This family-run ryokan is situated in a quiet back street about five minutes' walk from Kyoto Station. Rooms are traditional in style, with futons on tatami mats for sleeping, but are en suite (half tub with a shower over), and have air conditioning and other mod cons (such as a TV and hair dryer). It is very quiet for so central a location, though as walls are thin you may be disturbed by other guests from time to time.
Breakfast is included and is served in a small room next to the equally small garden. It is a traditional Japanese one - you are given a tray with items such as tofu with wasabi, some noodles, pickles and seaweed, and miso soup and rice are served separately, as is green tea. If you're hankering for some accustomed Western touches, you'll be pleased to see the yoghurt and small pieces of fruit, and you can help yourself to coffee from a machine in the lobby.
There is free wifi but only in the lobby, which has a small seating area (which incidentally has a good supply of guidebooks and local leaflets to help you plan your day). As this is a traditional home, you need to remove your shoes in the entry and wear the slippers provided or just your socks. Be careful – I found the polished wooden stairs up to our first floor room very slippery in my socks, while the slippers were no easier as I kept leaving them behind on the steps!
If you’re looking for friendly local-style accommodation in a great location in Kyoto, at a good price, this could be just your thing. With just enough mod-cons but lots of character, it’s an option well worth considering.
We had arrived here too early to check in, so we left our bags and hurried out again to make the most of our time, and all decided to catch taxis to our first destination.
Directions: Exit Kyoto Station, cross the road in front and go north on Karasuma Dori opposite. Past Yodobashi Store turn left and walk 1.5 blocks down a narrow street. Heianbo is a reddish building on the right just past a parking area on the left.
This is a comfortable ryokan in a great area for making use of public transport. It is just around the corner from Kyoto station, where you can catch trains, buses and taxi's easily. There are also plenty of cheap places to eat (try inside the station itself...you'll be spoiled for choice...a place called the Cube)
The rooms are a good size (by Japanese standards), and some have private toilets and bathrooms. Rooms are reached by crossing a little red bridge alongside a small japanese garden. The shared bathroom was a bit of a dissapointment to me ...the bath was way too cold...not a complaint I've ever had in Japan before!
Breakfast is included in the price, and it is a good japanese style brekky...will really fill you up. Unless of course you have a sweet tooth like my dad, and can't eat anything that isn't 95% sugar!
My only complaint would be the cat. It is really old, and tends to poop where he stands...generally right in the entrance on the red welcoming mat! The place did have a smell of cat pee about it too, but only at the entrance.
A large ryokan with big rooms and traditional Japanese tatami mats and mattresses. Not all rooms have toilets in them, although ours did have a shower.
The hotel was very clean and quiet. Breakfast was a very elaborate Japanese style.
Check-in is quite late, 4pm, and check out is 10am.
They also have a curfew of 11:30pm, although you can arrange to stay out later if required.
Unique Quality: Very typical, very Japanese, no plastic Japan - this is the real thing...
Directions: Exit Kyoto station by the main exit and cross the road towards the Kyoto tower. Take the first left and walk for a minute or so, quickly past the Starbucks, then the hotel is down the next road on the left.
Near the Kyoto station is this small and friendly ryokan. The rooms have no numbers but names. So pay attention when you are shown to your room, unless you can read japanese ofcourse.
To make things easier for us non japanese they attached a label with our name to the key. That way we can recognize our key upon returning home.
Directions: From Kyoto station go north. Cross the Shiokoji-dori. Turn left and take the second street right. Pass the parkinglot and go left. Heianbo is at your right after the next parking lot.
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Address: 725 Higashi Shiokoji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, 600-8216, Japan