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“Good Ryokan for a Beginner”
Review of Nishiyama Ryokan

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Nishiyama Ryokan
Ranked #95 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
sydney, australia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Good Ryokan for a Beginner”
Reviewed 17 March 2012

First impressions:
Modern building facade with a modern lobby. I like the small garden to look out at which is a nice contrast to the rest of the building. Located in a mostly quiet area.
On arrival, we were promptly greeted by front desk staff and they were more than happy for us to leave our luggage prior to the check in time.
When we returned for check-in, the proprieties (okami-san) introduced herself graciously and showed us around the ryokan - dinner and breakfast area, the lounge area, public bath area and the amenities in our rooms.
She also promptly served us hot tea in the room with welcome sweets which was a nice welcome after a freezing day outside.

There are a lot of things to love about this ryokan.


Location: Central near the city town hall, within walking distance to bus stops and a subway station. Also within walking distance to some interesting shops along teramachi-dori (the undercover shopping "arcade") but do try and explore the shops that are on teramachi-dori outside of the arcade. Some gems to be found !!

Rooms: I was surprised by how large the rooms were for Kyoto standards. Very comfortable and warm. Comfortable futons. Small television with only a small number of English channels, mini fridge, tea making facilities and your option of a ensuite. Ensuite was very small - might be a squeeze for tall foreigners (built around the average Japanese size). I would highly recommend the bath at B1 if you are adventurous enough to share your bathing experience with complete strangers (same sex). A long soak in the hot tub after a day walking around exploring Kyoto is pure bliss.

Price: Accommodation in Japan is expensive but I think this ryokan provides very good value for money.

Language: Most staff can speak English reasonably well. No issues with asking for directions, sightseeing advice etc.

Opportunities for cultural experience:
The ryokan regularly offers the chance to participate in traditional Japanese cultural experiences eg. tea ceremony, calligraphy writing etc. It is a good chance for travelers not proficient in the language to be able to participate in activities that may sometimes only be viewed from afar.

Free wifi !!


Things that may make the experience more daunting:

Meals:
Japanese breakfast is a great option in this ryokan. Mostly, food that can be easily identified by the rest of the world as being Japanese. However, having rice early in the morning may not be your "cup of tea".
Dinner can be a challenging experience to the uninitiated. I thought that they were very generous with the amount and also the quality of the food for the price was really good. However, I was approached by one of the other guests to help identify some of the ingredients. Even, the friend that I was traveling may not have loved everything served. (No issues for me because I have become familiar with the local ingredients used)
If you have dietary restrictions then I think it's not a good option.

So my advice is.. proceed with caution. However, since you are in Japan - proceed ahead anyway - sometimes it's best to eat first and ask later. =)

You do not HAVE to have meals in the ryokan throughout your stay. I would recommend having dinner 1 night and breakfast 1 morning. Eating out options are plentiful in Japan.

For the traveller who have regularly stayed at ryokans prior, then I think this ryokan might not be the top of the list for the most authentic experience.


Overall, a really good option for the uninitiated - especially if you are worried about not being able to sleep on a bed or become accustomed to the rules that more traditional ryokans may impose.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank yees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nishiyamahotel, マネージャー at Nishiyama Ryokan, responded to this review, 20 March 2012
thank you for staying at nishiyama ryokan.
and we are happy to hear you.
and we try our best for all travelers.
and all our room are non smorking.

thank you in advance.
nishiyama ryokan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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332 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Poolesville, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 March 2012

