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Reviewed 10 December 2013

We've spent 3 nights here from 1/12, the room we had is a traditional japanese tatami style room. Have to make up the bed ourselves which is quite fun and interesting. The guests there are friendly, staff there are fluent in english and helpful. The toilet is extremely small but with everything inside, quite amazing... The location is good, about 10mins walk from Kyoto station to the hotel and some 2mins walking distance bus stop to other attractions. There is no wireless in the room, but only in the lobby. However, they do provide LAN cable in the room itself, we brought one router there just in case, turns out its a smart move... We took a taxi from Kyoto Station to Roykan for the first day, gave the phone number to the cabbie and he managed to find the plc, cost us about 700yen. The autumn season is awesome in Kyoto. The red leaf are fantastic! Nice stay there.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Ellen_YY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Stayed at this ryokan for 3nights while in Kyoto. Took some time to find this ryokan as it isnt that near to the Kyoto station. We walked about 15mins and was glad to see this ryokan. It gives an authentic experience as a machiya and located within the residential areas. The room given to us was a Western style, which was spacious and very clean. Toilet is very small though, much of a capsule size. The staff speak great English and they helped us a lot with the reservation to Kokedera. Thanks lots to them! Just one con, the walls between the rooms are too thin. We happen to stay beside a room filled with vibrant neighbors that were speaking very loudly and had great commotion into midnight for couple of nights. However, the staff are very helpful with this to reduce this problem. Still, we managed to have some good sleep and were quite satisfied with this stay.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank yagiza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

If you are looking for a really authentic roykan experience this is probably not it. Our family of three us spent the four day Americn Thanksgiving holiday last week in Kyoto to see the fall leaf colors. We chose this guesthouse based on its good reviews. It's within a 10 minute walk of Kyoto station and the walking map the hotel provides is accurate. It's on a quiet side street in a residential neighborhood. We found the public area, where breakfast was served at an additional charge, small but cozy and furnished with large free form wooden tree slabs with hard wood stools for seating. There was a small garden, and excellent free wi fi in the public areas but not in the rooms. We booked two rooms with tatami mats and futons hoping to experience more of the traditional culture. Our rooms were small but functional with a tiny TV which broadcast Japanese only channels, a small table with a tea service, two tiny chairs, and a heater which was welcome because of the chilly weather. We were disappointed in the tiny, plastic, prefabricated bathroom which was not in keeping with the roykan tradition we had expected. We also had to duck our heads constantly because of the extremely low door overhead frames which are not marked and were not pointed out to us. In fact, both my 6ft son and I hit our heads several times and wound up with cuts and bruises to take home with us. Beware if you are 5' 10 or taller! The staff did not make up our futons. We had to remove them from the closet each night, make them up with sheets and comforters, and put them away in each morning. I had expected a maid to do this service for us as I had been previously told that is the Japanese guesthouse tradition. The futons were comfortable enough, and we slept well, although the walls are thin and noisy neighbors might be a very real problem. The staff is marvelous! They served us a good western or Japanese breakfast each morning, helped us plan our days in Kyoto to see as much as possible, helped us detemine which of the many sights had extended their hours into the evenings with special lighting, sold us a daily bus pass each day as the bus system is good and the guesthouse is near the bus station and a bus stop, phoned for taxis when we didn't want to use the bus, made restaurant recommendations and reservations for us, and arranged for an in house saki tasting one evening. The staff's competence, hospitality, friendliness, and English language skills were superb and account for my giving this inn a 4 star rating. Based on the room accommodations alone I would rate it 3 stars.

Room Tip: Our rooms overlooked the street which was quiet but not very pretty. There are rooms which overlook the garden which would be a better choice.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013 via mobile

I paid a reasonable amount for a combined room for two. The size of the room is good. The only problem is that the bath tub is too small. The staff are all very friendly and professional and speaks English. They provide help whenever u need. Wifi is however only available at reception area but the area is quiet and comfortable. U may even meet people from all over the world. Everybody is cordial and friendly though not intrusive. There was a sake tasting workshop going on (not too expensive) organised on one of the nights we stayed. A British couple we spoke to said they enjoyed the class n tasted 5 types of sake.
A good place to stay but not very near kyoyo station.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
2  Thank Low C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2013

If you are on your first trip to Japan and were not keen about it because it wasn't the place of choice to go, and yet still want to get away from everything at home country (that included the lovely kids) to just chill out with your wife, then you were like me! So, to reduce the torture, the next best thing for me to find was another "home" abroad as well to just chill - and Sakura Ryokan simply fitted that "role" for us.

