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“Interesting cultural experience, worth the effort!”
Review of Tamahan

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Tamahan
Ranked #203 of 405 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 June 2013

The proprietor of this ryokan was lovely, very welcoming and accomodating, and a pleasure to deal with, despite our communication barriers. Fantastic location in Gion, close to temples and beautiful streets dotted with quaint inns, taverns and gift shops. Room itself was spread over several rooms, with a separate room for sleeping, and one for eating. Had a lovely view over the garden. Bathroom great with traditional wooden bathtub which was a highlight. Immaculately clean. Also air-conditioned which was welcomed given the humidity and heat. The kaseiki meal was interesting, certainly challenged my conservative Western palate, and was nice having the different foods explained. Certainly enjoyed being able to eat in my own room as I was traveling alone at this stage. The only drawback, not having anywhere to really relax after a long day walking and sight-seeing. I felt the futon was great for sleeping but not so good if you wanted to spend an hour reading or watching tv. Nonetheless, an authentic experience that I will always remember and glad to have undertaken. Price is a little on the expensive side, but felt it was worth it given the personal attention, food, and overall ambience..

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank dr_vd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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54 - 60 of 98 reviews

Reviewed 29 May 2013

I recently stayed at Tamahan for 5 nights during cherry blossom season. It was my second visit and it completely lived up to expectation. The room was clean and spacious with everything I needed. The food was sensational and I felt well cared for. I can't wait to go back.

Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
Thank Catherine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2013

The moment we enter Tamahan, it's like step into a forgotten time, a small ryokan with only 10 rooms, has a small garden, a Cherry blossom tree is in full bloom, we were at Kisaragi room on ground floor, open screen door, walk out to the garden, small but well kept with many plants, a small table with two chairs by the window, drinking tea in the morning, just let the world goes by, no coffee were serve, so if you are a coffee drinker, bring your own, hot water and cold water are available in the room at all time, we had Japanese style breakfast and Kaiseki dinner both nights, many small dishes, delicious taste and beautiful to look at,before each dishes serve, she would carefully explain of each in Japanese, we don't understand Japanese, so are not very sure what she's talking about, this kind of personal service touch they try to provide you in every way,
the location of Tamahan is in Ishibe Alley, it has a front and back entrance, one close at 10pm the other is open at all time, 10 minutes walk to Gion, 10 minutes walk to Kiyomizu Temple, 5 minutes walk to Kodai-Ji Temple, many taxi and rickshaws available near this temple, rickshaw to Silver Palace for one person is 2000 Yen, two person is 3000 Yen, Taxi start at 640 Yen and black taxi is special for tourist, speak some English, start at 660 Yen, of course there are many other Ryokan around this area, I am in no way to compare of each, we are very satsfy for stay in Tamahan for it's service and location, would return in future when come to Kyoto again, one suggestion, unless you understand Japanese, a picture of attractions to show to drivers would be very helpful, , a note to show to taxi driver, when we stay at Rhiga Royal Hotel, he ask me if I want to go to Kyoto Station? then I said hotel, very easy to get lost in translation, Japanese people are friendly and helpful, we were here for a week, English has no much use here.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank hkvisitor1997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

Situated in the Gion district but secluded in its own beautiful Japanese garden, this traditional ryokan offers quiet and comfortable accommodation with very efficient, discreet and smiling service. A bell must ring somewhere every time one nears reception, as the maid would invariably turn up and assist with coats and shoes.
The rooms with own bath and Western-style toilet (actually better than that as it had heated seat and ll sorts of spray functions and sound effects I didn't try) were pleasantly decorated with a vase of flowers and seasonal scroll in the tokonoma - raised platform typical of Japanese rooms. Mine was up a narrow flight of stairs, my son's on the ground floor across the garden; both were fairly spacious with a little terrace area with armchairs and coffee table overlooking the garden, and his had a refrigerator. Both were a little draughty and the bathrooms were downright cold.
A welcome cup of green tea is provided on arrival with a Japanese mochi cake, and tea and hot water are also left for the night together with a jug of water and a torch in case an earthquake strikes.
We had a copious and delicious kaiseki dinner on our first night and just as generous Japanese breakfasts every morning. This was served in my room since it was more spacious, even though it was more work for the maid to carry everything to the second floor. The breakfast dishes changed every day, the only constant being a cup of slightly salty cherry blossom tea that I got quite fond of. I was never served it elsewhere.
The rooms and public areas were very clean and whilst I once found a cat hair in my (empty) teapot this can happen anywhere there are pets - the house cat is shy and won't approach guests so his presence shouldn't deter those who dislike cats.
We came back for one night after our first stay and were welcomed like long lost friends, and given "our old rooms". On both our departures the staff insisted on escorting us to the waiting taxi and carrying our luggage.
We felt pampered and welcome, and will definitely go again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank brancusirocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2012

