The term ryokan is ubiquitous in Japan, but many first time travelers to Japan might not know exactly what it means. The title ryokan is the name given to traditional Japanese style inns.

And although there is no strict definition of what a ryokan is, there are a handful of universal elements that make them just so. Such unifying examples of a ryokan include incredible cuisine, authentic appreciation for Japanese design, and the most dedicated passion for ‘omotenashi’, Japanese hospitality is just a few features.

This traditional Japanese guest house is where guests get to immerse themselves in the charming culture of the country. Want to know where to stay in Kyoto’s most historic town? Well, you should try the ryokan experience just once. 

ryokan

Ryokan in Japan, Prasertsak Charoen

For those uninitiated, a ryokan is a small, traditional hotel and a cultural touchpoint that’s been a central part of the nation’s culture for centuries. Throughout history, ryokans have come in so many shapes and forms, from homes offering spare rooms to luxury style establishments offering meticulous hospitality and exquisite and intricate cuisine.

It was in the 17th century that ryokans flourished as it was during this time that trade between Tokyo and Kyoto’s Imperial Palace increased. Despite urban development, Tokyo is still home to quite a few of them. Old-world charm, soothing public baths, classic Japanese hospitality, and authentic local cuisine, you haven’t experienced Tokyo’s rich culture until you’ve spent a night in a ryokan.

Need some tips on where to stay in Kyoto, Japan? Looking for Kyoto accommodations that will give you a cozy and authentic Japanese experience? Then, make sure to book a stay at one of the best ryokan in Kyoto!


A time-honored tradition, a ryokan is a traditional Japanese guest house where guests get to immerse themselves into the charming culture.  Plus, a stay at a ryokan in Kyoto lets you indulge in the city’s mouthwatering seasonal cuisine, learn the language and even soak in reinvigorating hot springs.

To top it all off, today’s ryokan in Kyoto comes with a variety of amenities and cool features, including luxurious spas as well as gorgeous tatami and bamboo accents.

 

10 Best Ryokan In Kyoto 

1. Togetsutei

Togetsutei

Togetsutei, Giovanni Consiglio

Explore the most picture-perfect locale in Kyoto – Arashiyama – by staying at the picturesque Togetsutei. Located west of the city’s urban area, Arashiyama is truly an awe-inspiring natural wonder with beguiling creatures, architecture, rivers, and scenic mountains. And, the rooms of this ryokan offer a plethora of luxurious amenities, private gardens, and mesmerizing views

When not venturing into the wonders of Arashiyama, you can also enjoy the ryokan’s gift shop, onsen, and spa. The starting price is around JPY 13,000.

Togetsutei

Address: 54-4 Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0004, Japan (map)

Website: togetsutei.co.jp

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81758711310

 

2. Hoshinoya Kyoto

Hoshinoya Kyoto

Hoshinoya Kyoto, 星のや京都/HOSHINOYA Kyoto

They don’t call Hoshinoya as the best ryokan in Kyoto for nothing. Nestled perfectly at the heart of Arashiyama, this picturesque ryokan in Kyoto will sweep you into bliss with its river views and magnificent scenery.  Originally built in the Meiji period, this luxury Japanese inn is beloved for its cozy ambiance as well as eye-catching decorations, including lanterns and handcrafted furniture.

Of course, Hoshinoya Kyoto also boasts extremely snug rooms, first-rate service, and delectable meals created by the well-known chef Kubota Ichiro.

When staying at this ryokan in Kyoto, don’t forget to check out its water and atmospheric open-air tearoom. The starting price is JPY 42,500.

Hoshinoya Kyoto

Address: Japan, 〒616-0007 Kyoto, Nishikyo Ward, 嵐山元録山町11−2 (map)

Website: hoshinoya.com

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81570073066

 

3. Matsubaya Ryokan

With its convenient location and versatility, it’s no wonder Matsubaya Ryokan is often billed as one of the best ryokans in Kyoto, Japan. Offering both Western-style and Japanese accommodations, this ryokan is literally stepped away from the celebrated Higashi-Hoganji Temple.


Not to mention, it’s located in the serene area in Matsubaya, meaning it’s an excellent choice for couples as well as those traveling in Kyoto with kids.

Whether you’re strolling through its lush garden or lounging in a cozy guest room, you can experience pure and unadulterated relaxation, here.

The starting price is JPY 12,500.

Matsubaya Ryokan

Address: Japan, 〒600-8150 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Kamijuzuyacho, 通東洞院西入 (map)

Website: matsubayainn.com

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81753513727

 

4. Kinse Inn

Kinse Ryokan

Kinse Ryokan, きんせ旅館

Kinse Inn was once an ageya, which in English is an elite pleasure house during the Edo period. Today, it has been renovated into a café and ryokan in Kyoto. The café’s ground floor has stained-glass windows and vaulted ceilings that serve as remnants of the Westernization period of Japan during the 1900s.

