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“Wonderful experience”
Review of Watazen

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Watazen
Ranked #44 of 366 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
90 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
Reviewed 25 January 2014

This was a really great place -- if you are walking be absolutely sure you know where you are going ... it took us a long time to to find it. We arrived a bit too early to check in so we left the bags at the hotel and went to Fushimi Inari-taisha
Anyway, when we got back to the Ryokan we were shown to our room which was huge ... having just arrived from Tokyo and had a smallish room, we were very satisfied with the room that we were given. There was always green tea available with some small eats. During the day, the beds (which were essentially mattresses) were put away to make it into a spacious living room. This was done usually while you were at breakfast. At breakfast there is a choice of continental style (included in the price of the stay) or you could go for the full Japanese breakfast (which was extra but I can't remember the price). We went for the breakfast on both days and it was definitely worth the experience, but to be honest it probably filled us up a bit too much as it was very sizeable. The room was the en-suite variety so we didn't have to share a shower with other guests. Having said that, there is a public bath on the basement level which everyone can use and is perfectly adequate. In the cold winter months it must be wonderful to have such a facility at your fingertips. I would say that the water was not from the hot spring, and if it was, it was chlorinated so any hot spring smell had gone --- note for those who are not familiar with Japanese public bath etiquette -- it is done in the nude.
As we many places in Japan, you tend to find the quality of English is quite varied --- in some cases they spoke pretty much perfectly, in others, you were really struggling. So be prepared to negotiate this hurdle when it arises. Dealing with it in good humour is the best way.

Room Tip: Consider going for the rooms that are not ensuite. It would make your stay cheaper and you can use...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gl0beTrekka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, 15 March 2014
Thank you for your staying at WATAZEN.
Watazen locates down town of center of Kyoto.
There are many simlar streets around us, please check the very difficult street name "YANAGI-NO-BAMBA".

We are looking forward to seeing you again.
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280 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
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English first
Level Contributor
109 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2014 via mobile

If you are wanting a ryokan experience then Watazen is a really great cross between a ryokan and a hotel. Private bathroom/shower was great but the onsen in basement is also a perfect finish to the day or a way to warm up if you are travelling at this time of year. The room is huge and bedding down on the tatami mats was comfortable - with the subtle addition of an extra mattress from the ample supplies. The location is ideal, being near the market, main shopping street and restaurants. The staff are friendly and accommodating and usually someone speaks English if you need it. Little extras were greatly appreciated in making this a lovely stay - afternoon snacks and tea and complimentary breakfast of boiled egg and toast and jam if you don't opt for the full Japanese breakfast. The wifi in rooms was quick and efficient. Less than 1000 yen to taxi to and from Kyoto station and 5 mins walk to local stations, tourist info centre and bus stops.
Hot tip - try the bars and restaurants nearby. They are popular with the 30something Japanese and we had some fantastic meals at great prices.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Anne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, 12 January 2014
Thank you for your stay at WATAZEN.

We are so happy to hear you that you enjoyed Kyoto and Japan.
In the room of "tatami" mat to take off shoes,you can be relaxed.
The Japanese bath warms your body and heart.

We are looking forward to seeing you again at WATAZEN.
Thank you for your comments.
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Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We stayed at the Watazen end of October 2013 while traveling through Japan . Although we had a little trouble finding it, once I arrived with my wife and young daughter, we were looked after incredibly well. Kimono clad staff served tea once in our room. The wonderful young lady at the reception spoke great English and explained our stay and things to see and do whilst there.
Sleeping on Tatami mats was one of the best rests I have had considering I suffer with back problems.Great breakfast and after arriving at our next destination I realised i left my mobile phone in room. I must thank the Watazen for sending phone onto our last destination which was so kind of them. Highly recommended place and so close to wonderful highlights of Kyoto.
どうもありがとうございました、あなたは私のために携帯電話を送信するとき、私は郵便料金の支払をしたいと思います

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shoto52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, 10 January 2014
Thank you for your stay at WATAZEN.
We are so glad that you could get mobile phone at your last stay place.
How about your experience of spending Japanese traditional room?
We hope we can serve you aagin next time when you travel Kyoto.

Thank you for your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014

Initially I was planning to stay near the main train station, like I did in Tokyo and Osaka, but I heard that central Kyoto was more lively. I chose Watazen based on everyone else's good reviews, so now I'm adding mine.

The service from all the staff at Watazen was excellent; The front desk staff were always helpful with restaurant and sightseeing questions in English, and the kind breakfast staff helped to explain the complexities of a traditional Japanese breakfast.

I'm sure the room could've fit four, but there were only two of us so the extra space was greatly appreciated by our bags. The futon beds that were prepared each night made sleeping a breeze. I also liked the traditional key lock safe, as opposed to the electronic ones in modern hotels.

Watazen is a few minutes walk from the busy Nishiki market, and a bit more to the busy Shijo Kawaramachi shopping/restaurant area. I didn't sample any of restaurants nearby as I was too busy going back to the Pontocho each night. The hotel also provides a handy mini map on where to catch a bus to visit the popular attractions, for example Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, and so on.

