We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Most memorable stay in Japan”
Review of Kinmata

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Kyoto
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Kinmata
Ranked #183 of 376 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Reviewed 30 October 2009

We stayed there for only 1 night, as we wanted to try other inns. My wife and I went there for the food more than anything. Without a doubt, Kinmata had the best kaiseki meal of all the 'high end' places we tried. In fact, we went there first so it ended up being all downhill from there. Extremely welcoming master and his wife. The chef and his creations are rated as one of the best of the best in Kyoto by hardcore Japanese foodies so ignore that Michelin guide, go there and be blown away by his awesomeness. Most definitely will return 100% to Kyoto just to stay there. If you are not into kaiseki cuisine, not sure if this would be worth it though.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank meatshawarma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (38)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

20 - 26 of 38 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2009

We stayed there for 3 nights. The location couldnt get any better. It's literally next to Nishiki market, walking distance to some big malls, and Gion.

The guy who manages the ryokan is very helpful and fast. Very nice guy. We asked him to recommend us couple restaurants, he searched, printed the complete address and map and got back to us really fast. We asked him for help to book ryokan in Hakone, he tried to make some phone calls and booked it for us. When he failed to do that (becoz it was all full), he took us to the travel agent next to his ryokan and helped us communicate what we need to the agent. He couldnt be more helpful. Oh, and he cooked excellent traditional Japanese food for dinner and breakfast!

The room that we stayed was big. It has the bedroom and the dining room. The mattress is also comfortable. The only thing that bothered me was the floor heater. It was behind my head and it made a little bit sound when it was on. By the 3 night, i moved my bed to the opposite site and it was much better.
We have to share bathroom there. No problem at all, we didnt feel like it was a shared bathroom. It was clean. It has a small toilet in our room. I didnt like that because it's too small, the heater wasnt working (or he forgot to turn it on maybe), and smelled a little bit. So we use a shared one and we like that one better. So no complain here.

The food is excellent. You definitely have to stay for dinner at least once when you stay there. But the dinner took about 1 1/2 - 2 hours long. But it s in your room. They ll come and serve he food one by one. During our trip to Japan, We stayed at 3 different ryokans, I think the best food was at Kinmata (and they all took about 1 1/2 - 2 hours).

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jump3r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
11
Reviewed 20 February 2009

I was early for check-in, but they let me drop my bags off. I headed to the Nishiki Market and wandered through the stalls, amazed and drooling over all the food and shopping opportunities. I found an open wireless network there and was able to hope on and check my email on my iphone. iphones had not come out in Japan yet, so there were some curious necks twisting upon seeing it. I returned to the hotel, and let them know when I would like dinner, and decided to take a bath. My room was very comfortable and furnished with beautiful lacquered furniture. I had a sweet little garden outside my windows. The building itself is beautiful, and the hallway winds around an open garden. I was a little unprepared for the shared baths, toilet in the hall, and changing shoes, and feeling like I was doing things wrong. But after I relaxed and welcomed the experience, and took my first cedar bath, followed by the most exquisite dinner in preparation and execution, I was very much at home. The kaiseki dinner was AMAZING! I love Japanese food, all fish, will eat anything, and some of these dishes were of the deliciously adventurous sort--I loved it. I felt badly for my neighbor who did eat or like fish or seafood. She had some miscommunication with her reservation, and the kitchen had to prepare a completely new meal on the fly. They seemed to misunderstand that she would eat meat, though, as the owner, who is also the incredible chef, said 'we had to cook entire meal out of vegetables' when he told me about it the next day. I stayed there three nights, and had the japanese breakfast everyday. I had dinner there twice. I ate everything on my plate. I still dream about my meals there. I cannot imagine not wanting to eat fish and seafood prepared so immaculately like that all of time. It has inspired me to cook with such preparation. The owner seemed reserved at first, but opened up and was very funny and helpful, and called to inquire about a geisha performance for me. I wish I could have stayed there longer. It was expensive, but worth every single dime, and I hope some day I can go back. Kyoto is a very special place, and Kinmata is a gem.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2008

Kyoto itself is a place very dear to the Japanese. It has retained its magical past. Its mysteries are not accessible to everyone to experience but if you let yourself get swept away like I did at this "Inn" then perhaps you too will get as close as you possibly can, for this is not an "Inn", its a time door to somewhere else.

Come in after a days walking, slip into a hot cedar tub, sit for a kaiseki dinner, executed by one of the most talented individuals I have encountered, served by some of Kyoto's most beautiful people and retire to a sublime state only to awaken to the most pleasant of surprises...

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank BSDesigns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2008

After researching some websites and tripadvisor.com, I had specifically chosen this 110 year old (business started 7 generations ago in 1801 but the present location was from 1898) ryokan to be our very first traditional ryokan stay in Japan.

In order to ease my husband's transition from a modern world to a traditional ryokan world, I had booked a Japanese room in the Westin Miyako for one night before hand so that he would not experience too much of a culture shock (do read my other review) staying at the Kinmata Ryokan.

The renowned luxury ryokan, Kinmata, was indeed a very very traditional ryokan. As one guidebook had pointed out, most traditional ryokans do not have modern amenities and their owners' main priority is not so much as to provide modern comfort to their guests but rather to upkeep the original structure and traditional atmosphere of their treasured ryokan.

That said, the Kinmata is one such ryokan, a true blue ryokan in every sense of the word! I had offered Ukai san, the owner cum higly acclaimed chef 50,000 yen per person since their website had listed prices from 40,000-60,000 yen per person, I thought it would be safer to choose the middle category. Therefore, including 5% tax, the total bill for 2 persons came up to a whopping 105,000 yen!