We visited Kyoto nearer the end of autumn simply to just enjoy the much said beautiful foliage that the city could offer. After a quick 1 day in Tokyo, we took the Shinkansen and arrived Kyoto around 2.40pm. When we walked out from the train station, we were kind of lost our direction as the Shinkansen exit was on the south side of Kyoto station. I kept thinking we would be on the "right" side of the train station. After orientating ourselves, we took chances and tried going to the other side of the train station and soon after got outside of the building to verify our location and bearings and there it stood, the tall Kyoto Tower right in front of us. Still a bit unsure which direction, we just tried our luck and walked towards where Nishi Honganji temple was. We walked along 1 main road westerly and then northerly to another (East - West type) main road looking for the temple. Once we found this temple (mind you, it was already starting to get dark fast at 4pm ish and drizzling), it was already half hour of walking with the bags and we still simply couldn't find the place. It wasn't opposite this temple like how it looked on the map. Remembering what I read before, I tried one of the lanes (without my wife) and voila - Sakura Ryokan stood beautifully there. Reminded us of the tea houses we saw in the cartoon "Spirited Away". I went back to "retrieve" my wife, and quickly moved towards the Ryokan, and when the doors opened to welcome us, we stepped into an enchanting quaint establishment - exactly like the many reviews about this place. Warm and toasty, we were checked in, and were directed to our room. Western styled beds, with windows overlooking a small Japanese Garden at the side of the Ryokan. We were in Room 213 and the lifts were only for our luggage and we had to walk up the stairs to the room. It is 3 (or 4 - not sure) storey, so that was no sweat for us.

Anyways, for future travelers, the Ryokan is directly behind on a small lane opposite of the Temple. Refer to a photo of the Gate Way which is situated on the opposite side of the Temple, and there are some shops on Japanese Buddhism. When you walk towards the back lane, at the junction, there is a building with Western Architecture (might be Turkish) which looked empty, quiet and deserted. Otherwise, also attached are the front and back of the Ryokan's business card - if you want to get a cab.

Now what is special about this place.
1) The staff spoke very good English, in fact German accented to some extend. They were also very polite, courteous and very empathetic with our initial situation of being lost in Kyoto.
2) Demographic of patrons were mostly Westerners, families and couples.
3) No WI-FI in the rooms, but available in the lobby and that creates this really really homely feel about the place. The kitchen was closed when we got there, but in the mornings, it was almost like waking up to your mom's cooking. So after a long day outside, and when you return home, you would somehow eventually strike conversations with other travelers on how the day went. So you could share stories, chit chat almost through the night whilst enjoying nice warm/cold sake available for sale in the Ryokan (almost like a youth hostel concept and yes, main doors do get locked at 11pm but you could still get in using the side door somehow - that I will let the Ryokan explain to you if you are going). So that was what I really appreciated most and having people coming down to the lobby to use the WI-FI encouraged conversations to happen.
4) There were workshops - and when we were there, they were doing Japanese Calligraphy.
5) The staff were ambassadors of Kyoto City. They could recommend places to go, how to get there, they even sell Day Passes for buses and even could contact and arrange an English speaking personal driver on hire, to get the most out Kyoto in the shortest amount of time.
We did not engage that service though, as after the initial fiasco and understanding the city a little bit, it actually only took us 15 minutes by foot to get to the nearby Kyoto Train Station and city bus station (only if we were not so distracted by the interesting vendor machines along the way). The walks were just breath taking. On our last day, we took a cab to the train station (south side) and that costed us approximately USD9. Even in Malaysia, a short trip like would cost slightly more than that, so that was a very good price.
6) Breakfast - Japanese breakfast served was awesome. I understand only 12 sets (I may be wrong) would be made each day, so please just make your reservation with the front desk. I have overhead while having my breakfast of the staff turning down guests' requests as they have gotten the quota for the next day. My wife, after the 1st day, changed her breakfast to Japanese, so that said a lot on how sumptuous the sticky rice, taste buds tingling misou soup, pan fried salmon fish etc ... gosh! How mouth watering!!!!
7) Point to note - The Ryokan is about 5 minutes away from a hospital (that's good to know if you have your health to monitor), a couple of pharmacies near the hospital, and a Seven-11 Convenient Store. There were also recommended eating places by the staff and their locations started to make sense after we got the Kyoto City Map from the Ryokan. So be sure to get a couple of copies from them!

I would always ask myself this question after writing a review. Will I go back to stay at this Ryokan again? I would say "Absolutely YES YES YES!" Well done to this Tripadvisor Award Winning establishment. It was a joy, indeed!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank zcemp13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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