It’s tough to say you’ve seen Japan if you haven’t been to Kyoto. To go deeper, it’s tough to say you’ve experienced Kyoto if you haven’t stayed in a traditional ryokan. There are many reasons why it is a good idea to stay in a ryokan in Kyoto. Here are a few of them:
To experience traditional Japanese culture. Ryokans are a great way to experience traditional Japanese culture. They typically feature tatami mats, futon beds, and other traditional Japanese furnishings. You will also be able to enjoy traditional Japanese meals and participate in traditional Japanese activities, such as bathing in an onsen.
To relax and rejuvenate. Ryokans are a great place to relax and rejuvenate. They offer a quiet and peaceful environment, and they often have onsen baths that can help you to relax and de-stress.
To be close to Kyoto’s many attractions. Kyoto is a city with a rich history and culture, and there are many attractions to see and do. Staying in a ryokan in Kyoto will put you close to many of these attractions, such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and Kinkaku-ji Temple.
To get a taste of Kyoto’s hospitality. Ryokans are known for their excellent hospitality. The staff will go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable, and they will often offer you traditional Japanese amenities, such as slippers and yukatas.
These Kyoto ryokan are worth booking whether it’s your first time in the city or your 100th.
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Ryokan Genhouin is a fantastic spot to spend a night in Kyoto, near popular attractions like the Eikan-do Zenrin-ji Temple, the Heian Shrine, Shoren-in Temple, and Samurai Kembu Kyoto. The property is air conditioned and features amenities like a hot tub and a public bath. Every room in this ryokan has a wardrobe and is equipped with a kettle and a flat-screen TV — and certain rooms come with a terrace. Other added amenities on-site include bike rentals and massage services.
This authentic inn is just a 5-minute walk from attractions like the Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizu-dera Temple — and the Shijo Station and Kawaramachi Station are a 5-minute drive away. Guests will relax in traditional Japanese-style accommodations and experience traditional Kyoto dining options. There is a public bath on-site, massage treatments are available upon request, and each room is air-conditioned and outfitted with tatami-mat (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon bedding. Each room has a fridge, an electric kettle and a flat-screen TV. Guests should be aware that the bathroom facilities are shared.
Ryokan Ryokufuso is 15 minutes on foot from Kyoto Station. The rooms are air-conditioned and come with a TV and a private bathroom. There’s an on-site gift shop to browse for souvenirs, and those seeking some extra relaxation can book a massage for an extra fee. The inn also offers guests Kyoto kaiseki (a traditional Japanese coursed out meal) cuisine with changing menus every month.
This traditional, relaxing property is located next to the Nanzen-ji Temple and is designed with a chic aesthetic featuring traditional Japanese-style rooms and large public baths. Scenic Japanese gardens surround the inn’s grounds, providing a gorgeous backdrop of colors that change with the seasons. The rooms are outfitted with tatami floors, a futon bed and a flat-screen TV. Some of the rooms offer scenic views of the grounds, and some of them have their own private bathroom. Relax in the public baths or book a massage for an extra fee. There’s even an on-site restaurant that overlooks the gardens and offers tasty, traditional Japanese cuisine.
Seikoro Ryokan, established in 1831, features traditional Japanese-style accommodations, a public bath, and the opportunity to book massage services. There are private bathrooms, as well as a public bath area with spa offerings and wooden bathtubs. The inn serves a traditional Japanese or Western breakfast, as well as authentic local dishes and dinner in a traditional Japanese setting. It’s a 5-minute drive from Sanjusangen-do Temple and Kiyomizu-dera Temple and a 10-minute walk from the Shichijo Train Station.
Ryokan Sanga is located in the heart of Kyoto, hosting a comfortable Japanese-style overnight experience, including traditional bedding and furnishings. There’s even an on-site restaurant. Karasuma Oike Subway Station is just a 7-minute walk from the property, the Kyoto Nishiki Market is a five-minute walk, and the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple is a 15-minute drive from the inn. All the rooms at the ryokan are air-conditioned and feature a TV, Japanese yukata robes, a kettle, and tea bags. This property prepares special amenities for men and women depending on gender identity, so indicate this in the “Special Requests” box when booking.
Just a 5-minute walk from Shiyakusho-Mae Subway Station, Nishiyama Ryokan hosts comfortable Japanese-style rooms outfitted with tatami and traditional futon bedding. The property features a garden, traditional kaiseki multi-course dinners, in-room massages, and rental bicycles. It’s a 15-minute taxi ride from JR Kyoto Station and a 10-minute walk to Honno-ji Temple and Kamogawa River. Guests can lounge in the yukata robes and enjoy a traditional Japanese breakfast with boiled tofu in the morning and dive into a traditional multi-course dinner with seasonal local specialties in the evening.
Ryokan Tori is within a mile’s walking distance of the Shoneizan Byodoji Chiekoin Temple and the Koshoin Temple, making it a great place to set as a home base when visiting the Kamigyo ward of Kyoto. Ryokan Tori rooms are outfitted with a fridge, a kettle, and air conditioning — and either features a balcony or a garden view. Guests can enjoy a prepared traditional Japanese breakfast and encounter a traditional welcoming Japanese tea ceremony and bath experience while on-site.
The Ryokan Tanoya is in a great location in the center of Kyoto, less than two miles from the city center, roughly a 16-minute walk from Nijo Castle and one mile from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. On-site, some rooms are outfitted with private bathrooms and walk-in showers. There’s a tranquil garden on-site, and guests are served breakfast made with local specialties (there’s also an on-site coffee shop).
The historic, adults-only Ryokan Mugen was built 160 years ago. It’s about half a mile from Nijo Castle and less than a mile walking distance from Imperial Palace. Each room boasts an en suite shower room with toiletries. Spend time in the shared lounge on-site or at the bar at the annex building. The property rents out bicycles for exploring further into the city.
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that hosts travelers in an authentic Japanese space to experience the country’s culture in an immersive experience.
What is ryokan in English?
Ryokan just translates to mean “a traditional Japanese inn.”
Is it worth staying in a ryokan in Kyoto?
A Ryokan is a great choice for travelers seeking to really immerse themselves into the culture of Japan or experience more “luxurious” accommodations. They can also be a great option for groups, like families because guests can all sleep in the same room.
How much is a ryokan inn?
Ryokans traditionally cost between 15,000 and 25,000 yen (about $175) per person per night, which is more expensive than a hotel but worth the added cost for those who want an immersive experience.
Is a ryokan cheaper than a hotel?
Traditionally, ryokans are a bit more expensive than regular hotels. However, you tend to get much more value for your dollar, as amenities including meals and other aspects are included.
How many days should I spend in Kyoto?
Travelers should plan to spend at least two days minimum to explore Kyoto’s culture and attractions — but can easily spend a week in the city and still have plenty of things to do and see.
What area of Kyoto is best to stay in?
According to Insidekyoto.com, Downtown Kyoto is the best place in the city to be based for those who want to be within walking distance of many local restaurants, shops and bars, and tourist attractions. Southern Higashiyama is another top place to set as a home base, as well as Kyoto Station.