10 Best Ryokans In Kyoto For An Authentic Japanese Experience

Gin Seah is the voice of AAB Kyoto. His journey in Japan began at age 11 in Miyazaki and led him through many cities including Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo. It was in Kyoto, rich with history and culture, that he found his second home.
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Dreaming of a serene escape to traditional Japanese hospitality? Discover the best ryokans in Kyoto that promise an authentic cultural experience, unmatched relaxation, and exquisite service. From tranquil garden views to indulgent kaiseki meals, these ryokans offer a glimpse into Japan’s rich heritage and warm hospitality.

Dive into our list for a curated selection of the finest accommodations that will elevate your stay in Kyoto. Immerse yourself in the charm of Kyoto with our hand-picked recommendations. Scroll down to explore detailed reviews of each gem and plan your next getaway filled with tranquility and luxury.

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the charm of Japanese hospitality by staying at renowned ryokans like Tawaraya Ryokan and Hiiragiya Ryokan.
  • Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings of ryokans such as Hoshinoya Kyoto and Gion Hatanaka for a peaceful retreat.
  • Delight your taste buds with exquisite Japanese meals at Sumiya Kiho-an, known for its culinary offerings.
  • Discover the rich cultural heritage of Kyoto by staying at Yachiyo Ryokan and Ryokan Genhouin, each reflecting traditional Japanese aesthetics.
  • Engage with the local community and surroundings by choosing accommodations like the Iori Machiya Stay for an authentic Kyoto experience.
  • To secure a reservation at these popular ryokans, plan your trip and make your bookings early to avoid missing out on the unique experiences they offer.

10 Best Ryokans In Kyoto

the oldest and most prestigious traditional ryokan

1. Tawaraya Ryokan

Tawaraya Ryokan stands as the oldest and most prestigious traditional ryokan[1] in Kyoto, offering a blend of luxury accommodations with authentic Japanese hospitality. With a reputation for its serene atmosphere, guests are treated to exquisite kaiseki meals that showcase the finest in Japanese cuisine.

Embrace the essence of a bygone era. Tawaraya Ryokan boasts tatami rooms adorned with classic decor and traditional tatami mats. Guests indulge in meticulously prepared kaiseki meals, showcasing seasonal ingredients and culinary artistry unique to Japan. The ryokan’s tranquil ambiance provides an ideal setting for relaxation after exploring Kyoto’s bustling streets or historic temples like Dera Temple.

Tawaraya Ryokan is not just a place to stay; it’s an immersive experience that transports visitors into the heart of Japanese culture and tradition. Whether soaking in private baths or strolling through peaceful gardens, every moment at this luxurious retreat is designed to evoke a sense of tranquility amidst the city’s vibrant energy.

  • Affordability: The price range varies according to season, room size, and the quality of the garden view. As a basic guide, per-person rates range from ¥45,000 to ¥90,000, including two meals. Please note that these rates are per person, not per room.
  • Location: The exact location of Tawaraya Ryokan is 278 Nakahakusancho, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto 604-8094, Japan. It’s a short walk from Karasuma Oike Station, on the Tozai and Karasuma subway lines.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Nijo Castle (0.9 mi), Pontocho (0.5 mi), and The Museum of Kyoto (0.2 mi). It’s also close to some of Nakagyo’s most popular landmarks, such as Sacra, the former Fudo Chokin Bank Kyoto Branch (0.1 mi), and Yata Jijoson (0.1 mi).
  • Amenities: Tawaraya Ryokan offers amenities such as free high-speed internet (WiFi), a hot tub, free breakfast, complimentary tea, a non-smoking hotel, butler service, room service, and air conditioning. All guest rooms look out over their private gardens. The ryokan also has a business center and a gift/souvenir shop.

2. Hiiragiya Ryokan

A historic ryokan, the Hiiragiya Ryokan boasts a rich legacy spanning over a century. This establishment offers guests an authentic experience steeped in tradition and culture.

The rooms at Hiiragiya are meticulously designed, combining elegance with comfort to provide visitors with a serene retreat during their stay. The tranquil garden further enhances the overall ambiance of this remarkable ryokan.

