January 17, 2011

Kyoto Ryokan experience

Almost 3 months ago (wow, time vanishes so quickly) Andy and I were in Kyoto at Kikokuso Ryokan.

The experience was amazing, and I definitely-super-totally-mega-recommend Kikokuso if you are planning a Kyoto trip in the future.  (*you may remember I posted about my obsessive research HERE and HERE*)

The couple who own Kikokuso are the most darling people in the entire world.  The matron, a woman about as big as my Yorkshire (she's actually about 4 feet tall) insisted on carrying my heavy luggage up a narrow staircase to our room.  She poured us green tea and gave us little azuki soft candies, quietly gesturing to the room's amenities.

There are only 3 rooms in this place - 3! and a lovely iwaburo or rock bath onsen which you can use all by your lonesome.  Our room was the lone second floor room, and overlooked the gorgeous central garden.  We had a little TV, tea maker, old school phone, sliding paper doors and extra down blankets and pillows tucked in the walls. [left]

We opted not to get the set meal - our reasons being we wanted to be able to explore the city without having to be back by a certain time -  Here is what we missed...

I used YADO web to book this and they were great, but you can also use Japanese Guest Houses.
They also have great reviews on Trip Advisor.

After we checked out, they saw us off, making sure we didn't need a ride (the owner will drive you himself!) to the train station.  Kyoto Station is less than a 5 minute walk, so it was no problem - but they waved for a good 15 minutes as we walked away.

rouka  廊下 ろうか
our little hallway with the washroom on the outside

my little makeup/dressing table complete with laquer comb and jewelry boxes

garden views

 飲茶! やむちゃ 
snacks to go with your tea

pond in the center of the home


  1. Wow, these are so wonderful!

  2. Wow, everything looks so nice and clean. You certainly did your research. :D I would love to stay there someday. And have a koi pond in the center of my home. Hell yes!

  3. Looking at these photos instantly lowered my blood pressure. What a peaceful, beautiful place. I want to live there!

  4. Ooooo so gorgeous. Only 3 rooms? Sheer bliss. Meaning less patrons at the springs in later hours. Kyoto seems so picturesque in these shots. I k ow it must have been like the world had stopped!

  5. Waaaaaaaa - so lovely!
    Fantastic little place to stay - it must of been so great and relaxing to be there!

  6. beautiful pictures in this post!

  7. Oh my, that's really really beautiful. I wish I had stayed in a ryokan while in Japan, esp after reading this!

  8. Wow!!! It is so beautiful! I want to go to Kyoto soooooo bad, but I haven't had the chance yet :(
    If I do though, I'm totally looking this place up!

  9. thanks guys!

    Yes, it was incredible and supremely inexpensive. After conversion, the whole thing cost us only $214 USD. Woo!

  10. Beautiful!! And did they have a library of manga? I heard that hotels in Japan have entire rooms full of graphic novels.

  11. Hello, We are going to Kyoto on middle April. How you made the reservation? by phone? by email?.

    We are very interested on visiting this lovely place, can you help us?

    Angela and Werner from Chile.

  12. Thanks guys!

    Barbara - no they didn't, but the national Manga museum was right down the street :)

    Werner - Yes, it's easy to book them using YADO.COM or JapanGuestHouses.com !

  13. you did a great job documenting all of this. so many lovely photos!

  14. Hi,

    May I know how long they will take to reply to your reservation?

    Many thanks