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“Fantastic location, but splurge on dinners instead”
Review of Yuzuya Ryokan

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Yuzuya Ryokan
Ranked #84 of 373 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Kuala Lumpur
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic location, but splurge on dinners instead”
Reviewed 12 October 2010

What I liked best about this ryokan is it's fantastic location! It is right in the heart of Gion, next to Yasaka shrine, and the bus stop is just literally at it's door step. I felt the high price of the room is not too worth it, I would definitely come here for the kaiseki dinners instead of staying here.

The room is very large and spacious, bathroom has full amenities, and the futons are very comfy. The stairs leading up to the rooms are very steep, but they help you take your luggage up and down. The stairs leading up to the ryokan are also steep. Just take a note if you have young children/disabled/heavy luggage. No internet in rooms, only at lobby area.

Kaiseki dinner was very good, and the breakfast the next day (Japanese breakfast) was excellent.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lucygoosey168
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2010

Stayed with my wife and my parents/friend/brother after my wedding. The staff is very friendly and speak English very well and were extremely helpful in advising us about site seeing and getting around town. More than that, they really made us feel comfortable, relaxed, and at home, rather than feeling like we were in a hotel. The rooms were a bit sparse but very nice. The single-person room had unit baths instead of wood soaking tubs, though.

The only negative was dinner. The food was fabulous, but there was just way too much of it, and the kaseki style took way too long (3 hours for dinner). Breakfast also had great food, and just the right amount.

The location is good, too, next to the Yasaka-jinja shrine and in a nice walking part of town. Yuzuya was definitely the best of the 3 ryokan I have visited. I am staying there again the next time I'm in Kyoto.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RogerNAWC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2010

This ryokan is expensive - but absolutely superb.

From the moment I arrived, I felt the absolute tranquility. I left the busy streets and was welcomed into a little oasis. The staff warmly greeted me and assisted me with my bags. I was shown about the hotel, including the gorgeous Japanese garden.

When I was taken to my room a few minutes later, my bags were already in the room. I was offered tea ceremony - and suddenly, I started to really understand the art of the practice. It is hard to describe - I used to think "tea ceremony, big deal" - but this ryokan will show you how it is a true art. The staff are very receptive to foreigners, and will gladly answer questions about Japanese culture. You will not feel embarassed about asking, and thier explanations are clear and enlightening.

The best part was dinner - 8 courses of some of the finest food I have ever eaten (and I have eaten in some top restaurants!). Again, every course was explained - where the food comes from, why it is served on particular plates, how you eat it etc. I was dining alone and I really appreciated the interaction with the staff. On my second night, I dined with a friend, and he also agreed that the food was superb. The meal was completely different, so you don't have to be worried about being served the same thing over and over.

For breakfast, you are offered either Japanese or Western style. I love my Japanese food... but just can't stomach a Japanese breakfast. The Western style offered was very filling and delicious (western breakfast in Japan is usually poor, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the croissants and bacon!)

When I finished my dinner, I went back to my room to find the futon laid out, a torch by the bedside (in case I woke in the night - how thoughtful!). The futon was extremely comfortable.

My room had a balcony which looked out onto the streets of Gion. Which leads me to another highlight of this ryokan - you could not get a better location. It is next door to Yasaka shrine. I walked to all of the historical attractions, which was fantastic. I could just roam around and be immersed in the city.

Finally, the ryokan has an onsen bath (separate for male/female, though I understand you can book it for private family bathing). The bath is well appointed, a single hot bath with plenty of towels. It was the perfect way to unwind.

I can't speak highly enough of this hotel - the location, the food, the wonderful staff, the comfortable bed. Sure, it is expensive, but it is worth every single yen.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bondibubble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2010

I stayed here as a solo traveller in August 2007. It was quite pricey, but definitely worth it. I got my own room with a yukata and lots of space. The dinner was amazing, course after course. I had requested vegetarian food, and they certainly impressed with it. By the end of the meal I was so full, and they offered to bring dessert to my room in the form of some green tea and a fresh fruit platter. Perfect in the August heat.

I booked my stay through Guest Houses Kyoto. I paid 37,429 yen plus a 5% tax.

They also let me borrow a laptop with an internet connection at the reception.

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank smuffin33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2010

We went to Tokyo and Kyoto at the end of September 2009 wanting to experience both modern and traditional Japan. While my partner was not immediately convinced about sleeping on the "floor" in the ryokan, I knew I had to at least experience staying in one when we were in Japan.

What better city to experience a ryokan than in Kyoto. My partner and I both love travelling and staying in beautiful boutique accommodations around the world. We try to avoid chain hotels when we can, and aim for that special one off place that has that X factor.

Yuzuya Ryokan could not have been a more special and phenomenal experience. All you expect out of a traditional ryokan and then more.

