When we arrived in Kinmata we were promptly met by Mr Ukai-sai and family. We came before check-in time and they had no problem holding on to our luggage while we explored NIshiki Market which was around the corner. Mr. Ukai-sai's son speaks perfect english and pointed us to all the attractions and handed us a map of Kyoto which we found very helpful. There were 3 couples in our party. All the rooms were comfortable and cosy with one en-suite and 2 rooms sharing a toilet downstairs. It was a unique experience to sleep on the Tatami mats which some of us took some getting use to. Not everyone found it comfortable but we were all there for the experience. It would not be fair to compare it to an all mod-con 5 star hotel. We went during the cherry blossom peak season and the prices reflected it. There is a cedar bath tub which can be booked in advance. Since there was no one else but our party staying there was no need to book it. I suspect that they do not book all the rooms at one time in order to give a better service. We were in Cherry blossom week after all.
They accommodated us by hiring a Maiko to entertain us during dinner. What made this ryokan experience memorable was the exceptional service. It really helped that the staff were able to communicate in English.More