One standout feature of Hiiragiya Ryokan is its commitment to personalized service. The attentive and helpful staff go above and beyond to cater to guests’ needs, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable stay for all visitors.

In addition to luxurious accommodations, Hiiragiya also offers traditional tea ceremonies that allow guests to immerse themselves in Japanese customs and rituals. This cultural experience adds depth and authenticity to the overall ryokan experience for travelers seeking an enriching cultural encounter.

Whether indulging in the beauty of its surroundings or partaking in traditional practices like tea ceremonies, Hiiragiya Ryokan provides an unparalleled glimpse into Japan’s rich heritage within the heart of Kyoto.

  • Affordability: Rates start from $1,513 or ¥45,000 to ¥100,000 per person. Please note that these rates may vary.
  • Location: Hiiragiya Ryokan is located in Nakahakusan-cho Fuya-cho Anekoji-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, KYOTO, 〒604-8094. It’s located in the heart of Kyoto.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Sannenzaka Ninenzaka (1.3 mi) and Eikando Zenrinji Temple (1.7 mi). It’s also close to some of Kyoto’s most popular landmarks, such as Kyukyodo (150 m) and Hakusan Shrine (160 m).
  • Amenities: Hiiragiya Ryokan offers amenities such as free high-speed internet (WiFi), a hot tub, an on-site restaurant, room service, and air conditioning. The ryokan also has a banquet room and provides Braille support in public spaces, an elevator for wheelchairs, a gravel path at the entrance, handrails in stairs and hallways, in-room emergency alarm, in-room emergency alarm for hearing impaired, in-room toilet and bathtub with handrails, and shared accessible toilet.

3. Hoshinoya Kyoto

Hoshinoya Kyoto is a modern ryokan that masterfully combines traditional Japanese aesthetics with contemporary design elements. Situated along the serene banks of the Oi River, this retreat offers an immersive experience surrounded by nature.

The ryokan stands out for its provision of private open-air baths, allowing guests to unwind while enjoying picturesque views of the river. This feature adds a touch of exclusivity and tranquility to each stay, enhancing the overall relaxation experience.

Moreover, Hoshinoya Kyoto’s location provides easy access to both cultural sites and natural landscapes. Guests can indulge in leisurely walks along the riverbanks or explore nearby attractions like temples and gardens without venturing too far from the comfort of their accommodation.

For those seeking a culinary adventure, Hoshinoya Kyoto does not disappoint. The ryokan boasts exceptional dining options featuring exquisite Japanese cuisine prepared with precision and artistry. From traditional tea ceremonies to gourmet dinners showcasing local flavors, foodies are sure to be delighted by the gastronomic offerings at this establishment.

  • Affordability: Rates start from $579. However, prices for this ryokan do not include meals. The restaurant serves dinner at 15750 yen or above and breakfast at 2900-3800 yen.
  • Location: The exact location of Hoshinoya Kyoto is 11-2 Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 〒616-0007. It’s located within walking distance of Arashiyama Railway Station, providing guests with a convenient base while visiting Kyoto.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include the Togetsu Bridge, Arashiyama Torokko station, and Sagano bamboo forest.
  • Amenities: Hoshinoya Kyoto offers amenities such as free high-speed internet (WiFi), a hot tub, a bar/lounge, a taxi service, baggage storage, concierge, laundry service, a restaurant, a café/lounge, a spa/massage, a playroom, a pool, an onsen, a public bath, and a meeting room.

4. Gion Hatanaka

Situated in the heart of the historic Gion district, Gion Hatanaka offers guests an immersive cultural experience. The ryokan stands out for its authentic geisha entertainment and traditional Japanese hospitality.

Guests can enjoy spacious rooms featuring traditional tatami floors and comfortable futon beds. The ryokan’s emphasis on preserving Japanese traditions provides visitors with a genuine taste of Japan’s rich heritage.

