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“Fantastic stay at the Tenseian”

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Salon Haraguchi Tenseian
Ranked #78 of 376 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 July 2012

We arranged to stay four nights at the Tenseian as part of a two-week trip to Japan. It was definitely the highlight of our stay. Kyoto does not require us to sing its praises as it is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world. But it should be said that the Tenseian is a particularly well placed spot from which to explore the city, placed as it is near many of the finest temples and close to Gion which is the district foreign tourists are likely to find most captivating in the evenings.

The owner of the Tenseian, Mr Haraguchi, made every imaginable effort to have me and my partner feel at home in what was previously his own home: he and his wife were there to greet us upon arrival from the station, he took us to several of the more far-flung temples and shrines thus greatly increasing the number of wonderful sights we were able to visit, he showed us where to eat, where to wander, and even where to stand if we wished to catch a glimpse of a geisha. As we are interested in pottery and ceramics we asked if we could see his own work - he is a superb potter - and he showed us his studio where we could admire his fine work (some of which is in the Biritish Museum).

The accommodation itself is all one might wish for from a Japanese house: full of atmosphere, genuine, comfortable, and in the midst of glorious trees. The walk home there every evening, through the shrine and the park, was one of the highlights of our stay - so peaceful and enchanting.

I feel I can't finish this review without saying a word about the one negative review that I read on Tripadvisor. I had to laugh when its author ("Nice couple but rough accommodation") suggested that what was "rough" was that he had been bitten by some mosquitoes! Can he really imagine that the presence of mosquitoes in the environment is an inn-keeper's responsibility! (The inn itself has effective anti-mosquito shutters.) And as for the notion that walking through the park at night is dangerous or unsuitable for women and children, this is simply preposterous: the park and its environs - note, the ryokan is not in the park, as the author suggests but above it - struck me and my partner both as eminently safe and utterly lovely. I am a well seasoned traveller in East and West and I have never had less of a sense of threat or danger than when staying at the Tenseian. Next time, sir, pack your mosquito spray for your walks through the woods, and take your tesar against the phantoms in your head!

We left Kyoto determined to return before long, and I hope it will be to Mr Haraguhi's Tenseian Salon where we spent such happy days and evenings. Such hospitality is very hard to find.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Daniel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (170)
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112 - 116 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2012

After a couple of days of staying in a big conference hotel in Kyoto, this was a real 'coming home' feeling. Haragachu-san welcomed us at the bus station, it was just like being welcomed by a good old friend who brings you home and makes your stay as pleasant as possible. The house, Japanese style, was clean and very convenient. Everything you need is there: washing machine, drying machine, tv, computer, small kitchen ,...) i. I felt if I could come to Kyoto for a longer time, I could stay here. The place is nicely located, just a couple of blocks away to interesting and lively places. We got some interesting inside information of where to go for lunch and dinner, places we wouldn't have found on our own, all very typically Japanese, off the beaten track. Our surprise was big when Mr. Haraguchi invited us on a sightseeing trip in Kyoto and showed us two wonderful places, a very quitet old temple complex and a shinto shrine (Fushimi Inari), definitely worth a visit. He did it just like that, we were very grateful for such amazing hospitality. Thank you mr. Haraguchi, we wish you many good friends and guests from all over the world.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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8  Thank Liselotte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2012

We Recently stayed at 'Kiyomizu Tensei-An'. We found the accommodation extremely comfortable and convenient. At first I was disappointed as I thought the property was in Marayama Park, ( were i particularly wanted to stay), but it is closer to Goyjo Street. the studio is a little off the main street so it is quiet and private yet close to bus stops and restaurants etc. It is very close to Kiyomizu Temple. If you are into ceramics or pottery this is a great area! Lots of happy wandering in the streets nearby.
The apartment has all the conveniences we could want - most importantly a washer and dryer! The studio was clean and very tidy, the two beds where very comfortable and the property was well positioned for breezes, ( it was summer when we were there). There is an air conditioner but we didn't need to use it. Although there weren't 'views' as such the studio had an open feel as there were no other two story buildings close so it felt very airy yet private.
Our hosts Hayraguchi San and his wife made us feel very welcome and took us to see some of the sights on the other side of town that would have been hard for us to get to, adding greatly to our experiences of Kyoto. They were also extremely helpful with our enormous luggage issues! I can't say enough about there graciousness towards us.
We did have an opportunity to see the house in Marayama Park which is a beautiful traditional Japanes house - right in the 'forest'. This would be a great position for those who love nothing better than to explore around the East hills of Kyoto and Gion. I would imagine that in Spring it would be awesome to be so close to the cherry viewing areas of the park. The house is fairly traditional - so may not suit everyone. It is very large and roomy!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Moreof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2012

