Kyoto Hotel? Gion or River side?

Old Nov 30th, 2022, 10:31 AM
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Kyoto Hotel? Gion or River side?

Hi Travellers - question: I am holding 2 reservations in Kyoto for late spring '23 that I booked early for a great rate.
I am not sure to whether stay in a new smallish hotel the Yoin Gion in Gion or in an established larger hotel on the river - The Cross.
The Cross gets good reviews and is close to the trains but seems like a tour group heavy type hotel and the Yoin in a better neighborhood.
Any feedback appreciated.
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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 07:41 PM
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We stayed in the Cross Hotel right at the start of the pandemic. The hotel had only just opened. We absolutely loved this place. Unusually spacious rooms for Japan, a modern vibe, great service and arguably the best breakfast buffet we have seen in a long while. Very difficult to leave the breakfast room when it is pile high with lobster and steak!

I can't say I noticed any tour groups though we did seem to be the only western guests.

We wouldn't hesitate to return ( which doesn't happen that often).
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 08:19 AM
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Yoin is north of what I think of in Gion, but just a few blocks away. It might be a great location, IDK, I was just looking to see if it was was actually in the hanamachi, in Gion.

Cross is in/near Pontocho which is good and a short walk to Pontocho Alley. I don't recall seeing the old style buildings in that hanamachi like there are in Gion Kobu, but that's ok.

By late spring, I hope you mean May. The Kamogawa Odori is held in May at the kaburenjo in Pontocho. I would arrange the trip to not miss it. (I loved the Miyako Odori in Gion several years ago)

This reminds the book Geisha by Liza Dalby, an anthropologist who became a geisha in Pontocho. I recommend it if interested in geisha life, customs, etc.

Yeah, I am looking at your OP question as being "Gion or Pontocho?" and I would suggest the latter on dates in May.

Last edited by mrwunrfl; Dec 1st, 2022 at 08:22 AM.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 09:16 AM
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Hi and thanks for the feedback. We are traveling in mid to late April for a milestone bday trip postponed from last year.
Missing the peak cherry blossom season and before golden week. How far is it to walk from the Pontocho to the
old style characteristic neighborhood in Gion? If its not that far, then the Cross might be ok bc it seems more full service/spacious rooms
& has 24 hr front desk staff etc unlike the Yoin. If the general area of the Cross is not that scenic I would prefer the Yoin.
I have found that when choosing accommodations charming locations matter most. I just can't tell here between these two choices.
We will be walking a great deal for 5 days and taking a day trip to Nara.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 09:17 AM
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Hi and thanks for the feedback. We are traveling in mid to late April for a milestone bday trip postponed from last year.
Missing the peak cherry blossom season and before golden week. How far is it to walk from the Pontocho to the
old style characteristic neighborhood in Gion? If its not that far, then the Cross might be ok bc it seems more full service/spacious rooms
& has 24 hr front desk staff etc unlike the Yoin. If the general area of the Cross is not that scenic I would prefer the Yoin.
I have found that when choosing accommodations charming locations matter most. I just can't tell here between these two choices.
We will be walking a great deal for 5 days and taking a day trip to Nara.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:27 AM
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I don't recall the area being especially scenic. Busy, lots of shops and restaurants We spent 5 nights there in additions to a couple of nights in Seikoro Ryokan which is I guess is in a more "charming" old/quaint area not far from Gion. I guess the Cross was a15/20 min walk from Gion. Whilst we enjoyed the experience there, I wasn't overwhelmed. On balance, the comfort , space, service and convenience of the Cross won over the location.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 08:48 AM
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google tells me it is 1.3 km from Cross to Gion Corner (which is in the middle of the old-style charm area of Gion). You won't find much in the way of charm or scenic locations for lodging in any big Japanese city. Both of your choices are in typical city, That is really ok, because room quality and proximity to transit are more important. Cross is not on the river and Yoin is not really in Gion (my thinking, if not reality). From what I have seen and given the input from crellston it would be easy for me to choose the Cross.

Ok, so by late spring you actually mean April (early spring). Kyoto in April means you want to attend Miyako Odori held in Gion Kobu Kaburenjo which is a few steps in front of Gion Corner.

Tickets: MIYAKO ODORI|祇園甲部歌舞会 公式ウェブサイト (miyako-odori.jp)
on sale at 10AM Jan 6 which would be 5PM on the 5th here in the PST zone
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Old Dec 6th, 2022, 01:22 AM
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Depending on how long you have in Kyoto could you split the time?
On our first trip we did 3 nights near Kyoto Station and 2 in Shiraume Ryokan which we loved. A beautiful, historical ryokan right on Shirakawa stream.
For the 2 subsequent trips we generally liked staying in that area between Gion and Nishiki Market, often close to the Kawaramachi Sanjo junction. We found that convenient for buses, metro, and foot sightseeing and great for restaurants of an evening.
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