[2018 Edition] The Best 10 Ryokan in Kyoto with Private Onsen Baths
Onsen hot springs are one of the pleasures of visiting Japan. Ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) that offer rooms with private baths are recommended for families and couples who wish to enjoy the hot spring without worrying about other guests. Here are a selection of inns in Kyoto with such rooms.
1. NAZUNA Kyoto Aneyakoji tei
At this inn, you can have an over 90-year-old traditional Kyo-machiya style house all to yourself. It is located in central Kyoto, near Nijo-jo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. The interior is decorated with washi Japanese paper, giving it an at-home feel. There is even a traditional Japanese garden and a private open-air bath to enjoy. There are also opportunities to experience Japanese culture, such as preparing matcha green tea. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the building and staff who speak English.
2. Arashiyama Benkei
This is a traditional ryokan just five minutes on foot from the Keifuku Arashiyama Station. It is in a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with views of the beautiful nature of the popular tourist destination of Arashiyama. There are rooms with baths made with hinoki cypress and wonderful views where you can enjoy the soft natural onsen hot spring water in the privacy of your own space. You can even book one whole floor of the annex if you are looking for a particularly luxurious time. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the building and staff who speak English, Chinese, and Korean.
3. Shoenso Hozugawatei
This is an onsen inn in Kameoka, an area of Kyoto famous for its open-air trains and boat rides on Hozu River. At this inn, you can enjoy quality natural hot spring water in large shared baths, medicated baths, open-air baths, and foot baths. There are six different types of guest rooms, all of which are warm, comfortable rooms made with an abundance of wood. Out of all the rooms, the most recommended is the Japanese-Style Room with Open-Air Bath, in which you can enjoy a bath with views of the surrounding seasonal nature. The meals include outstanding dishes made with carefully selected ingredients, such as Tamba Beef. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the building and staff who speak English.
This is an onsen inn in Yuhigaura Onsen in Kyotango City that is famous for its sunsets. The baths are filled with hot spring water flowing directly from the source. The open-air baths are surrounded by Japanese gardens, and are wonderful for relaxing in. There are 29 guest rooms, 19 of which have private open-air baths, some even with gardens. The meals, which are all handmade by in-house chefs, are wonderful opportunities to thoroughly enjoy the flavors of local ingredients.
5. NAZUNA Kyoto Nijo-tei - Service & Dedication -
This is a luxurious ryokan where all rooms come with private open-air baths. There are five types of guest rooms, including Japanese-style rooms, maisonettes, and even whole machiya-style houses, all of which have an atmosphere unique to traditional wooden structures. The rooms are furnished with sophisticated wood furniture which can be purchased at the inn. The inn also offers "ocha-buro", with tea leaves floating in the bath. The ocha-buro are said to have whitening and beautifying effects on the skin. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the building, and staff who speak English.
This is the only inn in the Arashiyama area with natural hot spring water that is constantly flowing from the source. It is a wonderful place to relax in the hot spring water that is gentle on the skin while enjoying views of seasonal nature. There are two room types - the Japanese-style Twin Rooms, which come with aromatic bathtubs made from hinoki cypress, and the Japanese-style Deluxe Twin Rooms, that feature open-air baths in which to enjoy the surrounding nature. This is an inn where you can have an extraordinary experience, away from everyday cares. Dinner is colorful kaiseki multi-course cuisine full of seasonal ingredients. There is free Wi-Fi access in the guest rooms and English-speaking staff on site.
7. Ujo Soan
This is an adult-only inn in Yuhigaura Onsen. The appeal of the hot spring water here is the soft texture that is said to be beneficial to the skin. All guest rooms are roomy, detached Japanese-style units. All rooms have open-air baths with decks where you can enjoy a view of the starry skies. Dinner is served in private rooms in the restaurant, Amatsumizu. Savor the flavors of freshly procured ingredients there. There is also a wide selection of local sake. There is free Wi-Fi access in the guest rooms.
8. Kashoen Hanare Kai
This is an onsen inn in Yuhigaura Onsen. It is in a fantastic location facing the Sea of Japan, so you can enjoy the natural hot spring water while gazing across the horizon. The view of the sunset, when the rose-colored sky and ocean blend together, is fantastic. There are four different types of guest rooms. The Japanese-Style Room with Open-Air Bath, of which there are only five, are recommended, as they offer an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful seascape in the comfort of your own space while listening to the sounds of the waves and feeling the sea breeze. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the building and staff who speak English.
9. Ryokan Nenrinbo
This is an accommodation in a quiet area surrounded by mountains. It is an elegant, traditional ryokan with a beautiful garden where you can enjoy the passing of the seasons, as well as a gallery with a variety of artwork. Each of the 43 guest rooms that surround the garden is uniquely designed, such as the Japanese-Style Deluxe Room with Open-air Bath that offer fantastic views of the mountains from the bath, and the Japanese-Style Family Room with Terrace, a great room for appreciating the surrounding nature. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the building and English-speaking staff on site.
10. Hanayashiki Ukifune en
This is a historic ryokan patronized by many artists and writers. It is full of blooming flowers, giving it the name "hanayashiki" (flower residence). The elegant guest rooms decorated with tea flowers all have views of the beautiful Uji River. The Tokiwa and Akebono rooms have semi open-air baths. An added benefit of this inn is the easy access to the World Heritage Sites of Byodoin Temple and Ujigami Shrine. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the building and staff who speak English and Spanish.
These are all wonderful places where you can relax and rejuvenate yourself in a private space so that you can go out and enjoy your travels in Kyoto again the next day.
*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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