Kyoto is home to many sightseeing spots that are filled with that unique Japanese atmosphere. If you are travelling, won’t it feel great to come home to a place where you can relax while marveling at a wonderful Japanese garden? Here are five famous ryokan (Japanese inn) in Kyoto that feature gorgeous gardens.
1. Kyoto Garden Ryokan Yachiyo
Kyoto Garden Ryokan Yachiyo is located within a short walking distance from some of the most famous tourist sites in Kyoto, including Heian Shrine that is popular for its beautiful cherry blossoms, and Nanzen-ji and Eikan-do temples. The first things you will notice when you visit this ryokan that is surrounded by a beautiful garden is the the courtyard called a tsubo-niwa ("tsubo" means the size of 2 tatami mats, 3.3sq.m., and "niwa" means garden - so a tsubo-niwa is a 3.3sq.m. garden) and the blooming flowers in season. From the guestrooms and the adjacent garden restaurant Ryotei, you will be able to see the breathtaking garden that was designed by Jihei Ogawa, a pioneer in modern Japanese gardens. The Kyoto dishes proudly offered by this restaurant use only soup stocks that are carefully made each morning and ingredients in season, and they are served in exquisite dishes. Kyoto Garden Ryokan Yachiyo is an inn where you can have a relaxing time in the midst of lush nature.
Genhouin is a modern Japanese-style inn that is perfectly fused with the scenery of Higashiyama mountains. Originally a residence of the noble family, this inn features one detached house and four guestrooms on an area that measures more than 1,650sq.m. There are various kinds of guestrooms available here, including a room that resembles a tea arbor, and rooms that are directly connected to the garden. The garden is a stroll-type garden (wherein there is a path around a central pond) that offers gorgeous views that change every season, including cherry blossoms in spring, autumn foliage in autumn, and a snowy landscape in winter. If you take a walk in this garden, you will feel a sense of bliss in the midst of the extraordinary atmosphere.
3. NISHIYAMA RYOKAN
NISHIYAMA RYOKAN is an inn with a modern Japanese garden that is situated in the heart of Kyoto. The effective use of indirect illumination in its garden with a pond creates a magical scene that guests will surely love. The contrast of the light and the garden enhances the design of the garden, transforming it into a beautiful modern space. Here, you can choose between Japanese and Japanese-Western rooms, and you can see the waterfalls from the large public bath. Another highlight of this inn is its creativekaiseki ryori (a kind of Japanese cuisine that is often offered in banquets, wherein the dishes are served in courses) that will give you a taste of seasonal local dishes.
※Staff can speak English
4. Ryokan Yamazaki
Takaoji Ryokan is an inn with a restaurant that is located in the Takao area which is some distance away from the center of Kyoto. While it is slightly separated from the central Kyoto, it still manages to attract guests with its beautiful scenery every season, such as cherry blossoms in spring, fresh verdure in summer, the changing colors of leaves in autumn, and snow in winter. Here, guests will get to marvel at the elegant Japanese garden from the restaurant and many of the rooms, or stroll in the garden to unwind. When it comes to food, aside from the authentic kaiseki ryori, you may also enjoy the lunch buffet that features standard Japanese dishes such as tempura and sushi.
Kikusui is a “ryori ryokan” (a ryokan for Japanese cuisine) that is located right next to Kyoto’s Nanzen-ji. It is famous as an inn with a beautiful garden, as it features an approximately 1,650sq.m. stroll-type garden that was designed by the famous gardener Jihei Ogawa. From every room, guests will be able to witness the scenic beauty of the garden that looks like it came straight out of a painting. So, how about forgetting the hustle and bustle of every day life by tasting this inn’s famous “yudofu” (a dish that is made by warming tofu in kelp-based soup stock and then seasoning it with condiments and soy sauce) while admiring the gorgeous garden? It is also recommended to take a souvenir photo in the extremely photogenic garden.
Kyoto has a lot of ryokan and hotels that feature elegant and beautiful gardens. So, use this article as reference and check them out!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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