to find it. We arrived a bit too early to check in so we left the bags at the hotel and went to Fushimi Inari-taisha
Anyway, when we got back to the Ryokan we were shown to our room which was huge ... having just arrived from Tokyo and had a smallish room, we were very satisfied with the room that we were given. There was always green tea available with some small eats. During the day, the beds (which were essentially mattresses) were put away to make it into a spacious living room. This was done usually while you were at breakfast. At breakfast there is a choice of continental style (included in the price of the stay) or you could go for the full Japanese breakfast (which was extra but I can't remember the price). We went for the breakfast on both days and it was definitely worth the experience, but to be honest it probably filled us up a bit too much as it was very sizeable. The room was the en-suite variety so we didn't have to share a shower with other guests. Having said that, there is a public bath on the basement level which everyone can use and is perfectly adequate. In the cold winter months it must be wonderful to have such a facility at your fingertips. I would say that the water was not from the hot spring, and if it was, it was chlorinated so any hot spring smell had gone --- note for those who are not familiar with Japanese public bath etiquette -- it is done in the nude.
As we many places in Japan, you tend to find the quality of English is quite varied --- in some cases they spoke pretty much perfectly, in others, you were really struggling. So be prepared to negotiate this hurdle when it arises. Dealing with it in good humour is the best way.

Room Tip: Consider going for the rooms that are not ensuite. It would make your stay cheaper and you can use...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gl0beTrekka
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 15, 2014
Thank you for your staying at WATAZEN.
Watazen locates down town of center of Kyoto.
There are many simlar streets around us, please check the very difficult street name "YANAGI-NO-BAMBA".

We are looking forward to seeing you again.
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Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

If you are wanting a ryokan experience then Watazen is a really great cross between a ryokan and a hotel. Private bathroom/shower was great but the onsen in basement is also a perfect finish to the day or a way to warm up if you are travelling at this time of year. The room is huge and bedding down on the tatami mats was comfortable - with the subtle addition of an extra mattress from the ample supplies. The location is ideal, being near the market, main shopping street and restaurants. The staff are friendly and accommodating and usually someone speaks English if you need it. Little extras were greatly appreciated in making this a lovely stay - afternoon snacks and tea and complimentary breakfast of boiled egg and toast and jam if you don't opt for the full Japanese breakfast. The wifi in rooms was quick and efficient. Less than 1000 yen to taxi to and from Kyoto station and 5 mins walk to local stations, tourist info centre and bus stops.
Hot tip - try the bars and restaurants nearby. They are popular with the 30something Japanese and we had some fantastic meals at great prices.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Anne T
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, January 11, 2014
Thank you for your stay at WATAZEN.

We are so happy to hear you that you enjoyed Kyoto and Japan.
In the room of "tatami" mat to take off shoes,you can be relaxed.
The Japanese bath warms your body and heart.

We are looking forward to seeing you again at WATAZEN.
Thank you for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
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Adelaide, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed at the Watazen end of October 2013 while traveling through Japan . Although we had a little trouble finding it, once I arrived with my wife and young daughter, we were looked after incredibly well. Kimono clad staff served tea once in our room. The wonderful young lady at the reception spoke great English and explained our stay and things to see and do whilst there.
Sleeping on Tatami mats was one of the best rests I have had considering I suffer with back problems.Great breakfast and after arriving at our next destination I realised i left my mobile phone in room. I must thank the Watazen for sending phone onto our last destination which was so kind of them. Highly recommended place and so close to wonderful highlights of Kyoto.
どうもありがとうございました、あなたは私のために携帯電話を送信するとき、私は郵便料金の支払をしたいと思います

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Shoto52
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, January 10, 2014
Thank you for your stay at WATAZEN.
We are so glad that you could get mobile phone at your last stay place.
How about your experience of spending Japanese traditional room?
We hope we can serve you aagin next time when you travel Kyoto.

Thank you for your comments.
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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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