Konnichiwa! Kyoto, the city of ancient traditions and mesmerizing beauty, offers a wide range of accommodation options, but none can compare to the unique charm of a traditional Japanese ryokan. If you plan to visit Kyoto, I highly recommend staying at one of the many Ryokans there to fully embrace the cultural experience. Having explored various ryokans during my recent trip to Kyoto, I’m excited to share my top five picks, each offering a distinct experience tailored to different preferences. So, let’s dive into the enchanting world of Kyoto’s best ryokans!
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What is a Ryokan
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn that offers guests a unique and immersive cultural experience. These inns have a history dating back many centuries and have preserved their authentic charm and customs throughout the years. Staying in a ryokan allows visitors to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle, hospitality, and aesthetics.
Key features of a ryokan include:
Things to Consider When Choosing a Ryokan
When choosing a ryokan for your stay, there are several important factors to consider to ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable experience. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a ryokan that best suits your preferences and ensures a memorable and culturally immersive experience during your stay in Japan.
Best Kid Friendly Ryokan in Kyoto
Kyoto Watazen Ryokan
Why it won: Kyoto Watazen Ryokan has earned its title as the best ryokan for families due to its warm hospitality and family-friendly atmosphere. The attentive staff goes above and beyond to ensure a comfortable stay for both parents and children. The location in Nakagyo-ku provides easy access to family-friendly attractions, making it an ideal choice for those traveling with kids.
Overall opinion: A delightful experience for families seeking a taste of traditional Kyoto, Kyoto Watazen Ryokan leaves no stone unturned in providing a memorable stay for both adults and children.
Best Ryokan in Kyoto for Couples
Why it won: Ryokan Mugen stood out as the perfect romantic escape for couples, offering a tranquil and serene ambiance in the heart of Kyoto’s iconic Gion district. The exclusive private onsen experience adds an extra touch of intimacy, allowing couples to unwind in complete privacy and luxury.
Overall opinion: An enchanting hideaway for couples seeking romance and tranquility, Ryokan Mugen offers an unforgettable experience in the heart of Kyoto’s historic district.
Best Budget Friendly Ryokan in Kyoto
Why it won: Ebisu Ryokan pleasantly surprised me with its affordability without compromising on comfort. Situated in the picturesque Higashiyama neighborhood, this budget-friendly ryokan offers a genuine ryokan experience at an affordable price, making it an excellent choice for travelers on a budget.
Overall opinion: Ideal for budget-conscious travelers seeking an authentic ryokan experience without breaking the bank, Ebisu Ryokan provides a warm and inviting atmosphere in one of Kyoto’s most charming neighborhoods.
Best Luxury Ryokan in Kyoto
Kyoto Ohara Ryokan Seryo
Why it won: Kyoto Ohara Ryokan Seryo exudes opulence and refinement, offering guests a taste of traditional Japanese luxury. The ryokan’s setting in the serene countryside of Ohara provides a tranquil retreat, and the public onsen allows guests to indulge in the therapeutic benefits of the natural hot springs.
Overall opinion: For those seeking a lavish escape and an immersion into Japanese traditions, Kyoto Ohara Ryokan Seryo is the epitome of luxury and elegance, promising an unforgettable stay.
Best Ryokan in Kyoto with Private Onsen
Arashiyama Hot Spring Arashiyama Benkei Ryokan
Why it won: Arashiyama Hot Spring Arashiyama Benkei Ryokan captures the essence of relaxation with its private onsen offerings. The ryokan’s breathtaking location in Arashiyama, overlooking the river, enhances the overall experience, providing guests with an enchanting stay.
Overall opinion: A haven of tranquility and rejuvenation, Arashiyama Hot Spring Arashiyama Benkei Ryokan is perfect for travelers seeking the luxury of a private onsen and a serene getaway amidst nature’s beauty.
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Summing it Up
With an array of ryokans to choose from, Kyoto offers an unforgettable journey into the heart of Japanese traditions and culture. Whether you’re traveling with family, looking for romance, sticking to a budget, or indulging in luxury, these five ryokans provide a unique experience tailored to your desires. Kyoto’s ryokans promise a glimpse into the time-honored customs of Japan and leave guests with cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Happy travels and may your stay in Kyoto be truly magical!