  • Affordability: Gion Hatanaka has a total of 23 rooms, which cost between 35,000 to 80,000 JPY per night.
  • Location: Gion Hatanaka is located at 505 Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Gion, Kyoto, Japan, 605-0074. It’s located near the Kamo River and is divided into two areas, Gion-Shinbashi and Gion-Kobu. It’s a short walk from the scenic Gion area.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Yasaka Shrine, which is 501 ft away, and Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is 1.0 km away.
  • Amenities: Gion Hatanaka offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms, a car park, luggage storage, shops, safety deposit boxes, tours, Wi-Fi in public areas, and a smoking area. It also offers room service.

a unique ryokan that immerses guests in Kyoto's vibrant culture

5. Gion Ryokan Q-beh

Nestled in the heart of Kyoto’s historic Gion district, Gion Ryokan Q-beh offers a unique escape that immerses guests in the city’s vibrant culture. The ryokan’s location, surrounded by traditional wooden machiya houses and teahouses, adds to the overall experience.

Gion Ryokan Q-beh boasts a tranquil ambiance that allows guests to unwind and relax during their stay. Its proximity to various landmarks, including Yasaka Shrine and Kodaiji Temple, enhances this peaceful setting.

Gion Ryokan Q-beh offers comfortable dormitory rooms and Japanese-style private rooms, providing guests with a taste of traditional Japanese living. The ryokan also offers free WiFi access in all areas, ensuring guests stay connected.

Moreover, one of the highlights of Gion Ryokan Q-beh is its location in the geisha district, allowing guests to immerse themselves in Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage. From the nearby teahouses and traditional restaurants, guests can savor authentic Japanese flavors while indulging in the local cuisine.

Gion Ryokan Q-beh is an ideal choice for those seeking budget accommodation and a cultural experience in Kyoto, allowing you to immerse yourself in soulful traditions beyond the city’s bustling streets.

  • Affordability: Gion Ryokan Q-beh offers rooms starting from $14.
  • Location: Gion Ryokan Q-beh is located at Higashiyama-ku Washiocho 505-3, Kyoto, 605-0072.
  • Landmarks: It’s located within walking distance from a variety of landmarks; including Yasaka Shrine and Kodaiji Temple, located just a 3-minute walk away.
  • Amenities: Gion Ryokan Q-beh offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms, a shared kitchen, laundry facilities, and a garden.

6. Sumiya Kiho-an

Sumiya Kiho-an is a ryokan in Kyoto that beautifully showcases traditional Japanese architecture and craftsmanship, providing guests with an authentic cultural experience. The ryokan features a breathtaking garden that adds to the serene atmosphere of the place.

Guests can enjoy a relaxing outdoor hot spring bath at Sumiya Kiho-an, offering a perfect way to unwind after exploring the sights of Kyoto. The public bath allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature while rejuvenating their minds and bodies.

One of the highlights of staying at Sumiya Kiho-an is indulging in their exquisite multi-course kaiseki meals. Prepared using fresh local ingredients, these meals not only satisfy taste buds but also offer a glimpse into Japan’s culinary traditions.

  • Affordability: The price per guest per night at Sumiya Kiho-an ranges from 25,500 to 56,400 yen.
  • Location: The exact location of Sumiya Kiho-an is Yunohana-onsen Hiedano-cho, Kameoka, Kyoto, 〒621-0036.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Senjuji Temple (1.3 mi) and Yogen-ji Temple (1.3 mi).
  • Amenities: Sumiya Kiho-an offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms, a car park, a shuttle service, a spa, an outdoor swimming pool, luggage storage, and free breakfast.

7. Yachiyo Ryokan

Located near the iconic Nanzen-ji Temple, Yachiyo Ryokan offers a serene escape with stunning views of the surrounding mountains from its charming rooms. The traditional Japanese-style accommodations immerse guests in an authentic cultural experience.

The ryokan’s warm hospitality ensures a memorable stay, where visitors can enjoy the beauty of a Japanese garden and experience firsthand the grace and tranquility that define Kyoto’s essence.

With each room designed to reflect simplicity and elegance, guests can unwind in a space that harmonizes nature with comfort. Moreover, having private bathrooms adds convenience to the traditional setting.

