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“Great ryokan experience”
Review of Watazen

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Watazen
Ranked #51 of 376 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 August 2014

Kyoto Watazen Ryokan exceeded my expectations. Great location in a quiet neighborhood, within walking distance of the Nishiki food market, main shopping street Shijo-dori, metro stations and a number of restaurants. To get there from Kyoto Station with the greatest ease, make sure you have a printout (in Japanese) with the hotel address to show the taxi drivers. Once you've scouted the area it's easy to get around by yourself via walking, biking or the metro.

The ryokan looks like a small hotel from the outside but inside your room you feel like you're in a traditional Japanese inn... with modern hotel comforts. A young woman in a kimono served us a welcome drink of green tea and Kyoto sweets called Yatsuhashi - cinnamony and delicious.

Everything's spanking clean and they provide yukata (robes) and daily bath kits and towels to use in the onsen (public bath) with hot-spring tub below - a godsend after a hot day of walking or cycling. If you're shy, best to go off peak hours, like late at night.

Rooms with no private bath come with a sink, blowdryer, and automated Japanese toilet with heated seat and bidet. They trot out the futons at night, which are soft and ultra-comfy.

For breakfast you have a choice between the free continental with a variety of breads (thick toast, croissants, rolls, jam & butter), hardboiled eggs and coffee, or pay extra for the Japanese breakfast, which is a FEAST good for two: generous portions of silky tofu, an omelet, grilled fish, a whole container of white rice, sheets of nori, miso soup, various condiments, and a pot of green tea! Worth trying at least once, especially if you're planning to do lots of physical activity that day.

My only complaint is the language barrier... a few of the people at the front desk are not that fluent in English and so asking them for clear directions is a challenge. I asked for a restaurant recommendation and they just handed me a map with "Restaurant Area" circled in red, though they do have a Gourmet Guide to Kyoto in the room. Clear, precise maps are also hard to come by, making it a challenge to understand the subway, much less bus system. The best map is the Kyoto City Map - try to score a copy of that one, and try to squeeze as much info from your tour guides as possible! Otherwise I had a lovely stay at Watazen and would definitely go back again.

Room Tip: You can choose a room without private bath with confidence. I am a shy person but found the onsen/p...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank therese108
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 reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Thank you for your stayaing and commnt.
We are so glad that you enjoyed tour in Kyoto.
We regret that we could not appropriate guide you want.
We will make effort to learn English.

We are looking forward to seeing you again.
Thanks again.

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107 - 113 of 294 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2014

I stayed at Watazen Ryokan this month, and I was extremely surprised by the quality of their service. The staff came to my room and made me green tea when I checked in, and they offered green tea to people in the lobby. The USD$10 Japanese breakfast was probably the best I had in my Japan trip, again with impeccable service. And when my shuttle came to pick me up, the hotel manager went outside with other staff just to see me leave and bowed at me as the shuttle left. The cleaning ladies were very courteous and unobtrusive (and also quite young and attractive). Not to mention that the place is two blocks away from famous food and shopping arcades, right in the center of town.

On the negative side, I can only say that this being urban Kyoto, this ryokan is in a building and doesn't have traditional garden views from the rooms. Nevertheless I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Thank German E
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 reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Thank you for your staying at Watazen.
And, thanks for your comment.
Watazen locates city center. It is very convenient to go to every where to sight seeing.
We are so sorry but, we have only small garden outside of dinning hall.

We hope we can see you again soon.