I am a research scientist who has visited Kyoto and the universities there before on a half dozen previous occasions and this time I wanted to a housing experience that more authentically reflected Japanese culture. At the same time, my budget was limited and I worried about the prospect of sleeping on the floor in a small room. Nishiyama Ryokan offered a really perfect place for me to stay. My room was very spacious and economical and my floor futon was very comfortable. The staff there was very attentive and in the mornings I enjoyed the Japanese tea ceremony and the delicious tea following it on several occasions. The women running the place was so nice and attentive. I almost felt like I was staying with a caring family relatives. The staff's English was good enough that I felt comfortable asking about places to go and about the best transportation opportunities, directions, etc. Then there were the breakfasts that came with the room- Yum! A couple of mornings, I think I died a went to heaven during breakfast. I really love the Japanese food and the elaborate style of food presentation and the sometimes exotic nature (e.g., abalone and other seafood broiled a little personal burner). One night, I had a formal dinner at the Ryokan. This was also fabulous, but a bit expensive for my budget. Frankly, I think the experience of this Ryokan for Westerners is much nicer than the nearby fancy hotels, where I have also stayed on former occasions. I can't wait to go back there with my wife!

Room Tip: I am not sure about the other rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jack D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nishiyamahotel, マネージャー at Nishiyama Ryokan, responded to this review, 5 March 2012
thank you for staying at nishiyama ryokan.
and we are happy to hear you.
and we try our best for all travelers.
and all our room are non smorking.

thank you in advance.
nishiyama ryokan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Varies...
Level Contributor
45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

Extremely friendly and helpful Ryokan in Kyoto. Very close to city hall and transport. Very welcoming. An added bonus for us was the opportunity to participate in a Tea Ceremony that took place in the lounge. I would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 284Weary_traveller22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nishiyamahotel, マネージャー at Nishiyama Ryokan, responded to this review, 4 March 2012
thank you for staying at nishiyama ryokan.
and we are happy to hear you.
and we try our best for all travelers.
and all our room are non smorking.

thank you in advance.
nishiyama ryokan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Germany
Level Contributor
46 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Nishiyama Ryokan turned out to be more like a small hotel compared to other ryokans I visited before with Japanese style rooms but more western style lobby area.

My room was very (!) spacious, I was provided with very nice tea and plenty of hot water. Wifi access in the lobby worked well, there also were two computers provided for guests' use. Staff spoke English. The location is close to a subway station and to the main shopping streets.

I travelled in February, outside temperatures were around 5C and the air con in the room was not sufficient to get a decent room temperature, so I could not be inside the room without wearing my coat which was very unpleasant.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kangalama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nishiyamahotel, マネージャー at Nishiyama Ryokan, responded to this review, 23 February 2012
thank you for staying at nishiyama ryokan.
and we are happy to hear you.

we are sorry,now febrary is very cold in japan.sometime we had snowing in Kyoto.
and japanese room is a little cold,we are sorry.
some room air condintioner is new ,but row space in guestroom maybe little cold.


and we try our best for all travelers.
and all our room are non smorking.

thank you in advance.
nishiyama ryokan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
1 review
Reviewed 22 February 2012

This was my first expertise with a ryokan. The staffs are very helpful and courteous. We arrived in the morning and had the tea ceremony. You will feel relax right away and will adjust to a calmer pace. We travelled in a group of six and have reserved three rooms. Compare to western style hotel in other cities in Japan, the room size here is a bit bigger. The bath room is a bit small but that is to encourage you to use the bath house down stair. We didn't book dinner but had the traditional Japanese breakfast. It's fantastic. The location is great, there are lots of litte stores, cafe, restaurants in the neighbourhood. There is a big shopping area/market within 5-10 mins walk. The subway station is close by too. I would recommend this ryokan.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Juboubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nishiyamahotel, マネージャー at Nishiyama Ryokan, responded to this review, 23 February 2012
thank you for staying at nishiyama ryokan.
and we are happy to hear you.
and we try our best for all travelers.
and all our room are non smorking.

thank you in advance.
nishiyama ryokan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nishiyama Ryokan

Property: Nishiyama Ryokan
Address: 433 Gokomachi St, Nakagyo-ku,, Kyoto 604-0933, Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > City Center
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#26 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price range (per night): ₹ 8,656 - ₹ 18,475
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Nishiyama Ryokan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
NISHIYAMA RYOKAN is small japanese style hotel.more than 2000 visitors from around the world stay with each year.plese enjoy traditional japanese culture at very reasonable rates.thank you in advance ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nishiyama Ryokan Hotel Kyoto

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