Yachiyo Ryokan blends old-world charm with modern amenities seamlessly. Guests have easy access to explore Kyoto while being just minutes away from this peaceful retreat, offering city dwellers respite amidst nature’s embrace.

For those seeking not just accommodation but an immersion into Japan’s rich heritage, Yachiyo Ryokan stands out as a perfect choice for experiencing Kyoto beyond its bustling streets and into its soulful traditions.

  • Affordability: The price per guest per night at Yachiyo Ryokan ranges from $180 to $1200.
  • Location: The exact location of Yachiyo Ryokan is 34 Nanzenji Fukuji-cho Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8435.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Nanzen-ji Temple which is a 3-minute walk away. Other attractions such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the Arashiyama area can be reached via a short journey by subway.
  • Amenities: Yachiyo Ryokan offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms. Some rooms come with a garden view, while others even have semi-outdoor onsen where you can soak while enjoying the scenery.

8. Ryokan Genhouin

Nestled in the serene Nanzenji temple complex, Ryokan Genhouin offers a unique experience for guests seeking tranquility and cultural immersion. The ryokan’s elegant guestrooms provide stunning views of either the temple gardens or the adjacent canal, allowing visitors to bask in the beauty of Kyoto’s natural landscapes.

With a focus on traditional Japanese-style accommodations, Ryokan Genhouin caters to both local and foreign guests looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. The peaceful ambiance of this ryokan sets the stage for moments of meditation and relaxation, making it an ideal retreat for those craving a break from their daily routine.

Guests at Ryokan Genhouin can indulge in authentic Japanese hospitality while surrounded by nature’s splendor. Whether enjoying tea ceremonies overlooking lush greenery or strolling through meticulously manicured gardens, every aspect of this ryokan is designed to evoke a sense of peace and harmony with one’s surroundings.

For travelers seeking more than just a place to stay but an immersive cultural experience intertwined with nature’s beauty, Ryokan Genhouin stands out as a top choice among Kyoto’s best ryokans.

  • Affordability: The price per guest per night at Ryokan Genhouin ranges from $500 to $1000.
  • Location: The exact location of Ryokan Genhouin is 77 Okazaki-hosshoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 606-8333.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Nanyoin (0.4 mi) and Reikanji Temple (0.6 mi). Other attractions such as Heian Shrine, Shoren-in Temple, and Samurai Kembu Kyoto are also nearby.
  • Amenities: Ryokan Genhouin offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms. Some rooms come with a terrace. A fine Japanese breakfast is served but not dinner.

9. Toshiharu Ryokan

Toshiharu Ryokan is a charming family-run establishment in Kyoto that has built a reputation for its exceptional hospitality over the years. The ryokan prides itself on offering warm and friendly service to all its guests, ensuring a personalized experience during their stay.

One of the standout features of Toshiharu Ryokan is its comfortable rooms, designed to provide a traditional yet cozy atmosphere for visitors. Guests can immerse themselves in the serene ambiance of Japanese culture while enjoying modern amenities for a truly relaxing retreat. The rooms are designed with tatami flooring and futon bedding, providing a taste of traditional Japanese living.

Toshiharu Ryokan is conveniently located in Kyoto, providing guests with easy access to a variety of dining options. Here, guests can savor traditional Japanese dishes prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients—a true delight for food enthusiasts seeking an immersive cultural journey through taste.

Located just a 3-minute walk from Gojo Station and 1 subway stop from JR Kyoto Train Station, this ryokan offers easy access to popular attractions and landmarks, making it an ideal choice for travelers looking to explore the beauty and heritage of the city seamlessly.

