The fun parts about staying at a ryokan (Japanese inn) are the hot springs and the cuisine. If it's a room that has a private open-air bath attached you can spend as much time as you want in the bath without worrying about anyone else from morning to night. Here are some ryokan in Kyoto where you can do that.
Kyoto Yu no Hana Onsen Shouensou Hozugawatei is a ryokan surrounded by greenery about a 30 minute car ride away from the city of Kyoto. It's modeled after the pleasure boats that float down the Hozu River gorge, so both its facade and interior are bold and impressive. When you take a step into the building, you'll find yourself in the atrium that has a high ceiling to give off the impression of openness. That openness will make you forget the clamor of daily life. This ryokan is known for its onsen facilities. They have a variety of open-air baths including some made of stone, cypress wood, and pharmaceutical baths. In the huge indoor bath area there are hot tubs, baths where you lie down, a mist sauna, private baths, and more so this is a facility where you won't get tired of baths. But if you want to enjoy monopolizing a bath for your own pleasure, an open-air bath attached to your guestroom is the best for that. You can enjoy a leisurely soak while enjoying greenery and the breeze. You can enjoy their colorful and plentiful kaiseki (banquet) cuisine using fresh seafood from Kyoto Chuo Wholesale Market and Tamba beef that's delicious all year round, so please spend a relaxing time here.
*Photo is of one example of an open-air bath attached to a guestroom.
写真提供：京都・湯の花温泉 松園荘 保津川亭
1. Kyoto Yu no Hana Onsen Shouensou Hozugawatei
Yu no Hana Onsen Kyo YUNOHANA RESORT Suisen is a luxury ryokan in Kameoka that has 13 guestrooms and is representative of Kyoto. You can be satisfied with a bath in the onsen while enjoying the elegant atmosphere and the fresh air from the greenery, so if you're here you can relax both your body and soul. The living areas and guestrooms all have different designs but are connected due to the decorating theme being modern Japanese aesthetics. There is a suite of 113 square meters, and 6 rooms have private open-air baths attached, so you can have a nice leisurely bath while gazing out at nature! After you soak, you can enjoy their excellent cuisine. They offer kaiseki cuisine that changes daily, but everything is designed with Kyoto-like colors and elegance and the food is made to bring out the best of the seasonal ingredients. It's worth visiting just for the food if you don't have much time, so definitely consider it!
*Photo is of an example of an open-air bath attached to a guestroom.
Arashiyama Benkei is a ryokan that will make you truly feel that you've arrived in Kyoto. It has a great location where you can see Arashiyama and Togetsukyou in one sweep, so it's an inn where you can enjoy the lush nature throughout all four seasons. This inn overflows with a calm, Japanese-like atmosphere. You can rest your tired body in the mineral waters of the tasteful large bath, the open-air bath, or the private bath. It's recommended that you take advantage of the guestrooms with a private open-air bath filled with natural spring water that's gentle on skin. Plus, the bath has hot tub facilities for added luxury. There are a lot of sightseeing areas nearby, such as boating down the Hozu River, a trolley, and more of the Kyoto suburbs. Their meals are traditional and delicious genuine kaiseki cuisine and there are many people who come here often just for the food. Please check this ryokan out.
Taiza Onsen Sumihei was built in the first year of the Meiji period, 1868. While the business is old, the building itself goes under renovations on a regular basis so the establishment is modern. This is an inn that not only faces the sea for a beautiful view of the sun, but also uses seafood freshly caught from the Sea of Japan so this is a recommended inn for gourmets. Their crab dishes served in November are particularly famous, but their other seafood dishes outside of crab season are made with the high quality you can only find in a fishing village! In the summer they offer kaiseki cuisine focusing on rock oysters. Their onsen are characteristic by the great designs of the baths. There is an open-air bath with a modern wood deck or an indoor bath where you can bathe listening to jazz. There are also two rooms called "Kanami no Ma" where you can enjoy private baths as well as two separate buildings called "Kinean" that have open-air baths attached. Each room is different, but in all of them you can enjoy a luxurious experience. Why not spend a leisurely time in the best onsen to refresh yourself?
4. Taiza Onsen Sumihei
Ryokan Suzuran, in Kumihama, is a homey ryokan surrounded by the countryside. Nearby there's a saltwater bath, great for the summer. The inn is famous for its specially selected crab dishes that it offers in the winter, such as kanisuki (sukiyaki made with crab instead of beef) and grilled crab. Many people visit every year just for that. Also, their traditional Japanese food is made with colorful ingredients such as fresh seafood sent directly from the port and home-grown vegetables, and among them their domestic stone-grilled Japanese Wagyu beef is especially recommended thanks to the way the sweetness and flavor of the beef spreads through your mouth with just a bite.
The hot spring, called Kumano no Yu, is water directly from the well of the Tango Kamino Onsen spring and it will warm and refresh your body from inside out. In the entrance there's a footbath, so it would be good to use it right when you get there. For people who want to enjoy a private bath, it would be good to reserve one of the guestrooms with open-air baths attached or one of the rooms with both open-air baths and foot baths.
5. Ryokan Suzuran
There are many ryokan in Kyoto, and among them there are a variety of guestrooms that come with open-air baths. Hot tubs, modern baths, places where you can enjoy the scenery - pick your preferred bath and find the ryokan for you!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.