Kyoto was one of my favourite places to visit in Japan and Watazen was one of reasons why.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nttnf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, 10 January 2014
Thank you for your stay at WATAZEN.
We are so glad that your experience of Kyoto was enjoyable.
WATAZEN locates city center. There are many shops and restauants around us.
And also there many sightseeing places in Kyoto city.
We would like to carry out service with which our guests to be pleased.

We are looking forward to seeing you again.

Thank you for your comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 December 2013

We (my husband, my 5-year daughter and I) stayed in many hotels during our trip to Japan this December (Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Osaka), and this hotel is the BEST!

The price and location are perfect. It is very close to the 锦市场, a local market, and also to department stores, small grocery stores, etc. The only thing is, it took us a little while walking from the subway station to the hotel with two heavy suitcases. The staff are extremely nice and helpful! The staff gave us very clear directions to the 金阁寺and 清水寺。It's very convenient to take a bus to those two attractions. I love their Japanese style room (with private toilet, no private shower, but you can use the public shower or the bath room/hot spring at B1 floor). The room is very neat, with fresh flowers every day. A lady in kimono served tea for us right after we arrived there. Kids' Japanese style clothes are also provided! The Japanese style breakfast is delicious, especially their steamed rice:-)

We stayed two Japanese style rooms in Japan this time, and I prefer WATAZEN. The other Japanese style room is in Hakone 'Hakone no mori' which is much more expensive (about $100 for each adult, and $80 for kid, so it's about $290 for one night.by contrast, WATAZEN is $50-60 for each adult and $10 for kid, total is about $120-130 for each night) . The Hakone-no-nori provides breakfast and dinner, but no kids' Japanese style clothes (kimono). WATAZEN offers breakfast and kimono for kids. My daughter also loves this hotel very much.

In short, I love this hotel and I strongly recommend this ryokan to any one traveling to Kyoto. The weather during our stay in Kyoto was terrible but we still love Kyoto the most among all the cities we traveled in Japan.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hang Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, 4 January 2014
Thak you very much for your staying at WATAZEN.
We are so happy to hear that you had enjoyed staying at WATAZEN and yo love Japan.
Kyoto has more than 1200 years history. There are many temples aan shrines.
We want you not only to experience Japanese foods but "O-MO-TE-NA-SHI".

We hope we can serve you again when you travel Japan next time.
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Port Hope, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2013

This was a great location, walking distance to so many attractions, easy to the subway. There are lots of shops and restaurants within two or three blocks, including Nishiki Market. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, with very good English, which made my stay easier! I didn't take advantage of the public bath, as I was moved, when requested, to a room with a private bath. The western breakfast, included during my stay, was minimal, just some white bread, white buns with raisins, hard cooked boiled eggs, and tea or coffee. The Japanese breakfast (extra charge) looked quite elaborate, with little braziers on the table for cooking, and multiple plates. The futon was comfy, (but still a futon, so hard!) there was a small table and chairs as well as the traditional table with on-floor seating. I would definitely recommend this ryokan.

Room Tip: unless you want to use the public baths, be sure to specify private bath, not just private toilet in...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LLPCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
Thank you for your stay at Watazen.
Did you enjoy Kyoto?
Watazen locates at city center of Kyoto.
I think it is convenient to go to temples and shrines by city bus or sbuway.

We offer contenetal breakfast only in summer and winter preriod.
It is very simple one but free.

We want to try Japanese breakfast for foreign guests.
When you have Japanese breakfast in other season, you can enjoy coffee or tea freely.

We hope we can serve you again in near furure.
Thank you again.
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Irvine
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

if you want the true ryokan experience, this place is not authentic enough. it's a good hotel, comfortable and clean. I was disappointed because I stayed at a very authentic ryokan in Takayama. In comparison, this place is too commercial.

Room Tip: Japanese style room
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank icewine1127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watazen, フロント オフィス マネージャー at Watazen, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Thank you for staying at Watazen.
We are so sorry to be unable to repry to your expectation.
There are few ryokans of traditional building in Kyoto.
The rooms of Watazen are Japanese style " Tatami " room although the building
is not authentic Japanese architecture.
Dinner and breakfast are all provided with Japanese style dishes.

Thank you for your comment.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Watazen

Property: Watazen
Address: 413 Izutsuyacho, Rokkaku Sagaru, Yanaginobaba, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8113 , Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shinkyogoku Shopping District , Kawaramachi / Karasuma / Shijo Omiya
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Watazen 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WATAZEN is a Classical Japanese Inn with modern amenities, located in the center of Kyoto. It has been a familiar inn for many travelers to Kyoto since [Tenpo Gannen](1830). Today, many people enjoy our traditional harmonious atmosphere in central Kyoto. We are confident that our excellent service and cuisine will make your visit to Kyoto a memorable one. Please enjoy Kyoto and relax at WATAZEN. The cost is from 6300JPY - per person. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Watazen Hotel Kyoto

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