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“Authentic Kyoto” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Yoshikawa Inn Tempra

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Yoshikawa Inn Tempra
Ranked #90 of 363 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Authentic Kyoto”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2014

We started our trip off in Kyoto and fell in love with the Yoshikawa Inn. You feel the tradition and hospitality of the Japanese from the first instance. They always remember which shoe is yours, you are greeted with tea on arrival back to the hotel every day. Their simple rooms are refreshing and if I didn't sleep on them myself I wouldn't believe beds just put on the ground would be so comfortable. I also thought the cedar bath tubs though small feel in perfect harmony with the hotel.

And you can't speak about the Inn without mentioning their tempura! It is delicious and light and crispy I doubt I will ever look at tempura the same way again. I also alternated between the Japanese breakfast and the western option and loved both. Exploring their breakfast options was a fresh, healthy and filling way to start the day.

Sadly I don't think we will make it back to Kyoto anytime soon but have the Yoshikawa Inn to thank for completing the experience so perfectly.

Room Tip: Try to get a room overlooking the garden for a magical view!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TheWanderingLIfe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    49
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    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014 via mobile

We booked a room at Yoshikawa Inn for two nights because we wanted to experience staying in a traditional ryokan. We loved it so much, we decided to extend our stay for another four nights.

We had a large room on the first floor overlooking a small Japanese garden. This is a traditional ryokan and the rooms have tatami floors where guests must not wear shoes or slippers. There is underfloor heating. We slept in very comfortable mattresses on the floor. Everything was spotless clean.

We were served delicious Japanese breakfast in a separate private room (not shared with other guests) and an amazing kaiseki dinner in another private room.

Unforgettable experience, complemented by the sweetness of the staff and the delicious food. Highly recommended.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank PAKLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
290 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2014

Sakura 2014 trip
Second night in Kyoto we stayed at Yoshikawa Inn.
Clearly aimed more at foreigners than other Ryokan we stayed in.

The strengths:
Perfect central location
Lovely central garden and views (it seems) from most rooms
Charming staff
Perfectly maintained infrastructure
Lovely 100 year old building that is both modern in the amenities yet has maintained the Ryokan charm.
The Kaiseki meal was excellent and above reproach. Also a good selection of wines and Nihonshu (Sakes). A real pleasure to sit down for dinner. Special mention on the tempura!

Breakfast was also lovely in a charming communal dining room.

Niggles:
We were not able to finish our 'introductory tea' in the lobby and were pushed into our room- where we were told another tea would be waiting for us- but the way we were expected/pushed out of the lobby was not appreciated.

Careful with the rooms you get- though we though our room had a lovely location on the main garden, we found that it was quite literrally a shoe box. So we slept and ate in room with our luggage around us (which was not very pleasant) and generally stumbled around to get around the room- and at these prices, that's not really ideal.

My biggest complaint would be that the room is located at the back of the Ryokan near the steps used by the staff to get between the first and second floors of the building (also known as Room 12)- as such there's just an awful lot of traffic & noise- particularly around bedtime as people charge up and down the stairs.

Not a deal breaker of course, but I'd have liked to see a commercial gesture made on the bill (as I was unable to get to sleep without earplugs) - but this being Japan, I was not interested in confrontation or making things awkward for our group. In fairness, the staff apologized repeatedly for the room as we checked in- so we weren't misled- but it became obvious when we saw other rooms why the value here was limited and why they were apologizing.

Would recommend.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LeDude13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

We stayed one night at Yoshikawa and wished we could have been there longer. First, it was one of the best night's sleeps I've ever had! If you don't stay at the Inn, at least go there for the food. The tempura is amazing. Instead of eating in our room (as is typical in a ryokan), we asked to eat in the restaurant and I'm so glad we did. We sat at the tempura bar and watched the chef. The food was served instantly and was incredibly hot and fresh. It was our best meal during our week in Kyoto. Book a reservation for the restaurant in advance, however. It is very small and will fill quickly.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
Helpful?
1 Thank MurrayInHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

Staying at this inn was the highlight of our 3-week trip to Japan. Hands down. The women who work there were out-of-control sweet. We had no problem communicating even though we speak no Japanese -- they handled everything in English. Their traditional breakfasts and dinners were delicious and extensive (more than we could eat, actually) and we were allowed to sit outside in the morning on the edge of their magnificent little garden and fish pond. The room was comfortable, cool and quiet. We loved the traditional cedar bathroom suite within the suite (which is the only way to describe it). In short: GO HERE.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BrooksBBarnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

I wanted to stay at the Yoshikawa Inn as I wanted the true Ryokan experience in Kyoto.
I was unable to book online as there didn't appear to be an e-mail address on the website. I ended up phoning and booking over the phone. My e-mail address was lost in translation so I got the confirmation e-mail very late after having to chase it up via some Japanese friends.