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Reviewed 13 July 2014

We stayed here for a couple of nights in order to experience a traditional ryokan. The hotel was fairly easy to find (it's just down the street from the YMCA) and in a great location in a really picturesque part of town within walking distance of a a subway station, a great market and Nijo castle. There are also some lovely places to eat in the neighbourhood with English menus.
The staff were warm, friendly and very helpful and welcomed us to our beautiful, clean room with some green tea. The continental breakfast is basic but satisfactory, but for an extra 1000 yen each I'd highly recommend the traditional Japanese breakfast - it was delicious!
We tried out the onsen in the basement of the ryokan - again our first experience of a traditional Japanese bathhouse. It was a great way to recover from a day of exploring the city and our little boy loved the idea of bathing in "volcano water"!
The hotel seemed busy with a mix of lots of families with kids and couples staying, but despite seeing them all at breakfast, the rooms were very quiet and we had a really restful time.
I wasn't sure what to expect but I'd happily recommend this place to a friend and would definitely book here again if we ever return to Kyoto.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank BrisVagueness
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 reviewResponded 15 July 2014

Thank you for your comment! I was so happy that you and your family enjyed our ryokan. You summarized our ryokan's information in your comment and we love the comment very much.
Hopefully we are going to see you in near future! Thank you. Have a nice summer.

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

Upon arrival we entered a prize draw game and won some free bits which was a lovely welcome touch! Shown to our room, loads of advice from the staff on things to do, places to eat, and friendly service. We chose a traditional room and it was our first stay in a Ryokan and it was exactly what we were hoping for. We had dinner one night in our room which was good, we ate better food out, for the price but the experience was very special and the service and there were lots of little plates to try. Our room was big, comfortable and very good for the price we paid. Would stay here again definitely.

Room Tip: We had a room on the 2nd floor at the end, it was one big tatami room.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank virginia d
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 reviewResponded 27 June 2014

Thank you so much for your comment.

We are happy you liked here in Watazen.

And we are waiting for you to visit us again!!

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Reviewed 3 May 2014

Our one-night stay at Watazen was very relaxing and comfortable and was a great way to have some quiet time and a traditional Japanese accommodtion experience in the middle of our hectic nine-day holiday to Japan. The service was outstanding, room and facilities very comfortable and meals delicious.

The location of Watazen was the first thing that impressed us on arrival - it is in central Kyoto and just near Nishiki Market, a vibrant arcade of fresh produce and wares. We dropped our bags off early and spent the afternoon exploring.

We returned to Watazen at the 4.30 pm check in time as we didn't want to miss a minute of our first ever stay in a ryokan. We were not disappointed! After a welcoming green tea in our rooms we headed off to the basement for an onsen bath as we were tired from all our shopping. After donning the yukata robes, we set about relaxing until dinner was served to us in our room.

The traditional Japanese dinner was spectacular in taste, appearance and variety and was exceptional in terms of quality and quantity. Breakfast the next morning in the dining room was also delicious and I would thoroughly recommend selecting the meal option at Watazen.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Kylea S
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 reviewResponded 27 June 2014

Thank you so much for you comment.

We are happy that you enjoyed stay in Watazen and Kyoto.

Hope to see you again.

Thank you so much!

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Reviewed 23 April 2014

This was my first stay at a Ryokan and it was exactly what I was hoping for and expecting. The location was in a quiet part of town that you could walk around in and enjoy the culture. The service from the front desk and the servers for the meals was top notch. If you reserve here, add the dinner and breakfast plan to your stay. It is definitely well worth it. I highly recommend this Ryokan, if you would like to experience a traditional Japanese Inn. It was really one of the highlights of my week in Japan.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mike B
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 reviewResponded 27 June 2014

Thank you for staying at Watazen and your comment.
We are extremely happy to hear that you were satisfied with our services and enjoyed your stay. :)
We hope you had fantastic travel in kyoto.

It was so nice to meet you guys.
we are loooking forward to seeing you again.
Thank you so much.

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Reviewed 15 April 2014

We stayed in 1 big tatami room with 5 people. The room get quite smaller when have the futon prepared. We had sukiyaki prepared for us. It was so goodd~. The public bath was the basic japanese onsen in door bath. Was crowned sometimes. The staffs were very nice and speak quite good english. There is a temple nearby and you can walk to sanjo/shijo-dori where all the shopping places are .

  • Stayed: April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Earnie24
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 reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Thank you for your staying at Watazen.
Did you enjoy Japanese food?
There are many interesting places in Kyoto.

We are looking forward to seeing you again.
Thank you very much.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range: £106 - £345 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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