This was our first trip to Japan and we were travelling with my husband's parents and our 11 month old baby, so we were pretty particular about the type of accomodation we wated to stay in. We wanted to have a 'japanese' experince but found ryokans to be prohibitively expensive and I wasn't particularly interested in paying for foood that I may not necessarily enjoy (as I don't enjoy much seafood). So when we found Salon Haraguchi we were pretty excited as it seemed to be a more 'affordable' ryokan experinece, while providing us some space for a toddler.

We arrived into Kyoto station and followed Mr Haraguchi's instructions to take the bus from the station, his was pretty easy. We were met at the bus stop by Mr and Mrs Haragichi and they were an enormous help by picking us up and driving us (and ALL our luggage) to the acoomodation. We had 3 rooms available to us, a small kitchen- which had everything you needed (microwave, kettle, toaster, fridge etc. We mainly used it for breakfast and baby food) 2 toilets, a bathroom with shower, a washing machine and dryer. The house had a truely japanese feel- it was not modern but felt homely and had some wonderful touches to it- some beautiful pottery, traditional wooden chairs and beautiful wooden pieces of art- we loved it! It was clean and perfect for what we needed- good value compared to other ryokans.

The futon mats were really comfortable too!

The location was good. It is located near a park which is a down hill walk to the main sights in the area. It was perfect to be walking distance from some UNESCO world heritage sights and 10-15 minutes walk to many restaurants and shops. Because of some wet weather, the baby and our parents- we did catch some taxis up the hill- which was not expensive. This made things easier. In the wet weather we went to the under cover nishiki markets and did some shopping- good fun!

I think what really 'made' our experience memorable and special was the warmth and kindness of Mr Haraguchi. Every night he would drop in and give us some ideas of what to do the next day. We had some wet weather and he took my husband's parents in his car on a trip all the way to the Golden temple! The following day he took us to bamboo grove and golden temple- with the baby and all! This was so touching as he really went above and beyond to make sure our kyoto experience was special and memorable. I think this really reflects the Japanese spirit- so kind and obliging. He also appreciated the difficulty of travelling with the baby- let us check in an hour earlier so she could have a nap.

When we left- Mrs Haraguchi arranged our taxis to the station.

I can't recommend this place enough. We will definately come back and stay here again. It is not luxurious- but for the price is extraordinary value, and to boot- you get to meet Mr and Mrs Haraguchi who love to look after their guests even though they are busy working themselves.
This was a very special experience for us!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank brontewanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2012

Two of us recently stayed at this sister property to Salon Haraguchi.

Kiyomizu Tensian is the property above Master Haraguchi's pottery studio.

It is a Traditional Japanese apartment with 1 room with 2 single beds, another japanese style room with Tatami Matts and a TV where bedding can also be set up Japanese style.
A small verandah, another verandah with a shower a washing machine and dryer which come in handy when you've travelling a while.
Also a kitchen with sitting area (low japanese style table and floor cushions), tea maker, toaster and microwave.
Toilet inside.
Another room with a small table and books. You can either set up your computer ( free wifi) in there or store your luggage.
A lot of other reviews mention bicycles but we were not offered these, so please doule check if that is of concern to you.
Location is in the Southern Higashiyama Area close to Kiyomizu Dera Temple, Gion, Chion- In.
It is located close to Gojozaka Bus stop and Mr haraguchi promptly turned up when we called him on arrival.
Bus is the main way of getting around in Kyoto and they run regularly.
To get to Gion and Downtown it is about a 30 minute walk from the apartment if you wanted to walk, or alternatively you could catch the bus there and back.

There is a great Bakery ( Nita Bakery ) just in the rear lane of the property and a supermarket you can buy food/drink to stock the fridge.

Mr Haraguchi suggested a few restauarants we tried out and were all very nice.

He is a very kind man, and drove us out to the Golden Temple and Arashimaya (Bamboo Grove) areas and kindly waited for us while we visited.

I recommend this property for those who prefer their own space and are comfotable doing their own thing, rather than a hotel with room service etc.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Anna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Salon Haraguchi Tenseian

Address: 7-3 Maruyama-cho, higashiyama-ku,, Kyoto 605-0071, Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
Salon Haraguchi Tenseian Hotel Kyoto

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