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Ryokan Ohto
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Reviews (138)
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Reviewed October 23, 2012

This is one of the cheapest ryokan in Kyoto. Also we look at the distance from central station. We ordered a Japanese-style room well in advance, because we planned a visit to Kyoto during cherry blossom. Unfortunately, upon arrival, it turned out that there is no room, such as ordered. At that time, others also have similar problems. It was a large hotel's fault, but the owner tried to somehow satisfy all. Ultimately, it was not so bad. Ryokan has a nice atmosphere. Japanese-style rooms aren't well isolated, you can hear a lot of noise.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rob_sad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

Located in a walkable distance from the train station, this is small hotel. It is actually a private house in the Japanese style. This modest hotel was not comfortable nor convenient, and I wasn't happy with the room. In the night was very loud, the walls didn't isolate noises. But the advantage was the location, price and tea for the guests.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Monia-Ma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

We stayed at this ryokan for 6 nights and I've got the following to say:
Pros
- Open and relatively fast wifi connection (no passwords, logins or other crap)
- Quite clean
- Rooms are adequately air-conditioned
- They offer cheap parking but have only limited spots (1000yen/night)
- The toilets are not japanese style (i.e. holes in the bloody ground) but western style
- I know its common in most Japanese hotels and ryokan but I loved the yukatas they give you
- The curfew (supposedly 12am) isnt really enforced
- Very good location near the center and with 24/7 stores around as well as restaurants

Cons
- They dont bother really cleaning the room but they only change the towels and empty the bin
- The often leave the room unlocked with the door wide open after they clean
- The slipper thing can grow annoying
- The breakfast is bloody terrible, they just serve you a piece of toast, and egg, a yogurt and half a banana accompanied by (I'm kidding you not) a shot! of orange juice
- The proprietors couldn't speak English to save their lives, I knew more Japanese than they did English...and I know very little Japanese
- The absence of a lift is kind of a drag if you are on the 3rd floor and have to carry massive suitcases up and down the stairs
- They dont lock the doors and there's often no one at the reception. Kinda makes you wonder

Overall I wouldn't suggest it if you can find something better in the same price range

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Adamos K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

OK, I'm not going to say this is the worst hotel or ryokan I've been to or that this place has no redeeming value, but this place had too many problems for me to ignore. I generally tend to be tolerant and not complain, but I really think the management of this place can do better. This was the cheapest place I stayed during my 5 weeks in Japan, so by rights it should be inferior to the rest, but it didn't even seem to live up to its own claims.

OK, it is a budget ryokan, so the rooms are small, but there is barely space to keep your luggage and move in the room. One wall of our room was sliding doors that were locked permanently -- thin enough to let us hear the snoring next door as well as noise in the hall. We also smelled cigarette smoke the first night--couldn't figure out from where. The decor is dated and shopworn, even a bit dirty. The bathroom and lavatories are basic, but seemingly clean (but the only place in 5 weeks that didn't offer shampoo). The futons are thin but not really worse than other ryokans we stayed at--though the sheets didn't fit well. (And we overheard another guest complaining of dirty sheet, indicated by someone else's hair on their sheets.) The pillows were those annoying barley(?) husk pillows you find in Japan, but the real problem is that they were so small and didn't see particularly clean--no real pillow case.

Another problem is the various things just didn't work. The air conditioner turned it self off several times but then after a few days mysteriously started working fine. At times the wi-fi didn't work, so we had to complain. When my wife was taking a shower, the water suddenly ran out before she had time to rinse out the shampoo. I don't mean the hot water: any water. Nothing was coming out. Again we (and others) had to complain. They claim to offer hot and cold water any time, but when we got there, the water dispenser was out of service. The next day it was back, but we couldn't figure out how to get the hot water. The desk clerk never bothered showing us until we complained repeatedly (she understands little English). It seems to have been jury-rigged and required a series of steps that were not at all intuitive. (This may sound petty, but they claim to offer "free coffee" -- instant -- and "free tea" any time.) Since they offer no refrigerator, the cold water is important, especially during boiling hot Kyoto summers.

The desk clerk (almost the only personnel we ever saw in 4 days) often isn't reachable when there is a problem, which was bad, because there were a lot of problems. One time we walked in about 2 in the afternoon to find our room door open with the key in it. And we're the front room, right next to the street. Anyone could have walked in--no one was around.

She also wasn't always reachable in the morning when we wanted to order breakfast, which can be a problem if you're meeting someone at a certain time. The breakfast sounds like a deal -- 300 yen -- but it's really not. It consists of a single slice of buttered white toast (thicker than American slices, but still), a single hard-ish boiled egg, about 3 oz. of orange juice, and about 4 oz. of vanilla yogurt. And all the instant coffee/green tea you can drink, if the hot water works.

I probably should have taken the early hints about this place. When we first tried to reserve, they were very spotty about answering our emails, and when we finally decided to book the room they never confirmed, even though they said they'd confirm within 5 days. This made me nervous enough to call from the U.S. and have a bewildering conversation with someone who didn't speak English (probably the same desk clerk), leaving me no more certain of our reservation.

Then, when we got there, they wanted payment up front (the only place in Japan that asked for that). When I gave them my credit card, it didn't work--clearly a problem with their machine. Honestly, if I hadn't paid in advance, I probably would have left.

And I'm not the sort of person who does that kind of thing.

It wasn't horrible, but everything is so basic and low budget that when the few things you rely on aren't there, it's really annoying.

Good points: it's a very good location, right near the Keihan line on Shichijo dori street and also several useful Kyoto buses, including the 100 and the 206. You can be in Teramachi or Nishiki market in under 10 minutes. It's right near Sanjusangendo and the Kyoto National Museum and the Kamagawa river, which is nice to walk or bike on. Just a few block across the river is a convenient bike rental place on Shichijo dori. The neighborhood has several reasonable restaurants, a cafe, a bakery, two convenience stores, and a McDonald's (I never eat there in the states but their coffee and soft ice cream is a deal in Japan). I also heard there's a pleasant public bath right down the street.

I consider myself a budget traveler, but this was a bit too much for me.

Be forewarned.

Room Tip: Our room (in front) had a window; others may not. There is no elevator.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank brianhh13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

This place is a budget Ryokan, something we wanted. Small property I guess privately held by a family and run quite well. Shared toilet and bathroom but clean and has everything required. Clean bedrooms. Since this place is in a small lane, best take the Japanese address if you plan to walk to the location. The location of the property itself is not the best but not too bad either. 10 mins of walk will get you to a station. All in all, we got what we were told.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sri13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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