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Reviewed 5 December 2010

I chose stayed at Ryori Ryokan Aiso after reading about it on a travel blog about Uji - they recommended it. What a mistake!

It's a restaurant with a ryokan and I don't think it's very good at either. We paid Y7,800 per person (Y15,600 for the both of us) for a 4 tatami room - this included dinner and breakfast. They accept CASH ONLY.

The room was small (which is fine) but it was in a pretty poor condition. There were cracks in the wall, tears/holes in the paper window covering, icky futons and thin walls. At about 7am, I could hear the family downstairs preparing for the day. There wasn't a bin in the bedroom - they gave us clothes hangers but there was no where to actually hang our clothes! At least we had an air conditioner I guess.

It's the sort of place where I couldn't tell if they had clean the linen or not, it's dated and not to the standard I expected. The location is good, beside the river - about 12 mins walk from the JR station where you pass a horde of shops and tourists.

The shared shower room was ok but to use the Western styled toilets, we had to use the ones downstairs which are also used by the restaurant patrons.

The food was nothing special. Breakfast is leftovers from the previous day. They didn't even give us any napkins. I got sick in the middle of the night though I am not entirely certain it was the food from Aiso - it could have been the random bits of tea and biscuits I was tasting at the many boutique shops while exploring the town. The food is not worth the money as are many other more appetizing looking options around town.

The service was pretty poor. We arrived into the restaurant to 'check in' and had to wait 5 mins before anyone asked us why were hogging the floorspace with our luggage looking expectantly at the staff.

Uji is gorgeous place to visit, it can be done as a day trip but an overnight stay is nice especially wandering around and taking photos at dusk. Just don't stay at the Aiso unless you can deal with the negatives as mentioned. Save your money and buy tea and cakes instead!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank arodanos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2010

The ryokan has apparently been in the family for several generations and is part of a restaurant, store, and inn combination. The present owner isn't putting much money back into the inn. The bottom futons are not soft and the paper screens in many areas are torn and stained. But more importantly, the bathroom, tub area and sink were not very clean. That said-the ryokan is in a very good location and because of that, the hotel received an average rating from us. We ate both dinner and breakfast and were not impressed. Don't buy the meals as there are other places to eat close by.

This hotel is next to the Uji River and an island park that is accessible by a beautiful orange bridge. The Byodouin, Koshoji Temple, Ujigami Shrine, The Take of Genji Museum and other sites are within walking distance. We used taxis to get to the train station since we had luggage .

  • Stayed: October 2010
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1  Thank JetDreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2010

We stayed for 2 nights and had 1 dinner and breakfast at Aiso. Uji is a really, really beautiful town famous for green tea. We went to the Uji Tea Festival which was great - followed the procession from the river up to the Temple.

The main street of Uji is lovely, with small tea shops and it's a beautiful walk down Omotesando along the river to Aiso. It's only 17 mins to Kyoto station on JR.

The owners speak very little English - I got a Japanese friend to help me book.

The room was really big by Japanese standards - shared bathrooms but this was fine and we didn't see any other guests. Traditional Japanese style in a stunningly beautiful place.

We loved it and had a great stay!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TandTSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2010

The owner has told us to pay about 7500 for a night for two persons. But when we are going to pay by the end of our stay, then he says that its 7500 per person. Which makes it double the price than we expected.

The rooms are cold in november!

The location is however great! right by the river. But if you don't love fish and japanesefood then don't waste your money on their food here. It's beutifrul food but I cold barely eat anything. but then again I don't like fish.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kian19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2009

We stayed for one night in Oct 09 at Aiso Ryokan for our trip to Uji. The owner knew very little written English and us thread-bare understanding of Japanese, but we managed to reserve via email (thanks to Google translate tool) a room for two with two meals (dinner + breakfast) @7350yen per person for the most basic menu, which was already more than fantastic! (a little of it later...) It will be best to bring along a printed copy of the reservation email with you just to be sure that both sides have the same understanding on what was reserved.

Aiso Ryokan is a very small ryokan with only two guestrooms if we are not wrong. Our tatami guestroom is rather spacious albeit just basic for relaxing and sleeping, which is just as well since you'll probably be walking around to enjoy Uji rather than staying in the room. The toilet (Japanese squat type) and bathroom are for sharing located on the corridor but since there are only two guestrooms, it is nary a problem.

Luckily the owner's spoken English was far better than his written so we were able to communicate with him to inform on our preferred dinner and breakfast times, as they would need to know when to start preparing your meals.

Dinner for us was in the attached dining room just by Uji River though it was too dark to view anything in the evening. It was the first time we had a proper ryokan meal - can we call it a kaiseki? - and it was very delicately prepared and thumbs-up delicious! The other serving staff spoke almost no English but they were all very polite in attending to our needs. Breakfast was served in the indoor restaurant just below the guestroom level and as per the night before, a very yummy and filling start to our day of exploring Uji before venturing to our next destination. You can refer to our pictures for more details =)

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Je T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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