Upstairs, guests will find a small traditional Japanese bath where you can unwind after a day of non-stop sightseeing in Kyoto. Additionally, it has a more authentic Japanese charm, with calligraphy scrolls and paper lanterns that decorate the inn’s rooms.

The whole second floor can be privately rented for those who want to immerse themselves fully in this extraordinary ryokan in Kyoto with more than 200 years of history. The starting price is JPY 17,000.

Kinse Inn

Address: 79 Nishishinyashiki Tayucho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8827, Japan (map)

Website: kinseinn.com

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81753514781

 

5. Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan

Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan

Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan, Chang Tao

Searching for the perfect place to pamper yourself or spend a retreat with your loved one in Kyoto? Why not book a stay at Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan? With this ryokan in Kyoto, you get to choose from a private hot spring bath or a traditional Japanese guest room with impressive mountain views. What’s more, the inn has a full-service spa offering therapeutic treatments, like Ayurveda.

Plus, it has an impressive Japanese architecture and lovely grounds wherein guests can immerse themselves into classic practices like the tea ceremony. The starting price is JPY 19,500.

Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan

Address: Miyanooku-25番地 Hiedanocho Kakihana, Kameoka, Kyoto 621-0036, Japan (map)

Website: sumiya.ne.jp

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81771227722

 

6. Gion Hatanaka

Gion Hatanaka

Gion Hatanaka, Sung Eun Kim

Gion Hatanaka is located in a celebrated historic district known for its ancient architecture and intriguing geishas. And, while the ryokan’s location is one of its top features, there’s surely a whole lot more to love about Gion Hatanaka. For one, guest rooms have their private baths and overlook private gardens.

And, it includes a wondrous and one-of-a-kind culinary course that features a maiko – a geisha apprentice – to eat with you. And, did we mention that it’s a few feet away from the Yasaka Shrine? The contact number is +81 75-541-5315, and the starting price is JPY 25,200.

Gion Hatanaka

Address: 505 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0074, Japan (map)

Website: thehatanaka.co.jp

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81755415315

 

7. Seikoro Ryokan

Seikoro

Seikoro, Edwar Kartio

Seikoro Ryokan, built-in 1831, offers guests snug and modern Kyoto accommodations in the Higashiyama neighborhood. This ryokan Kyoto inn is decorated elaborately with artistic touches blending contemporary features with traditional aesthetics in Japan.


As a guest, you can select between sleeping plush beds or comfortable futons. Facilities of this ryokan in Kyoto include a communal bathing area, verdant courtyard, lounge, café, and a restaurant. The starting price is JPY 20,520.

Seikoro Ryokan

Address: Japan, 〒605-0907 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 問屋町通五条下ル三丁目西橘町467 (map)

Website: seikoro.com

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81755610771

 

8. Tawaraya Ryokan

Tawaraya Ryokan

Tawaraya Ryokan, Stephen Galazzo

Tawaraya is, no doubt, one of the best ryokans in Kyoto, Japan. For years, this ryokan Kyoto inn has been luring travelers from all over the world with its top-notch service and cushy accommodations. As a matter of fact, the legendary and late Steve Jobs was once a guest of this ryokan in Kyoto.

The ryokan is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere, thanks to its tranquil Japanese style rooms, expertly maintained garden, and sumptuous seasonal meals. While there, make it a point to buy their popular original soap. The starting price is JPY 55,891.

Tawaraya Ryokan

Address: 278 Nakahakusancho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8094, Japan (map)

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81752115566

 

9. Momijiya Honkan Takao Sansou

Momijiya Honkan Takao Sansou Ryokan

Momijiya Honkan Takao Sansou Ryokan, もみぢ家 本館 高雄山荘

Located near Mount Takao, Momijiya Honkan Takao Sansou was renovated as well as reopened in 2014. Here, you can savor the fresh mountain breeze and feast your eyes on its gorgeous foliage. And, when nighttime comes, you can gaze in amazement at the million of stars above you.

Alternatively, you can unwind on its open-air elevated bath known as the “bath of the sky”.

The starting price is JPY 15,000.

Momijiya Honkan Takao Sansou

Address: Umegahata Takaocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8292, Japan (map)

Website: momijiya.jp

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81758711005

 

10. Hiiragiya Ryokan

Hiiragiya

Hiiragiya, John Go

Established in 1818, Hiiragiya Ryokan is an enthralling, refined Japanese-style, two-story ryokan in Kyoto, Japan. It was built to make the visitors feel like they are at home.

One of the ryokan’s charms is its Kyoto-style garden than can be viewed from its inviting rooms. As an added bonus, this ryokan in Kyoto offers instant access to Gion and Shin-kyogoku.

The starting price is JPY 34,000.

Hiiragiya Ryokan

Address: Japan, 〒604-8094 Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 姉小路上ル中白山町277 (map)

Website: hiiragiya.co.jp

Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81752211136

Tip

You can’t leave Kyoto without a quick visit to Maikoya. From tea ceremonies to kimono photo ops, Maikoya offers a variety of fun and authentic Japanese experiences.

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