Kyoto is visited by around 55,000,000 people yearly and they have all sorts of ryokan from simple ones to high-class, luxury ones. Here are 5 high-class ryokan that you should try staying in at least once.
1. Amayadori no Yado Ujou Souan
"Yuuhigaura, an area selected as one of Japan's top 100 places for beautiful sunsets, is home to Ujou Souan, a luxury ryokan made with the concept of ""enjoy the rain"". It's an area with high levels of rainfall so the five rooms on the premises are designed to seem as though you're hiding yourself away to relax. All the rooms are separate from each other. Each room has a Japanese room of 8 tatami mats, a bedroom, a terrace, and an open-air bath. It's decorated in a fusion of Japanese aesthetic and Asian styles so you'll feel like you're in a resort. If you open the window, you'll be able to hear the elegant calls of birds and insects. The meal prepared by the restaurant Amatsumizu and eaten in a private room, is usually a wooden ship filled with fresh seafood and vegetables and a kaiseki-style meal that uses the ingredients in ways to make it as delicious as possible. They use seasonal ingredients, such as flying fish in the spring and summer and snow crab in the winter. Many people repeatedly stay at this ryokan to enjoy their meals. In the garden, a little way away from the path, there is a building meant for reading called Kusamakura that's surrounded by nature. There you can leisurely read to your heart's content. It's recommended that you stay at this hotel in June."
2. Tawaraya Ryokan
Tawaraya Ryokan is a 300 year old ryokan that is now loved by celebrities from all over the world but was also a hotel regularly used by members of the Imperial Court and daimyo feudal lords. Their high levels of hospitality that have been handed down throughout the generations have often been called the world's best and it's famous for being an inn that people aspire to stay in. It's definitely recommended for people who want to experience staying at a historical Kyoto ryokan. Every room has views of both the inner courtyard and the gardens, and the styles of architecture used (sukiya-style like a tea ceremony arbor and shoin-style residential architecture) will make everything feel like The Kyoto Atmosphere is surrounding you. The sight of the garden through the glass window is so beautiful it looks like a painting. There isn't a large public bath but the bathtubs in each room are made from high-class umbrella pine so the smell of the wood will relax you as you bathe. Their nutritious kaiseki-style cuisine using carefully chosen ingredients is also popular. When you visit, definitely try the tatami chair called "Benz Tatami Chair" that's modeled after the owner's beloved Mercedes-Benz.
3. Shunmi Nagusa Oyado Seryou
Shunmi Nagusa Oyado Seryou is a ryokan of about 8300 square meters in front of Kyoto's Sanzen-in. It's a comfortable ryokan where you can enjoy the fresh air while gazing at the mountains. It's famous for its food. Its kaiseki-style meals use natural ingredients Kyoto vegetables, vegetables from their garden, and mountain vegetables for a meal that is beautiful but also delicious with local Kyoto sake. Each room faces the garden, and you can choose from a variety of rooms including one decorated in a stylish modern Japanese aesthetic-style room or a traditional room. However, the recommended room for spending your trip in luxury is the room that comes with an open-air bath where you can gaze out on the mountains of Ohara and the room's private garden! It's extremely beautiful in the evening, so you can experience life in the lap of luxury. Near the ryokan are the sightseeing spots of Sanzen-in and Hosen-in, so please check those out too.
4. Hoshinoya Kyoto
Hoshinoya Kyoto is a ryokan that mixes Kyoto's tradition and modernity with harmony. It's an inn that has gathered a lot of attention. Every room has a view of the Ooi River, and when you stay there, you have to ride a houseboat for ten minutes from the wharf at Arashiyama to get there. So luxurious! The interior of the hotel and every room is outfitted with a modern atmosphere that has been created with great attention to detail. The facilities in each room are different, so even if you stay here often, it will feel fresh and new each time. Hoshinoya Dining has received a star in the Michelin Guide, and there you can enjoy a new kind of kaiseki-style meal that uses a variety of cooking techniques and ingredients. This is a perfect ryokan for people who want to enjoy the beauty of nature and Kyoto's elegance while having a relaxing time.
5. Sumiya Kihouan
Sumiya Kihouan is in a ryokan in the Yu no Hana hot spring area, often called "Kyoto's inner parlor." They have a variety of rooms available, including some with a heated table set into the floor or an open-air bath fed by hot spring water, so it's recommended for people that want a detailed plan for their accommodations. There are even rooms that have foot baths. They have baths like the women-only open-air bath made from a cherry blossom tree that was 1,000 years old, a men-only open-air bath meant for lying down in that has pillows of cherry wood, as well as the Yama no Kakureyu private open-air bath that is at the end of the path in the forest. Also you should definitely enjoy the Kyoto-style meals made with seasonal ingredients like Tamba-brand beef and Tamba black soy beans as well as the Australian wine list carefully chosen by a sommelier!
Taking a trip to Kyoto doesn't mean just sightseeing, staying at a ryokan is another way to enjoy yourself. Please discover a ryokan that suits your taste.
*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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