10 Best Ryokan in Kyoto

Ryokan exterior Accommodation
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Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

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A ryokan is a traditional type of Japanese accommodation, and staying at one is a great way to experience Japanese culture and hospitality. Many ryokan have a very long history and hence an authentic vibe with tatami (straw mat) flooring, low tables with seating on the floor as well as washi paper doors and aesthetic decorations to ensure a peaceful atmosphere. Ryokan can be found all across Japan, but one of the best places to experience them is in Kyoto, a region of Japan well known for its rich history, so read on to find your favorite!

1. Seikoro Ryokan

Seikoro Ryokan is located only 7 minutes from Kyoto Station and is an establishment with almost 200 years of history. The intricate, warmly lit wooden entrance welcomes its visitors into the well maintained hallways. Guests can enjoy an on-site onsen, which has also been designed using wood as a theme. This is an important part of Japanese culture, so make sure to read up on hot spring etiquette if this is your first time visiting one – we are sure you’ll enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. The rooms are spacious and seamlessly incorporate the aesthetic elements used throughout the ryokan. A kaiseki meal is prepared for dinner and is a great opportunity for you to try out the local cuisine, while you’ll have the choice between Japanese- and Western-style breakfast sets.

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2. Kyoto Nanzenji Ryokan Yachiyo

Located 25 minutes from Kyoto Station by car, is Nanzenji Yachiyo. This serene ryokan features a garden and pond, which beautifully change their appearance throughout the four different seasons. The onsen here is available 24/7 and it is open-air, allowing you to enjoy nature while you enjoy a nice warm soak. The rooms are subtly decorated and offer pretty views of the garden foliage from strategically placed windows. The restaurant prepares mouthwatering Japanese meals, which can be enjoyed while taking in the views of the lush greens outside. For those planning to do some sightseeing, be sure to check out the famous Kiyomizudera Temple, which is a 15-minute car ride away.

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3. Rangetsu

While most ryokan offer quite a high-end experience, some are indeed more lavish and luxurious than others. Rangetsu is the first ryokan on our list to offer the option of a private onsen bath in your room – the ultimate luxury! With tubs made from hinoki, Japanese cedar, the smell is incredible and undeniably relaxing. The rooms have wonderful views and come in a wide range of styles with and without private baths, and the ryokan’s public baths are also very relaxing and enjoyable. Since the location is in Arashiyama, don’t forget to check out the bamboo forest!

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4. Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado

If you’re in town to check out Kyoto’s famous manga museum, then this ryokan is a great choice for you since it’s located only 20 minutes’ walk from the museum. Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado feels a bit less traditional than some other ryokan as it features mostly Western-style rooms, and beds instead of futons. Most rooms have private bathrooms, but the water here does not come from an onsen, and there is no public bath. Each room is unique and even has its own name, so you’ll surely be able to find an option that will suit you perfectly.

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5. Nazuna Kyoto Gosho

Located even closer to the manga museum is Nazuna Kyoto Gosho, which is probably the ryokan with the most contemporary feel on this list. While it still retains some traditional aspects, it also features decorations that feel very modern yet rustic. This property is quite luxurious, and some rooms even have their own outdoor baths and gardens. You’ll surely be impressed by the atmosphere; with its combination of contemporary and traditional elements, it’s highly unique.

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6. Nanzenji Sando KIKUSUI

Reaching higher into the realms of top-tier ryokan is Nanzenji Sando KIKUSUI, located about 4 kilometers from central Kyoto. Featuring a modern aesthetic that exudes a refined atmosphere, this stunning property is a complete experience. The on-site restaurant has views of the expansive garden and serves up Asian and European dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the most extravagant rooms here feature balconies overlooking the pond for optimal relaxation.

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7. Ryokan Genhouin

Another contender for the pinnacle of ryokan luxury is Genhouin. With stunning garden views and stylish rooms, this high-end property comes with both public and private baths. The interior is on the traditional side; with warm tones and elements of paper and wood, the authenticity here is remarkable. With a location about 4 kilometers from the city center, this ryokan also hosts weddings from time to time and is consistently well reviewed in every aspect. 

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8. Yasaka Yutone Kyokoyado

Yasaka Yutone Kyokoyado is an interesting option with a refined balance between Japanese and Western elements throughout the property. While the style is primarily Japanese, some furnishings and architectural elements have clearly been influenced by the west. Needless to say, the vibe is very welcoming and comfortable. The restaurant serves kaiseki-style meals upon request, and there’s even a library available to staying guests.

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9. Kyo Yunohana Resort Suisen

If you’re hoping for your own open-air bath, peaceful garden views, and a juicy steak for dinner, look no further. Kyo Yunohara Resort Suisen sports calming Japanese elements, making the baths an incredibly serene experience. Remarkably, the establishment can boast of 10/10 reviews on some sites, so while it is a little far from the center of Kyoto, it is certainly a wonderful choice.

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10. Nazuna Kyoto Nijo-jo

If you’ve enjoyed reading about the variety of baths in our collection of ryokan so far, this just might be the ideal place for you. Featuring full or semi open-air baths in all rooms, Nazuna Kyoto Nijo-jo is a stunning establishment. With minimalism at the heart of the design, the rooms here are masterpieces of Japanese aesthetics and luxury. Some rooms feature the private bath in a central location, creating a very unique atmosphere, while others are located right next to the garden. Either way, you will be able to get under the covers relaxed and refreshed after a long pre-bedtime soak in the steaming waters.

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Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Kyoto

When you are visiting Kyoto and you need some help organizing your trip, you came to the right place. We’re happy to help you make your trip to Kyoto the best trip ever. We can advise you on where to go or even better, show you around with a local, English speaking guide. Let us help you create safe, comfortable, and unforgettable memories in Kyoto!

Kyoto 8h Private Custom Highlight Tour with Licensed Guide
On this full-day private tour of Kyoto, you will be able to see the highlights of Kyoto in just one day and at the same time develop a deeper understanding of both the culture of the area and Japan as a whole.

Kyoto 10-Hour HIGHLIGHT Private Tour
If you only have a day or two in Kyoto, we offer a full-day tour of the city, enabling you to immerse yourself in and fully enjoy the entire city of Kyoto in just 10 hours!

Explore Nishiki Market: Food & Culture Walk
If you’re looking to learn more about the culture and the local cuisine of Kyoto, this is the perfect tour for you! Take part in this Kyoto food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the famous surrounding areas.

Find Other Experience

Kimono Rental
Kyoto is the best city to explore in kimono, Japanese traditional clothing. You can choose the one you like the most from several patterns and colors at the rental shop. In Kyoto, two locations are both accessible from the main tourist attractions which makes it easy to try it on and explore the city for a day!

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Happy traveling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

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