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Ryokans Kyoto Tradition and History in Japan

Ryokans Kyoto Tradition and History in Japan

​Japan is steeped in tradition as Kyoto remains the home of the Geisha still living in ancient Ryokan. The masterful art of woven flooring and ergonomically designed chairs provide the ultimate experience.


Situated in an ideal spot along the Takase River, the ryokan has a colourful history. Named after the Geisha Ikumatse by one of the Meiji Lords, the residence has views across the three major mountains surrounding Kyoto. Most of the rooms have views of the Kamo River and are ideally located with easy access to Shrines, Temples and the downtown area of Kawara-machi. Buses and the subway are all conveniently close by. At the end of the Edo period, many clansmen would walk the Kamo Riverbanks so it is exciting to follow in their footsteps as the sun sets across the valley.


Mt. Arashiyama is the perfect setting for the newest Ryokan in Kyoto. A luxurious setting greets you as you enter a very modern take on an old theme. Situated up - stream from the Togetsu bridge, the ryokan is well hidden providing the ultimate romantic and restful stay. The gardens are meticulously kept in true Japanese styled fashion. Mt Arashiyama's stream is full of body soothing elements so the Rangetsu is the perfect place along the stream to harness the healing waters.


Built along the Oigawa Riverbank and also at the foot of Mt Arashiyama, the Hoshinoya is definitely a royal experience. One of a chain of resorts, the beauty of the surrounding countryside is not lost when you stay in this Ryokan. Take a boat ride on the river and you will feel like you are a world away. There are more traditional rooms alongside more western styled suites. The group also have accommodations in Kai with Risonare being tailored to families.


Hot spring water from the Arayshiyama Mountains fills the Onsen in this Ryokan which is more than a century old. The serenity and calmness you feel upon entering is almost palpable. Dine on tofu inspired menus with local fruits a specialty. From the moment you start your experience at the Togetsutei you will be wishing your stay would never end. Close enough to the centre of the city yet far enough away to enjoy the immersion into true Japanese culture.


Without a doubt the Ryokan Benkei has everything a cultural experience in Kyoto could provide. The Onsens are a comfortable ph. of 8.3 making the hot Springs water silky to the touch. A gentle blend of both western and local décor certainly adds to the wonderful atmosphere that the owners have created. If you wish a private Onsen, they can be booked and paid for as an extra requirement. Just a 15 minute walk from the JR Saga Arashiyama and Hankyu Arashiyama rail stations or by hotel shuttle bus which can be booked ahead, you will be greeted by Kimono clad staff who make you feel like this is a home away from home.


One of the smaller Ryokans in Kyoto, the Hanaikada promises everything that the bigger establishments deliver but on a very personal level. Market time sees the chef shopping for the daily meals. If you ask nicely he may even allow you to accompany him for the selections. Situated close to the Togetsukyo Bridge, the surrounding scenery is breathtaking. If you travel in the spring, the cherry blossoms that line the river bank provide you with one of the most picturesque holidays you could imagine. The tatami mats in the rooms are gently fragranced and all have the necessary facilities. English speaking hosts make your stay a memorable one. Finish off your day with a ride on the Romantic Sagano train and your day will be complete.


​Many of the Tea ceremony masters stay at this establishment. The Sumiya has been in operation for over 100 years and has had three generations of family in attendance. There are fusuma (Japanese sliding doors) throughout adding to the ambience of local hospitality. The hotel is also home to many antiques showing the cultural and historic past of Japan. The Onsens are as you have come to expect of Japanese culture with the Hot Springs from the mountain comforting the soul as you soak away aches and pains in style.


If you wish to stay in one of the most historical and authentic places in Kyoto, then this is the place for you. Built in 1818, the two storey wooden building takes you back in time to old style Japanese hospitality and custom. The Inn has been in the same family for six generations and has had the privilege of the Imperial Royal family as guests. Famous writers and poets have all called Hiiragiya home throughout its life. There are 28 rooms each with an individual motif and some with screens decorated in gold leaf while others have Zen styled ink drawings. Each room has an antique lacquered writing box inlaid with mother of pearl while the Kaiseki Cuisine completes the ultimate holiday in true Kyoto style.

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28 November 2022

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