What kind of city hotel is Hotel Kanra Kyoto?
Foreign luxury hotels continue to open in Kyoto, but even though Hotel Kanra Kyoto is not a luxury hotel whose opening makes news. However, it is a hotel that once you stay here, you will think “I want to stay here again next time.
At a quick glance, the building looks like an ordinary business hotel, but once you step inside, the beautiful interior design and decorations will fill you with anticipation. I almost forgot that I was in the city, just a few minutes away from Kyoto Station.
In the hotel, you can see and feel the traditional Japanese techniques in many places. In the lobby, there are about 1,000 Kyo-yaki tiles hand-made by artisans. These exquisite colors, which are different from one another, cannot be expressed by simple colors, but rather represent the delicate traditional Japanese colors that the Japanese have discovered in the changing seasons. In addition, in front of the entrance, there is a dynamic arrangement of live trees that remind us of the seasons.
The guest rooms in the main building and the villa are designed in the deep “Machiya style”, a characteristic of the Hotel Kanra Kyoto. A machiya is a house where ordinary people in Kyoto used to live.
In the bright cafe lounge adjacent to the reception desk, you can order Japanese sweets from a popular store in Nishijin. You can also enjoy Kyoto’s unique flavors, such as coffee carefully dripped from the roaster’s special beans, and Saikyo miso cheesecake made with the long-established white miso paste. Also, at night, you can order domestic whiskey and Kyoto craft beer.
The location is a one-minute walk from Gojo Station. It is about a 15-minute walk from Kyoto Station. An underground passage is available from Kyoto Station for almost half of the way, which is convenient even in hot and cold weather or on days with poor footing. Once on the ground level, Higashi Honganji Temple is right in front of the hotel, and Hotel Kanra Kyoto is located across Hanayamachi Dori Street from the temple.
Then the hospitality of each and every staff member is wonderful. If you are visiting Kyoto for the first time, I would recommend you to join a private tour that the staff made for you. The concierge will communicate with you via e-mail about two weeks in advance to understand your travel goals, preferences, interests, and schedule. They will then prepare a tour that fits your needs.
If I had to pick a drawback, I would say that although it is conveniently located near Kyoto Station, the surrounding area lacks a bit of a Kyoto feel compared to the Higashiyama area. Also, most of the rooms don’t offer any special views.
Is the location easy to access?
The location is near Gojo Station. It is a short walk from Exit 8 of the Station.
Alternatively, take the Karasuma Central Exit of Kyoto Station and walk straight down Karasuma Street on the Kyoto Tower side for 12 minutes.
If you take a taxi from Kyoto Station, it takes 5min and costs around 700JPY. Please show the below Japanese sentence to a taxi driver. Most of the drivers know about this hotel, but show the address and TEL No. in the below Japanese as they can enter the phone number into the car navigation system to confirm the destination. At the entrance of the hotel, along Karasuma Street, there is a large white curtain.
If you have a lot of luggage, I would recommend taking a cab, as it is quite a distance even from Kyoto Station.
電話番号 075 344 3815
Then the hotel does not have a parking lot. There is a flat coin-operated parking lot on the other side of the intersection near the hotel, which costs 1,200JPY for 24 hours, so I would recommend using this lot.
Rooms I would recommend?
If you are going to stay here, I would recommend a deluxe or superior room with a wooden bathtub in the main building. The Superior Room, where I stayed, has a lattice door at the entrance of the room. Next to the lattice door is a small box garden designed for a tiny space, which gives the room a ryokan-like ambiance. Open the latticed door and go up the stairs to find the door to the room. The rooms have high ceilings, a modern and stylish design, and functional facilities. The rooms on the Kyoto Station side have Higashi Honganji Temple next door, so you can see the traditional tile roof of the Temple from the window.
All rooms have a bathtub made of cypress wood. You can enjoy bathing while being surrounded by the scent of wood.
Then it seems that some rooms are facing Karasuma-Dori Street. Unluckily the street would be noisy by traffic all day so you might want to request a quiet room in advance when you book. The building has the latest soundproofing with double windows but it wouldn’t be enough because of the high-traffic street.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, yukatas, bottled water, and a green tea set, etc. Also, portable audio speakers, DVD players, desk lamps, converters, and irons, etc., are available for borrowing if you request in advance. There are QINUDE skincare products in the bathroom. Room service is available until 21:30. Also, the free WiFi reception was slow when we stayed here in 2017, but it was excellent in 2021.
Then if you bring small children, it would be much more comfortable than other hotels. This is child-friendly. Staff provides amenities, pajamas, meals, and cribs if you request in advance. Children are not charged if they sleep together.
How about In-house Facilities?
The hotel is not a perfect universal design but there are few steps. Wheelchairs are available for borrowing. If you bring someone with weak legs, you might want to inform the staff in advance as they arrange a room near the lift.
Then Electric bicycles are available for free. You need to book them in advance. The staff at the reception will have cycling maps available for you to use.
Then there is a nice spa treatment shop in the hotel. When you enter the shop, the sound of the water basin is soothing and the space filled with tranquility is very relaxing. Reservations are required in advance. It is open between 13:00 and 23:00.
Then there is a convenience store nearby. There is a vending machine for drinks. There is no communal bath, no swimming pool, no gym, etc.
How about meals?
The breakfast at the B1F restaurant was great. For breakfast, you can choose between Western or Japanese food. The meaty salmon, herb sausages, freshly baked bread, yogurt with berry sauce, etc. were all delicious. It’s not a buffet. Personally, I would recommend the Western breakfast.
Then Teppanyaki “HANAROKU” on B1 for dinner was quite nice. It seems that many local people visit here for dinner. You might want to book a table for dinner. Alternatively, you can go out for meals as there are many restaurants around the hotel.
Overall, if you are expecting a hotel like an inn in town, this is a very good hotel. The price range is reasonable, the rooms are very functional, the staff is very friendly, and the breakfast is delicious. It is a very convenient location to use as a base for your trip to Kyoto. It is not a luxury hotel, but it has a relaxing and calm ambiance.
Last but not least, this is one of the most popular hotels in Kyoto. It is often crowded during Chinese New Year, early April, late April to early May, weekends in October and November, and the New Year holidays, so I recommend staying outside these times if possible.
Info about Hotel Kanra Kyoto
|Style||Modern City Hotel|
|Check-in and out times
|Estimated Price||43,838 JPY for 2 adults per room|
|Internet Connection||Free wifi in the hotel|
|Facility Information||Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The parking lot is not available
|Location||Hotel Kanra Kyoto’s MAP|
|Access||Just 15min on foot from JR Kyoto Station|
|Address and TEL||190 Kitamachi Karasuma-Dori Rokujo-sagaru
Shimogyo-Ku Kyoto 600-8176
Tel +81 75-344-3815
|Official Homepage||Hotel Kanra Kyoto’s HP|
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
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