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“A great place to stay when traveling alone”
Review of Hokkaikan Ohanabo

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Hokkaikan Ohanabo
Ranked #19 of 405 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 January 2014

I stayed here for one of my nights in Kyoto. I have to stay, after staying here I was actually considering spending the rest of my trip in Kyoto here. The staffs were all very friendly. It feels just like home. Unfortunately the wifi connection in my room was a little bad so I had to come hang out in the lounge for a long time but that was no problem since everyone is very nice and you wouldn't feel any awkwardness. They treat everyone very nicely regardless of the language the guests use .

The food was absolutely delicious and worth the money. I mean, they are on the cheaper end but you can see that they did their food well and everything is nicely presented and delicious. It was such a relaxed day. The breakfast was also perfect, too.

I would also recommend going to the public bath often. If you choose the right time to go, you often won't encounter others. If so, they would often look away so you won't feel too awkward about it.

I guess the only thing I have to complain is: Why didn't I stay for longer?!!

Room Tip: If you can, ask for a room not on the first floor. It has a bad wifi connection. Also, if you pla...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank ka41993ka4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
お花坊予約担当者, オーナー at Hokkaikan Ohanabo, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2014

Thank you for your comment and nice pictures.

We are very happy to hear that you could felt our ryokan as your home.
We welcome our guests as our special family here.

Please come back to your Kyoto's home anytime you are visiting Kyoto.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 January 2014

We did our research and decided to stay at Ohanabo for two nights, with the breakfast option. They offer dinner as well, but we wanted to be sure to explore the other restaurants in Kyoto. Located maybe five minutes walking from Kyoto Station, Ohanabo is on the Kyoto Tower side, the Central Exit I believe. It's pretty much a straight shot once you get out of the station. Google maps gives an accurate picture.

The staff at Ohanabo was incredible. They greeted us warmly upon our arrival, carried our bags up to our room, gave a quick tour of the place (which includes common areas with wifi, shower rooms, multiple bathrooms, a public bath house, and a dining room -- all of which were clean and decorated), and brought us tea shortly after leaving us to our room. They went above and beyond, helping us book dinner reservations at a traditional Japanese restaurant and making sure the cab ride logistics was all taken care of.

The breakfast was so beautifully presented, briefly explained, and absolutely delicious. Served with rice, miso soup, and tea, it was some of the best eats I had in Japan. Simple and fresh ingredients, prepared to a tee, some of the dishes included fish, fruits, leafed salads, tofu, and rice cakes of sorts. We started both days with full bellies.

We stayed in a three person room, which was a lot more spacious than I thought it would be. There was a small entryway complete with a full-length mirror, mini fridge, and electric tea pot. The main room had three bed-floor mats with bedding, a closet, a television, and a small floor "dining room" table. The backed floor chairs were very comfortable, and we were able to do all of our planning in our room (wifi signal picked up from the common area a floor down).

Again, the staff made our visit Kyoto so pleasant and comfortable. If I ever return to Kyoto (which I hope to!), I will definitely stay at Ohanabo again. It was obvious the staff loved what they were doing and they were good at it.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank Abby N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
お花坊予約担当者, オーナー at Hokkaikan Ohanabo, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2014

Thank you for your nice comment.

Yes you are right.
Our ryokan locates at the place on the Kyoto tower side.
Walking 5 mins straight from Central Exit of Kyoto station.
People usually don't get lost but when you get lost, please call us
and we will come to find you.

It's good you liked our breakfast.
But our dinner is great as well.

Please try that when you are coming back to Ohanabo!

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Reviewed 6 January 2014 via mobile

We really enjoyed our stay! The room was very comfortable and the food was excellent. As it was Christmas and we were also celebrating a life event, the staff organised a little party for us - it was incredibly sweet! Great place to stay in Kyoto and very convenient from Kyoto Station.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank cksydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2013

It was our first trip to Kyoto. We stayed here for 2 nights. The 4 of us (8 and 6 yrs old sons) requested for 4 futons room and private bathroom. The room was on second floor and was huge with plenty of floor space for our sons to spread all their toys. I loved the way they separate the sleeping area from the fridge and bathroom with a sliding door. The hot tub room is downstair to the back of the ryukan. Though it's small but very cozy with a small garden view.
The owner and staffs were very nice and friendly to our kids. There were 2 people who could speak well English and gave us direction and suggestion to all places.
We didn't book for any meal at the ryukan because we liked to explore the places where locals eat.
The location was great as it was not far from Kyoto station, only a block or two away. If walk underground, it'd be even faster. I contacted the ryukan directly via emails, and they responded quickly too.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Chotika S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013

Hands down, Ohanabo Ryokan is in the top 3 lodging experiences I have had in my entire life. The ryokan is located in a great area, only a 8 minute walk to the Kyoto train station, which can mostly be done underground. Once we arrived, we were warmly and happily greeted by the staff who scooted us up to our rooms and had green tea and delicious cookies waiting for us in our room. The rooms are charming, quaint and have everything you need (including a full service Toto toilet, which is one of THE best things about Japan). We had the room without the private bath, but it was not even missed because the onsen is absolutely divine. The common bath was spotless, relaxing, and luxurious. Having the warm bath to look forward to was the perfect to end a day of walking around in the cold.