  • Affordability: The cheapest price a room at Toshiharu Ryokan was booked for on KAYAK in the last 2 weeks was $325.
  • Location: The exact location of Toshiharu Ryokan is 326 Benzaitencho, Matsubarasagaru, Suwancho-Dori, Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto 600-8428.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Kyoto Station Building (0.9 mi) and Sannenzaka Ninenzaka (1.3 mi). Other attractions such as Nishiki Market (0.5 mi), Gion (1.0 mi), and Kyoto National Museum (1.0 mi) are also within walking distance.
  • Amenities: Toshiharu Ryokan offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms. The ryokan rooms offer a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. Guests have access to a concierge, baggage storage, and a convenience store while staying at Toshiharu Ryokan. In addition, Toshiharu Ryokan offers a hot tub and breakfast.

10. Iori Machiya Stay

Staying at Iori Machiya offers a unique experience by immersing guests in traditional machiya townhouses, blending modern comforts with historical allure. These accommodations are strategically located across various neighborhoods, allowing visitors to deeply engage with the local culture.

Guests can enjoy the tranquility of Kyoto while still being close to popular attractions. The fusion of old-world charm and contemporary conveniences provides a harmonious stay. Each machiya is meticulously designed to reflect Japanese aesthetics and craftsmanship. Immerse yourself in the rich history and architecture that these traditional townhouses offer.

  • Affordability: The cheapest price a room at Iori Machiya was booked for on KAYAK in the last 2 weeks was $325.
  • Location: The exact location of Iori Machiya is 144-6 Sujiya-cho, Tominokoji-dori-Takatsuji-agaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto.
  • Landmarks: Nearby landmarks include Nishiki Market Shopping District (960 m) and Kyoto Station Building (1.3 km).
  • Amenities: Iori Machiya offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms. Each machiya has been beautifully restored and fitted with a host of modern features to make them comfortable and convenient for foreign visitors—things like floor heating, reading lights, a small kitchen, wifi, showers (in addition to wooden bathtubs), washing machines, etc.

one of the best ryokans in kyoto that offers a unique experience blending traditional Japanese culture with modern comfort


Each ryokan presents a distinctive experience, harmoniously merging tradition with contemporary comfort. It’s now your opportunity to select one that aligns with your preferences and immerse yourself in the realm of Japanese hospitality. Whether you’re drawn to the historical allure of Tawaraya Ryokan or the peaceful elegance of Sumiya Kiho-an, one certainty prevails: you’re embarking on an unforgettable journey steeped in culture and relaxation. In addition to these, we also have a selection of the best family-friendly hotels in the city, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all ages.

So, gather your belongings, prepare to indulge in the soothing hot springs, and lose yourself in the tranquility of these secluded treasures. Your adventure is just around the corner!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Tawaraya Ryokan stand out among the best ryokans in Kyoto?

Tawaraya Ryokan stands out for its rich history dating back to 1818, offering traditional Japanese hospitality known as “omotenashi.” The meticulous attention to detail and serene ambiance create an unforgettable experience for guests seeking an authentic cultural immersion.

Is Hoshinoya Kyoto suitable for travelers looking for a luxurious ryokan experience?

Yes, Hoshinoya Kyoto is renowned for its luxurious amenities and modern interpretation of the traditional ryokan concept. From private open-air baths overlooking the river to impeccable service and gourmet kaiseki meals, it caters to those seeking a blend of opulence and tradition.

How does Gion Hatanaka capture the essence of Kyoto’s historic Gion district?

Gion Hatanaka offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the charm of Kyoto’s historic Gion district. With elegant tea ceremonies, maiko performances, and exquisite seasonal kaiseki cuisine, this ryokan provides a glimpse into Japan’s ancient traditions amidst the picturesque surroundings.

What sets Iori Machiya Stay apart from other ryokans in terms of accommodation style?

Iori Machiya Stay distinguishes itself by offering beautifully restored machiya townhouses that combine historical architecture with modern comforts. Guests can enjoy the privacy of their own traditional home in Kyoto while experiencing personalized service tailored to their needs.

Are there any specific cultural experiences offered at Yachiyo Ryokan that guests can participate in?

Yachiyo Ryokan provides various cultural experiences such as tea ceremonies, ikebana (flower arranging), and yukata dressing sessions. These immersive activities allow guests to delve deeper into Japanese traditions and gain insights into the intricate customs associated with staying at a ryokan.

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