ROOMS
First, we wanted a 2 bedroom ryokan since we travelled in Kyoto with my 18-year-old sister. It was difficult to find a nice ryokan with 2 bedrooms that offer a non-shared bathroom/toilet. Yuzuya has that and we stayed in that room (it was called the "Ai" or Blue room). While the size of each room was not huge by international standard hotel room, but it was the biggest I've seen for a ryokan room. The rooms are also very clean and tidy. The main room also works as the living room with a coffee table in the middle and a wooden cupboard in the corner (where they store traditional yukata for you to wear). The little snacks they leave on the table is a nice touch. The main room also has an extended indoor "balcony" area looking out to the main street (Yasaka Jinja Minami Donari), which is adjacent to the little bathroom. The actual bathtub is very small and narrow, so I don't recommend jumping and submerging yourself in it. You could use the very low shower head and the provided wooden stool to sit and shower. Very Japanese!! The second room was a little larger and simple and equally clean. The toilet is clean, and just like anything in a ryokan, the wash basin is small. But they all worked just fine and the toiletries provided were all yuzu (Japanese citrus) infused. Very nice! There's a small TV in the corner of the main room and the room was equipped with air-conditioner which was great because Kyoto was hot and humid! There was no space for a luggage storage (we just put them aside in our room). Overall, we're very happy with the rooms and expected a much smaller room for a ryokan. The fact that it has its own bathroom and toilet is a big plus for us.

At night, they pushed the table aside and made way for the super comfortable futon beds on the tatami floor. They were just the softest and most comfortable thing I've ever slept in. Even my partner loved it. It was like sleeping in clouds.

FOOD
The price comes with beautiful 8-9 course traditional kaiseki dinner and traditional full breakfast. Both meals were served in their beautiful intimate restaurant on the ground floor. It is an amazing setting you could only understand by being there. Both dinner and breakfast were HUGE! Dinner took around 2 hours max. and there were at least 8 to 9 courses. Breakfast was also very nice and huge but they all kinda came at the same time, followed by coffee or tea. The menu was different to each day, and they were all yuzu inspired again. I was so very impressed with the quality of the food. They served the best ingredients of the season (they served us the very expensive matsutake mushroom and the mouth-watering kyoto beef) and presented them in a very aesthetic yet still traditional way. They use a large ceramic rice cooker/furnace to cook the rice and I couldn't get enough of them, they were so delicate and nice. I liked the fact that we didn't have to eat in our bedroom, as we truly enjoyed dining in their restaurant (donning the lovely yukata of course!)

SERVICE
From the start, we were welcomed by the young man called Hiro with such grace and professionalism, that you'd think he is almost personally responsible of this ryokan. Upon arrival, he asked us to leave all our bags behind by the receptionist and immediately took us to our room on the second floor (by the time we got there, our bags were magically sitting in our room waiting for us too!) - he then offered us cool drinks as he sat and bowed his way through explaining everything we needed to know about staying there. Very very polite, and he spoke very fluent English. He made us feel totally welcomed and I knew right there and then we picked the right ryokan.

During meal times, we were then served by a lovely young lady (I think her name was Aki) and she spoke excellent English and joked with us a few times, and still maintained a high level of professionalism and politeness.

They looked after us so well, even with little things like extra maps to show you places of interest and how to get there, and lending umbrellas since it was raining all day in Kyoto on the second day, to calling a taxi to take us back to the train station on the last day. Nothing was a trouble for them. On the last day, we walked a lot to cover as much Kyoto as possible in the heat of the day, and were given refreshing cold yuzu drinks when we returned to collect our bags before going to the train station. We had already checked out in the morning and paid everything, and thought this was a very kind gesture from them. We felt truly lucky and spoilt by Yuzuya, and would recommend this place in a heartbeat to anyone who wants to experience the highest standard of a traditional ryokan.

FYI
Their wi-fi only works on the ground floor (restaurant and receptionist). There is a same-sex onsen facility (with yuzu!) on the ground floor, but we didn't have the time to try it this time. All of their rooms, I think, are on the second floor. The hotel wouldn't have been very easy to find, had I not done my research on Google Street View map. It is exactly right next to Yasaka Shrine, and the entrance gate was so small, you would walk and miss it. A few steep and narrow (can be a bit slippery if raining) steps to get from the street level to the actual doors of the establishment. There's no disability access, I think. There's also a bus stop right outside the ryokan, and a few others around the area, which is very handy if you plan to wander around Kyoto using a bus. It's located in beautiful Gion, which is the old traditional part of the city.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank benlimisella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yuzuya Ryokan

Property: Yuzuya Ryokan
Address: 545 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0074, Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
#25 Luxury Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €€€€
Hotel Class:5 star — Yuzuya Ryokan 5*
Number of rooms: 9
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Also Known As:
Yuzuya Ryokan Hotel Kyoto

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