Ryokan Genhouin

Ryokan Genhouin

What kind of ryokan is Ryokan Genhouin?

The ryokan is located in Higashiyama, where the Higashiyama mountain range can be seen in the distance and is dotted with some of Kyoto’s finest residences and temples. Formerly the residence of a noble family, it is a wonderful inn that harmonizes the beauty of traditional sukiya architecture with a modern sense.

With a site area of more than 1650㎡, the mansion has a beautiful circular garden where you can enjoy strolling through the cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in early summer, autumn leaves in autumn, and snowy scenery in winter. This is why some people stay here several times a year, depending on the season.

This is a place where 1,200 years of history intersects with the unique atmosphere of an ancient city. You will surely be drawn in by the beauty of the three-dimensional garden, which looks like a painting from every angle.

From the moment you step into the site, you are surrounded by a different world of silence. It was so tranquil that I could even hear the breathing of the people who used to live there. The faint sound of the temple bells ringing at night from nearby temples is soothing to the ears, and you can truly feel that you are in Kyoto.

After passing through the magnificent gate and the quaint garden, you will see the main building and the tea house. After being greeted by the elegant landlady, I was led to the 40 tatami-mat large shoin-style room. We tasted matcha green tea and sweets while being impressed by the wonderful large hall and the dynamic garden that can be seen from there.

The interior of the hotel is spacious, yet full of traditional Japanese architecture and artifacts in its details. There are four rooms in total. Each room has a view of the circular garden with its beautiful seasonal nature.

Open the shoji doors, and you will find yourself in front of a moss-covered garden of traditional Japanese beauty. It is a good idea to relax while enjoying the sounds of nature, such as the chirping of wild birds and the rustling of trees, which you would not normally pay attention to.

The soft texture of the rushes used for the tatami mats, the snowy shoji screens, and the tokonoma *alcove decorated with hanging scrolls and ikebana *flower arrangement add to the atmosphere. The simple but thoughtful hospitality will make you feel relaxed. You can also relax freely in the shared space of the large hall and the library.

If you are someone who really likes Kyoto and will visit again and again, this is the perfect place to stay.  *A minimum age requirement of 12 applies.

If I had to pick a drawback, it would be the lack of convenient transportation. It takes more than 10 minutes to walk from the nearest station. Also, there are no restaurants, cafes, or fast food places in this area. For meals, I would recommend going to the Gion area. It’s a 5-minute cab ride or a 30-minute walk.

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Is the location easy to access?

Yes, if you take a taxi from Kyoto Station.  It takes 20min and costs around 2000JPY.  Then most of the TAXI drivers wouldn’t know the property. Please 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.

源鳳院
〒606-8333 京都府京都市左京区岡崎法勝寺町77
電話番号 075-752-1110

Alternatively, it takes 15min on foot from Keage Station

Rooms I would recommend?

Of the four rooms, only two have bathrooms. The other two rooms don’t have bathrooms, but a spacious private family bath is available for use free of charge.  You need to book it in advance. The scent of the bathtub made of Japanese cypress wood is soothing and relaxing. The view of the box garden while taking a bath is also a luxurious experience. Morning baths are also available, so if you wake up early, I recommend taking a relaxing morning bath and taking a walk in the garden in the refreshing morning. I think it’s more convenient to have a room with an attached bathroom.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

All of the amenities are taken care of including minimum toiletries, yukatas, and a Japanese tea set, etc.  Room service is not available.  There is a convenience store nearby.  The free WiFi reception was good in our room.

How about In-house Facilities?

It is a quaint building with a long history, but it has been beautifully renovated with the latest equipment. I was worried that it would be cold in the winter since it is an old traditional building, but the heating was working well. The room had a view of the garden, the Japanese mattress called futon was soft, and the coffee in the room was delicious. The room smelled of elegant incense.

Then it seems that the traditional wooden building has no latest soundproofing.  My ear sometimes caught some footsteps from 2F.  Also, there is no floor heating.  You may feel cold at night in the winter season even if you switch on the heater.

Ryokan Genhouin is not a universal design.  If you bring people with weak legs, you may want to request a room on 1F.
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Then there is a small lounge.  Also, there is a bar where you can enjoy a glass of wine or whiskey while listening to jazz music in a quaint space of sukiya architecture. You can spend a luxurious time with a view of the garden.

How about meals?

The breakfast is prepared by a restaurant in Daitokuji Temple famous for its vegetarian cuisine. You can enjoy the gentle taste of dishes made with seasonal ingredients. Since it is vegetarian cuisine, vegetarians can also be accommodated. There are no restaurants in this area as it is a residential area. It is advisable to book a room with breakfast included.

My impressions

The staff is all sociable, welcoming, and kind, but if you are expecting the characteristic Japanese hospitality, this is not it. This is a traditional ryokan, and I would expect to be treated with respect and care. Overall, the price range is high, but the hardware is perfect. The software tends to be mediocre. If you really want to immerse yourself in the world of “pure Japanese culture,” I would recommend it.

Then you may want to take a walk around Nanzenji Temple before breakfast.  Nanzenji Temple is always crowded in the daytime but there would be almost no people around there before 8: 00 AM.  You can see “true Kyoto”.  The atmosphere is special.  The location is just near the property.

At last, the best season to stay here would be in spring or fall.  You can see a breathtaking traditional garden while taking a walk.  You will have an unforgettable time in your life.

Have a nice trip!  Welcome to receive any questions about Ryokan Genhouin from the below space.   *You need to inform the staff of your expected arrival time in advance.  Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Booking.com or Agoda

Info about Ryokan Genhouin

Style Historical Japanese Ryokan
Check-in and out times
15:00/10:00
Estimated Price 100,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact E-mail
info@genhouin.co.jp
Internet Connection Free wifi in the ryokan
Facility Information Wheelchairs are not available
Pets are not allowed
The parking lot is available  2,000JPY per day
Location Ryokan Genhouin’s MAP
Access 20min by TAXI from Kyoto Station
15min walk from Keage Station
Address and TEL 606-8333 Kyoto Sakyo-Ku Okazaki
Hoshojicho 77 
Tel +81 75-752-1110
Official Homepage Ryokan Genhouin’s HP  *Japanese only

*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.

Still not sure where to stay in Kyoto?

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