The only thing better than the ryokan itself is the absolutely adorable and amazing staff who seriously DELIGHT in making your stay at the Ohanabo Ryokan the best possible. My husband and I were here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and the staff went out of their way to buy a Christmas cake for us and deliver it to us right when we got into our rooms on Christmas Day and sang us “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” It was one of the best Christmas experiences I have had.

I have no doubt I will be returning to Kyoto and Ohanabo is the only place I would recommend to my family, friends and strangers to stay in while in Kyoto. It will truly be an amazing experience.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank GachGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

We found this place on Trip Advisor while we were already traveling in Japan, and asked the concierge at a hotel in another city to help us make a reservation here, since the reservation websites were all in Japanese and we couldn't figure out how to do it. I just had an instinct that i would like this place more than the one I had previously booked, and since this was a reservation for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we really wanted to stay somewhere special as a treat to ourselves. So glad we did!

Wow! From the minute we walked in, the staff could not do enough for us. There were several lovely ladies who whisked our (embarrassingly enormous) quantities of luggage out of our hands and up the stairs to our room. Check-in wouldn't be for several hours, but it was no problem to leave our stuff there while we went sightseeing. When we returned, we understood why everyone raves about this place so much. Our room--I think it might have been the family room, but we didn't see other rooms, so I don't know for sure--was very spacious and clean. There was a low table in the middle of the tatami room set up for us with tea and sweets.

Dinner, as others have said, is a must, at least for one night, though we had dinner and breakfast fir both days of our stay. We had the kaiseki meal one night and sukiyaki the next. What an awesome experience to have the ladies come in and instantly transform your room into a private dining room, with endless delicious courses of food. Even if every item isn't completely to your liking, you can admire the artistry in how it is all prepared and presented. And of course, there was plenty of deliciousness, too--from outstanding sashimi to the most incredible melt-in-youth-mouth kobe and wagyu beef, thinly sliced for the sukiyaki meal.

Our favorite moment came just before the dessert course, when our lights suddenly turned out, and the ladies came in bearing candle-lit treats and wearing masks and ringing bells to make the Xmas Eve dinner even more of a celebration! Just perfect!

After dinner, the ladies quickly clear the room, move the tables, get the futons out of the closets, and make the beds before your eyes--they have this down to a science and it is incredible to watch them in action.

As for practicalities: the room was plenty large to accommodate three of us. Free wifi is available throughout the inn. The futons are very comfortable and we mostly slept very well. The pillows are kind of bizarre--they are filled with what appear to be air-filled marbles and literally make a loud noise when you shake them. Never thought I would end up using them, but they were remarkably fine to sleep on. The bathroom isn't much larger than one in a ship's cabin, but it is Western-style and has what you need. Water pressure is incredibly good. The towels are really thin and tiny--probably the only thing that needs to be improved. We tried the onsen one night--it was lovely and no one else was in it at the time. It's essentially just a pretty hot tub, but a nice way to relax in the evening.

Breakfast is served in a dining room, rather than in your room. We had the Japanese breakfast one morning and the Western another. Preferred the Western one, but you will need to specify that this is the one you want. Didn't realize that and ended up with some rather "untraditional" foods for our Xmas morning breakfast the first day!

Location is terrific--just about an 8-minute walk from Kyoto Station, and it is manageable with luggage. You will be nervous about your choice of ryokan while walking there, since the area is so busy and commercialized, but after a couple of blocks, the street gets much calmer and residential, and once in the ryokan, you don't notice the busy street at all.

Bottom line--just stay here, you won't regret the experience, and it will give you plenty of wonderful memories of your stay in Kyoto. This places set a new standard for us with regard to "service". We moved on to another Kyoto hotel afterwards since two nights there exhausted our budget, but we already miss it and would stay again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank travelbug44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2013

As soon as we stepped into Ohanobo, we knew we were at the right place. Ms Ayako and her team were very welcoming, attentive and accommodating. We booked the family room for the 5 of us which included breakfast and dinner for 2 nights. We had some dietary requirements and the Kaiseki dinner on the first night and Nabe on the second was prepared accordingly, much to our delight. The food was simply delicious, fresh and definitely different (and better) from what you normally find outside Japan.

We had a large tatami room which could accommodate 5 futons. We've never slept on the floor during our holidays before - but it was very cosy and comfortable. Our room faces the main busy road but the modern shoji screen did a good job keeping the noise out. We all wore the yukata provided when we were at the ryokan and we also went around with only socks on our feet as shoes are to be removed upon entering.

When we checked out, the children were presented with small gift packs of Japanese sweets and biscuits which I thought was a very nice touch. All in all, it was an unforgettable experience and worth every penny spent!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank limaje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hokkaikan Ohanabo

Address: 66-2 Shokuyacho Fumeimondori Shimojuzuyacho Agaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8158, Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shimogyo-ku , Kyoto Station
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 405 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Price Range: £92 - £181 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hokkaikan Ohanabo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
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