On arrival, the service was excellent. The service throughout Japan is amazing and you get very used to it. The service was no better or worse than anywhere else we stayed. The English of the staff however was worse than what we had experienced everywhere else.

The room was huge and great. The bath was just excellent and the futons were the most comfortable that we slept on.

The food was amazing. The best we had in Japan. The tempura is a must - the man is fascinating to watch and I could have sat and watched him for hours. Brilliant.

My problem with the inn was the lack of English speaking staff and understanding and added extras on the bill. We knew that there was an added 15% service charge to the bill along with a 5% tax. We were surprised that the inn had adopted a western tradition of service charge as that is unheard of everywhere else in Japan. We expected better service and English. When we were offered alcohol with the meal, we asked if it was included in the bill. We were assured it was. When I came to pay, there was an added £200 to the bill - when questioned- it was the alcohol (with added service charge). I don't understand why, if we were paying for the drink, we were not given a menu with how much we would be paying for it. We were just presented with saki and beer and water and when we finished it, more was presented. We assumed, after being told by the staff, and with no menu, that it was all included. I take this as a lesson learnt, but it left us with a bad experience and a lot of extra money spent. The staff were very apologetic - too much so as they were not going to let us leave without us paying the whole bill!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank elliecowan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2013

This ryokan wasn't actually on our radar until our hotel concierge suggested it when we failed to get bookings for our initial choices - and are we glad he did.

Yoshikawa is located just off a big busy road (we even went out shopping on the first afternoon of our stay and after we checked out); yet, despite being so near to 'civilisation', once you enter the ryokan, you're in an oasis.

The reception area was lovely and immediately set the tone for our stay, and our room did not disappoint either. We got Room #3 which is at the top of a steep flight of steps but if I (at 7 months pregnant) can scale it without much issue (though I did have to be careful not to trip on my yukata), I think most people can handle it - so long as you don't require handicap access. If you do, there are rooms on the bottom floor which I'm sure can be requested for in advance.

Our room was spacious and had all the trappings of a modern hotel room but in a wonderfully traditional setting. Toiletries provided were from Mikimoto and it made us feel real special using them, imagining that they may perhaps contain pearl powder (heh). The traditional cedar wood bath was another great experience - we did not use it the first night (they prepared it for us but I only discovered that late at night) and they prepared it for us on request the next morning. Sleeping wasn't a problem at all as the futons were comfortable and cushy - definitely nothing to complain about in that regard, unlike what I've seen in some reviews for other ryokans.

We ordered the tempura kaiseki for our dinner but were somewhat disappointed that there wasn't more tempura featured in the meal (instead, it was basically a kaiseki with the main courses replaced by tempura courses). The Japanese breakfast (forget about the Western one!) the next morning, however, erased any remnant disappointment - what a feast. Both meals were served in private rooms that seat two and had views into the gardens - what better place to enjoy the gastronomic discoveries. I'm not sure if you can request for the meals to be had in your own room, as I know you can at some ryokans, but we didn't mind coming out at all. The gardens are so beautiful.

Service was commendable, while mostly non-English-speaking. If you want nothing lost in translation and can't speak a word of Japanese, you may want to reconsider staying here - but we didn't mind getting by with our meager command of the language, hand gestures and a fair bit of confusion.

One last point I should add is that there was construction going on near the ryokan at the time of my early-Jun stay (there is a note from the management apologising for it). We checked in at 4 pm on a weekday and could definitely hear construction noise from the room although it wasn't loud and didn't really disrupt the peace we felt at the ryokan.

Overall, I would highly recommend trying a ryokan stay in Kyoto if resources permit and Yoshikawa is definitely high up on my list.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank diamantesky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yoshikawa Inn Tempra

Property: Yoshikawa Inn Tempra
Address: 135 Matsushitacho, Tomikojidori, Oike Sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8093, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > City Center , Kawaramachi / Karasuma / Shijo Omiya
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 8
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Yoshikawa Hotel Kyoto

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