We paid for the breakfast and dinner kaiseki which was always served on time and fresh. You should be very open minded if you opt for the traditional kaiseki food as it was definately not for the classic north american pallet. Personally, we found the food exceptionally good as each new dish was an exciting new surprise which we looked forward to! You never know what was coming next.

The atmosphere was amazing with the traditional japanese paper walls, tatami floors in the bedroom and dining room, floor seats/table, traditional japanese shower (wooden soaking tub) and futon-like beds. The sheets were always clean and fresh as were the traditional japanese house robes that were supplied for us. No shoes were allowed in this ryokan. The geisha dressed staff/owner prepared our beds after serving dinner and removed the beds after serving breakfast. She asked permission before doing this.

Alcoholic drinks are not included in the price of the room and you don't know that you were charged extra until you check out. Small sake order is an extra Y1000.

A taxi from Kyoto Station to the Tamahan is Y1200 and relatively close to Gion (geisha district).

Pricey yes (Y90 000/2 nights/2 people/2 breakfast/2 dinner), the but price was reasonable in comparison to other ryokans.

Room Tip: Get the private bathroom (there is an option for a shared bathroom with other guests but it takes aw...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LeanneCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2011

Three adults staying in one room. At Y55,000 ($668) for one night (inc breakfast, ex dinner), this was a very pricey accommodation. On the plus side, the room we received had its own private garden and toilet (no heat). The mother/daughter hosts were very helpful and the inn was close to Gion. The cost of dinner was a small additional charge but unfortunately we already had plans for dinner.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank HKFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2010

I stayed at the Tamahan ryokan with a friend while in Kyoto for a week in May and had an absolutely wonderful time. The service was great and very friendly, the ryokan was beautiful and spotlessly clean, and the food was exactly what we'd expected. The location of the ryokan was also very convenient - walking distance from most places, right near a beautiful temple etc.

As other posters have commented, the staff's English is not stellar, but we found that to be no problem at all - they can explain all the essentials, and their kindness and efficiency more than makes up for that minor drawback. They maintain the rooms beautifully, can set up and clear up the futon beds very quickly, and run piping hot traditional baths without troubling you at all. (Speaking of the baths, they were incredible, and I'm decidedly a shower person!)

Our room was lovely, large enough, beautiful view of the garden, decorated traditionally. Contrary to what others have said, I found the futon beds to be very comfortable. The internet was very slow, but that might have changed since May (and with Blackberries and iPhones, you can make do without for a few days).

As some have mentioned, the food is perhaps not the most suited to Western tastes (especially if you, like me, do not like very fishy/salty foods), but we braved it through six Japanese breakfasts and 4 dinners, giving in to the American/Western option only once! Also, as there are so many dishes to the Kaiseki meal, you can definitely find a few pleasing options :) Also, no need to stay in every night! And we hadn't chosen the Tamahan ryokan for its food...

All in all, we had an absolutely fantastic stay at the beautiful Tamahan Ryokan and would be more than happy to return again! Though some posters have mentioned a bad room, it seems that you can avoid that one by saying you don't want the one with two floors or if you ask for rooms with a view of the garden :) We had no noise (or sight) pollution whatsoever, and nothing to complain of at all!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank NewYorkdaniela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tamahan

Address: 477 Gion Shimokawara-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0825, Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Hotel Style:
#23 Romantic Hotel in Kyoto
#84 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range: £168 - £385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tamahan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Tamahan Hotel Kyoto

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