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All reviews tomoko san kobe beef kaiseki dinner umemi room ryokan experience picturesque street japanese breakfast japanese culture seventh generation overlooking the canal cypress wood once in a lifetime gion district small river perfect ryokan floor heating seasonal ingredients
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Reviewed 25 March 2014

I did not think that this ryokan could be as good as the previously posted reviews, but it lived up to expectations. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is able to get a reservation. The ryokan is in a very convenient location to the historic district. We stayed in the "Umegae Room", a suite which was spacious for the four of us with two bathrooms. We enjoyed the delicious dinner that Tomoko served. She is incredibly lovely and warm, a true embodiment of Japanese graciousness. The dinner was a culinary delight, with care taken to every detail. Certainly as good as, if not better than any gourmet restaurant. I would highly recommend it. The breakfasts were delicious, but the Japanese breakfast was an experience. At the end of our short two day stay, I felt that I was leaving a family member. An outstanding experience.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Lai Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Even though I was already very familiar with the high quality of service and courtesy the Japanese society demands, the ryokan still blew me away with their service.

Originally wanted to stay for 3 nights but since it was fully booked (mind you this was 2.5 months prior to our arrival) we stayed for 1 night. But it was already one of the most memorable parts of our trip.

1. 2 of us stayed in a large room that could take 4, since it was the only room left available. It had an "apartment" feel as the dining area and the living room/sleeping area were two large separate areas, the corridor from the entrance of the room led further into the bathrooms and to the right of the corridor there were plants we can look out to out of the huge windows.

2. The kaiseki dinner was amazing. It was much better than the other kaiseki dinners we paid in highly-rated restaurants in kyoto. We opted to have dinner in our room as we wanted to enjoy the room - each dish was immaculately explained to us - their ingredients, their history, how they are prepared. We were very full at the end. The breakfast was even so - the Japanese choice left us so full lunch was not eaten until very late that day.

3. Each detail of hospitality was observed. Tomoko went over the map of Kyoto with us and recommended sites to see (apart from the major ones, she recommended us to ones with fewer tourists but equally worth the visit), researched for us which bus we should take.

4. The bathroom was very comfortable and utilities were provided. The black sugar salts were amazing and a great stress reliever after a hot day walking around Kyoto.

5. The location is amazing. The street itself is along the stream but as it was not a main road, the streets were very quiet. Do walk around the area and venture along the streets around Gion - the historic buildings are amazing and should not be missed.

6. On departure we were given little plum satchets that radiated a very fresh smell as souvenirs.

Please note ryokans are in general rather expensive when compared to other hotel-styled accommodations.

I shall not hesitate to recommend to anyone visiting Kyoto.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank oneworld_dreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We have just returned today from our first trip to Japan and I felt it was wrong of me not to write this straight away! My sister stayed here last year and we had the luxurious pleasure of staying for 3 nights this week. I have never reviewed anything in my life but to not would be an injustice to this place! 3 words...heaven on earth! Once you have stayed here every other accommodation will pale in comparison. All the other reviews are spot on.... The most beautiful hotel experience I have ever had. Tomoko is the most gracious and elegant host and all her staff are lovely and kind and helpful. My sisters partner was quite sick with the flu and ouzo tea and miso were thoughtfully brought to him during the night as he was too sick to go out for dinner. Nothing is too much trouble but you don't need to ask for anything because everything that you need has been thoughtfully provided! The dinner was an amazing experience not just because of the thoughtfully planned seasonal menu but also Tomokos explanation of each course! My husband and I are already planning our next stay for next year!!!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Maryiacobbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2014

We had a wonderful two day trip to the Shiraume. I only wished it were longer but it appears that the vacancies fill up fast, so word to the wise: book sooner rather than later! Tomoko was a wonderful host, giving us fantastic advice about the history of Kyoto and what to do in the city. She was very knowledgeable about the surrounding areas as well and helped us plan our extended trip (we stayed an extra two days in Kyoto after our stay here).
We splurged on the breakfast and dinner package, totally worth it. It allowed us to come back exhausted from a full day tour and do nothing but take a dip in one of the two natural spring water jacuzzis, relax, then stroll down the hall for a multi-course dinner. Every time we came back to the Ryokan we were presented with tea and afternoons had a whole tea course with sweets.
The Ryokan had a library in the main area that helped us research (using travel books left behind) our trip - yes, we were a bit lazy about this until our arrival.
There were two main dining areas, one of which was a private room that sat us for our first dinner and a bigger room that could accommodate about 3-4 couples for breakfast /dinner.
My husband and I selected the Kaiseki dinner option the first night - the courses were delicious and never seemed to end. The second night we selected the Kobe beef option. I had unfortunately taken a bit ill (be careful what you eat at the Kyoto market!), so my husband went ahead without me. I wasn't sure if I would eat but once I felt better than night, the kind staff went out of their way to ask my husband if i would have just some miso soup and rice! It was so thoughtful, Tomoko arrived with the food and some japanese medicine for nausea which was very helpful and so kind - she absolutely went out of her way to make our stay so wonderful!
The Ryokan is also perfectly situated in Gion with ample nightlife surrounding it (we didn't venture out, unfortunately) but also within walking distance of the main shopping area/market across the river and a number of shrines.
We will definitely return on our next trip to Kyoto and will make sure to recommend this place to all friends who expect to visit!

Room Tip: We didn't get a room with a shower inside, just a bathroom, and didn't find it too inconvenient, as one jacuzzi/shower room was right across the hall from our room. I suppose if we decided to splurge a little more, it would have been better to have the shower inside, but with the bathroom included en suite, we felt it was definitely doable.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

I don’t think words can do justice how much we enjoyed our night at Shiraume Ryokan. From the minute we stepped in to the house we knew our splurge was a great decision. Tomoko is a wonderful host, taking the time to give us a tour and explain all the ornate features of the property to us. We enjoyed complementary Asahi and Sake in the library followed by an extravagant traditional 10 course Kaiseki dinner in the comfort of our room. Tomoko made the effort to come in with every course to explain the intricate features of the dish. It was a truly memorable experience. Our room was incredible, on the 2nd floor with a beautiful view of the river. All the décor was amazing. We were particularly impressed with the timber bathroom and loved all the boutique products available for us to use! It was a sad moment when we had to leave. If we could have afforded it, we definitely would have stayed longer. We splashed out on this experience and it was the best money spent on our holiday. A night we will never forget! Do yourself a favour and pencil in a stay at this wonderful property. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Geehee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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