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“This Ryokan underdelivers” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Matsui Honkan Ryokan

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Matsui Honkan Ryokan
Ranked #66 of 363 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“This Ryokan underdelivers”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2010

The good:
Check-in was flawless. but all decent hotels give you tea and a snack these days. The location was good, right near the fish market. But with few streets in english it was hard to find at night. Right next to bike rental place. Friendly staff. The bath was ok.

Bad:
They gave my GF and I the smallest room possible, even though the place was not even slightly busy. I found out later it was the wrong room. They shut off the AC on you while you are in the room or out, making your room sweltering. The bathrooms are tiny (like airplane bathroom tiny). We had to leave early and they would not honor their own cancellation policy. The water is iffy, and the futons/pillows provided are the least comfortable I have experienced. They claim to have free WIFI but you cannot access it from the room. And they shut off the AC to the lobby too BTW.

Would not stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank chitopher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    95
    31
    8
    3
    1
See reviews for
36
62
1
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2009

Very friendly staff, good sized clean rooms, excellent food, great bathing facilities and a central location. My favourite hotel experience in Japan.

Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank JimW15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2009

Our experience in Matsui Hotel was great since the beginning. They were waiting for us and received us with the traditional green tea, a Japanese sweet, maps of the area and what not. Very courteous people. The room was small but had everything we needed. Even though it is a hotel, the service made you feel completely in a traditional ryokan. The food was good and the presentation was impeccable. The location was ideal. Very close to a great shopping area, and a subway station (although perhaps using taxis is better. You do not pay much more and save valuable time). It was also very close to Gion, the geisha district. Overall, our stay in Matsui Hotel was memorable and we would definitely go back.

Even though we know there are more traditional places, for tourists with not a huge budget, this place is a very good representation of them. You definately get a taste of japanese culture and manners.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dannypau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford upon Avon
Level Contributor
28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2009

We stayed for 3nts and were impressed as soon as we walked through the doors and were met by traditionally dressed staff.

Room was simple, as it should be, but admittedly had no view. We’d booked a room with ensuite, but it was absolutely tiny. OK for the loo, but difficult to shower in. My hubbie was a bit worried about using the public bath, but there were very good instructions and he loved it once he got the hang of it.

We’d booked for dinner on our arrival night and B&B for the remainder of the stay. As we don’t eat meat, we told the English-speaking guest relations manager to ensure the evening meal was fish only. Dinner is served exquisitely in your room. However, one course was meat and I had to try and explain in my broken Japanese that we didn’t eat meat. The head hostess seemed to understand in her broken English, but we lost out on a course!

We slept on futons and liked the little origami cranes and weather forecast they gave us at night. Breakfast was also served in the room and was a treat of fish, tofu, vegetables, rice and soup. However, on the second morning, they came in with a very meaty looking breakfast, which turned out to be a Japanese version of a western breakfast, which (a) we wouldn’t touch in any hotel and (b) was not what we expected in a traditional ryokan. Anyway, with broken English/Japanese we managed to make them understand that we were happy to eat the same beautiful Japanese breakfast each morning!

Ryokan is in a great location for Nishiki food market and big shops and banks for currency exchange. Near to tube lines too for getting to Kyoto station – a fantastic destination in its own right and a marvel of architecture and design.

We were pleasantly surprised to find free internet access in the ryokan lobby – the staff will set it up for you (and cover it up in traditional fabric when you have finished!)

When we set off, the staff waved us goodbye and unfurled a lovely banner to wish us well as we got into our taxi (they ordered us one with an English-speaking driver). Really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Debs&Mark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2009

Superbly located in the middle of the most lively and interesting part of downtown Kyoto, this Ryokan is peaceful at night, yet surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops and close to the wonderful market and to public transport. Staff were welcoming and friendly, and the food was good, but we were very disappointed by our room. We had expected tatami mats, a futon and sliding screens, but we hadn't expected to have no external view, nor to have notices in Japanese all over the room, nor to have the ceiling dominated by a large and overpowerful airconditioning unit (with unfathomable controls). We had hoped for a room that was beautiful and restful in its simplicity. In fact with poor lighting, a "shrine" area dominated by a television we didn't need, and poor quality finish to some of the woodwork the overall effect was dingy. Sadly the Matsui Honkan not only failed to have the facilities of a good hotel (well equipped and stylish bathroom, ample storage for clothes), but their apparent efforts to become more hotel-like (outdoor footwear allowed in common areas, en-suite bathroom, telephone in every room) detracted from its success as a Ryokan.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LondonWatson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jbhancock
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2009

We had an amazing experience at this traditional ryokan. The desk staff spoke English fluently and were helpful and welcoming. The breakfast was beautiful, and we appreciated the daily menu changes. It was wonderful to come back each night to a hot, relaxing bath (bathing facilities were immaculate) and turned down futons.

The location was perfect for seeing both downtown Kyoto and the temples and shrines in Higashiyama.

Would stay again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jbhancock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2008

We booked through japaneseguesthouses.com. Although located right in the middle of Kyoto, a sense of quiet and peace pervades this lovely guesthouse. The staff is extremely helpful, although their English was spotty. They helped us find a private tourguide. They helped us with anything we needed while staying there.
The rooms are lovely- tatami mats and shoji screens. The futons that we slept on were comfortable and the linens were so pretty. The bathroom was teeny, tiny but had everything we needed, including the entertaining toilet options. The bath in the basement area was lovely and elegant.
In order to have the full Japanese experience, we ordered the Japanese breakfast and the Kaiseiki dinner. They were served in our room, with artful presentation, on beautiful trays, placed on low eating tables by the pleasant and and helpful staff. We have no idea what we ate, but it looked beautiful and tasted delicious. Quite an experience!

  • Liked — authentic
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank subee8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matsui Honkan Ryokan

Property: Matsui Honkan Ryokan
Address: 405 Izutsuyacho Nakagyo-ku | (Yanagino Banba Rokkaku Sagaru), Kyoto 604-8113, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shinkyogoku Shopping District , Kawaramachi / Karasuma / Shijo Omiya
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
#21 Luxury Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Matsui Honkan Ryokan 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Matsui Honkan Ryokan Kyoto
Matsui Honkan Ryokan Hotel Kyoto

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