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Gion Hatanaka (Kyoto Ryokan) --any experience??

Gion Hatanaka (Kyoto Ryokan) --any experience??

Old Sep 1st, 2008, 08:21 PM
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Gion Hatanaka (Kyoto Ryokan) --any experience??

I am considering booking this ryokan in Kyoto but although it looks very nice and is booked by both Luxury Ryokan Collection and Japanese Guest Houses, I can find almost no actual reviews of it on the web. It is so unusual that I wonder what might be the reason! No bad reviews; just not much information to be had. Any thoughts?
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 09:13 PM
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The very vast majority of foreign tourists to Japan do not spend a night in a ryokan. The vast majority also never post a review of where they stayed. Which probably explains why there are so few reviews for any single ryokan (from a pool of thousands and thousands).

Gion Hatanaka is a mid-range ryokan in Kyoto. It is a city ryokan, and as such, does not have fabulous baths to enjoy, but they offer a simple one. There rooms look fine, and the location is nice.

If you have no other opportunity to stay in a ryokan then this place would be fine for sure. But if you have time to include a night at an onsen ryokan, and perhaps a very deluxe one at that, then you might want to do that instead.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 09:24 PM
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I just looked at your post about Hakone and Ginyu being booked except for their highest price room. There are so, so many nice places in Hakone, that there really is no reason to limit yourself to that one choice. Here is a list with links to click. Not all have English websites, but even in Japanese you can see the pictures and a translator website can give you so-so English translations. http://www.kanagawa-ryokan.com/english/hakone.htm
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 09:27 PM
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Thank you SO much. I have been trying to find a more rural onsen or an older style more luxurious one, but they seem either fabulously expensive or just don't seem that great. What I don't want to do is spend a considerable amount of money on a ryokan that is just OK. We will have spent 4 nights at the Four Seasons in Tokyo, so I don't need a nice hotel. What I am interested in is a lovely ryokan epxerience in around Kyoto (but that is not more than $700 or so for two if that is possible!)

Any thoughts about Kurama Onsen in Kyoto? That seemed like one possibility but did not seem very upscale for the price.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 09:34 PM
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Thanks you again so much KimJapan (our last posts crossed in the ether!). I decided that adding Hakone to the itinerary of a relatively short trip did not make sense, so I am now just looking for a ryokan in Kyoto. I really would the experience of the ryokan/onsen that is nice and peaceful (though it does not have to be ultra-fancy). Certainly willing to spend some money to do this, but prices can climb steeply in this catagory!
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 09:45 PM
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There are quite a few places in Kurama Onsen. The town itself is 45 minutes or so by train from Kyoto Station.

A nice upscale ryokan/onsen ryokan is not cheap, but it is not bad value either. In addition to the aesthetics which you are paying for, the service is usually outstanding, baths are gorgeous, dinner a real treat (that would cost a lot to go to a restaurant to eat) and a great breakfast. The nicest ones are experiences in and of themselves, in that you check in at check in time and don't leave until check out time. While there you take baths, drink tea, eat a great kaiseki dinner, take another bath, sleep on a great futon, wake up, take a bath, eat..most places serve meals right in your room, and you have a "maid" just for your service.

You are right about them being expensive or just so so. You can stay in a nice place with 2 meals for ¥10,000/night but you won't get the aesthetic and the service of a place that is ¥40,000 per night (rates are per person at ryokan).

There are just so many, though, and there is huge choice for every budget and taste. You have to be willing to search a bit though, and willing to click away on Japanese pages to see photos. You will need to probably fax to reserve, as most places are not represented by English language booking sites. You also have to decide if you would prefer a place that sees few if any foreign guests, or if you would prefer to stay in a place that is marketed to foreigners and actually sees more foreign guests than Japanese.

http://www.momijiya.jp/english/index.html you might like.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 09:55 PM
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Do you want a ryokan IN Kyoto city? Kyoto is a huge city of 1.5 million people. In the city you are not going to find onsen (you will find a bath, but it is tap water and not special), and if by peaceful you mean not in the city, you will have to get out of the city.

An option might be a night in one of Nara's lovely places that are located right in the deer park. Or an onsen town like Kurama onsen (in Kyoto prefecture but not in Kyoto city) or Arima onsen.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 07:00 AM
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Thank you again. I have spent more time that it may seem trying to sort this out and I feel like I am spinning around a bit at this point. This information is very helpful. I think we want to be out of town and I am fine about paying ~35,000 pp if I am going to be in the sort of place you are describing. I will have more time later to look at some of the sites you suggested (I have gravitated toward LRC and Japanese Guest House websites because they are easy but are limited also.)
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Thank you again KimJapan. I have booked the Momijiya ryokan which does seem just right. Their website is very easy to use. I am assuming I can contact them abuot how to get there from the train station if we do not have a car. Hopefully we can do that!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Momojiya has detailed access information in Japanese but not English. I'm sure they will advise you if you ask, or you could ask at the tourist infor or city hotel or train station.
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