All email correspondences with Ukai san was speedily answered and he had offered us a 12 tatami mat suite on the second floor with a 8 course Kaiseki dinner for 50,000 yen per person. But in the end, we found ourselves to be in their largest suite, room number 1, with a size of about 16-18 tatami mats! The suite is on the second floor of the main entrance (located on a quiet street), with 4 different areas - a dinning area, a sleeping area, a luggage area and a veranda area facing the tsuboniwa (an internal calming small garden/courtyard).

However, dinner wise, we were served only 6 courses, a little disappointed at first but we reckoned that its because we were given an extra large sized suite that can easily accommodate 4 or even 6 persons. Quality and presentation of the Kaiseki dinner was simply superb, taste wise, very good too, especially the fish head dish .... it was quite heavenly!

Now, to the negative points as to why I didn't give it a full 5 stars -1. the futon beds were quite hard and thin, making sleeping on it uncomfortable. And the pillows were about 30cm long (12 inches), made up of green beans, I believe .... very traditional Japanese but how to sleep on such a pillow??? In the end, I had to take a sleeping pill to aid my beauty sleep.
2. fortunately, there was a private toilet attached (as requested) in the large suite, but its size was, well, only meant for one person at any one time. Almost like an aircraft toilet ...
3. there was no TV, mini fridge nor a safe in the suite.
4. frankly, for the money paid for the Kyo Kaiseki dinner, you probably can have gourmet foods like foie gras, premium meats, truffles in a Michelin starred restaurant in France or Italy. But nothing like this for the Kaiseki dinner, I thought for the price, they should at least feature small amounts of Matsutake mushrooms and Kobe beef, for instance.

All in all, we had a great stay at this award winning ryokan (featured in numerous books, magazines, websites, guide books etc). Ukai san was every bit the hardworking and hospitable ryokan owner - greeting you good night at the end of the day and saying Good morning first thing in the morning, calling for a taxi for us on our departure ... He had even stored our luggage before and after our stay (3pm check in and 10am check out time was quite strictly enforced here).

For these three key points - wonderfully located just steps from Nishiki Ichiba (food market) and the Shijo shopping area, offers a true blue traditional ryokan experience and the ever pleasing Ukai san and staff - are enough reasons to stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank JChua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2008

Stayed here in Nov 2007 with my husband and brother in law.

We were on a mini-honeymoon and decided to splurge in Kyoto, and it was worth the money for sure.

The owner and staff were attentive and friendly, in fact, I had expected one room for all three of us, but when he saw us he offered us two rooms to give us more privacy! there was no extra cost.

The bath and shower was not an issue, the staffs would always make sure there was no one at the bath before you go down to take the bath. We also had a toilette in our room so that was very convenient.

Dinner and breakfast was superb. I was very impressed with the quality of the food.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and if I had the budget next time, I'd definitely come back and stay here!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank ayz75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2008

Stayed here with my husband for one night, our last in Kyoto, as part of a three month trip around the world. It was a very expensive treat as we were on a budget, but we felt if we were going to experience a ryokan then we should do so in style.

The weeks leading up to our stay there had been quite hectic so we were looking forward to totally relaxing. With this in mind we arrived quite early, just after check in, hoping we could spend time in the infamous bath and chill out in our room. We seemed to take the staff by surprise, arriving so early, but nevertheless were escorted to our room, which was much larger than I expected (basically two rooms which could be separated by a sliding partition and we also had an en suite, contrary to other reviews). The room was beautifully decorated. It only had traditional style low straight back chairs and a low table, and the beds had not yet been laid out, so it was not really conducive to "chilling out" as we had planned but we did partake of the bath before dinner. It was indoor (somehow we had in our heads it was outdoor) and in a very small area so we were a little disappointed.

Dinner was served promptly at 7. We chose the most expensive option and had given the kitchen a bit of a challenge as I do not eat meat and, even more difficult for the Japanese, my husband does not eat fish. Despite this, a fabulous meal, 10 courses of fish and vegetable dishes for me, and 7 for my husband, was produced. The service and presentation was astounding and the tastes, mostly totally new experiences for both of us, were excellent. However, both of us found there to be far too much food and we felt bad as we could not do justice to all of the dishes which had obviously been so lovingly prepared, Unless you have a massive appetite I would go with one of the less expensive meals if they involve less food!!

While we were finishing dinner our beds were prepared and with so much food inside us we just about managed to crawl into them for an early night. It was extremely comfortable sleeping on the floor and despite the ryokan being rather open, there was little noise.

We opted for the traditional Japanese breakfast and in hindsight we should have gone with the continental, as it was a little much after the meal the night before to face into more tofu, raw fish and rice so soon, but if you really want the proper experience go for it!!

All in all, we enjoyed our experience, and the staff were extremely friendly and professional, but I would be unsure as to whether the expense was worth it. If you are visiting Japan I believe a night in a ryokan is a must. However, you can probably get the experience without having to spend so much.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank GaylePDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Kyoto hotels
Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Kyoto Central Inn
Kyoto Central Inn
#148 of 376 in Kyoto
152 reviews
Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Kagihei
Kagihei
#175 of 376 in Kyoto
30 reviews
Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Shinkyogoku Shopping District
UNIZO INN Kyoto Kawaramachi Shijo
Pontocho
Business Hotel Shusenkaku
Business Hotel Shusenkaku
#303 of 376 in Kyoto
28 reviews
Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto Select
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Kinmata? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kinmata

Address: 407 Dainichicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8044, Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shinkyogoku Shopping District
Hotel Style:
#75 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range: £101 - £236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Kinmata Hotel Kyoto

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing