Ryokan Inn Yoshida sanso

Ryokan Inn Yoshida sanso

What kind of ryokan is Ryokan Inn Yoshida sanso?

If you are a connoisseur of Kyoto, the ryokan would be one of the best. The exterior of the building is made entirely of Japanese cypress, giving it a dignified presence, and the roof tiles are decorated with the crests of the imperial family, giving it a “Japanese” feel. The building has been certified as a registered tangible cultural property.

The elegant noren curtain at the entrance swaying quietly in the refreshing breeze is very Kyoto-like.

Passing through the imposing Omote-Karamon Gate, walk up the slope to the hill, and you will see a two-story building with a tiled roof through the green trees.

There are three rooms in total. All rooms are south facing with a view of the garden. The guest rooms, built in the Shoin Zukuri, are a perfect combination of Japanese and Western styles, with different lighting fixtures and stained glass in each room.

The room on the second floor, where we stayed in winter, still had its original coffered ceiling, shelves, and attached study room. Sitting in the armchair by the window, you can clearly see the garden that has been tended to from corner to corner. If you listen carefully, you can hear the sounds of birds and insects in the breeze.

There is a Western-style room called “Hana-no-ma” with an eye-catching parquet floor. In this room, where guests can spend their free time, the furnishings from the past, such as a mirror stand and shelves, have been left intact. If you step out onto the spacious balcony, you can see Mount Daimonji, which is known for the “Gozan-no-Okuribi” festival held in August. It is a place of relaxation where Japanese and Western styles blend comfortably together.

The Japanese-style rooms on the first floor, which are called “Matsu,” “Take,” and “Tsuki,” are for dining. You will be served in a private room with a view of the wonderful garden that changes with the seasons. The food is a kaiseki course using a variety of seasonal vegetables from Kyoto.

This is probably the only place in Kyoto where you can enjoy kaiseki cuisine with a view of the garden and mountains in the elegant architecture of an emperor’s residence. It may be too dark to see the garden during dinner, so breakfast or lunch is recommended if you want to dine here. We had a very nice lunch in a quiet room with a view of the manicured garden.

If I had to pick a drawback, I would say that the corridors were cold because it was an old building. The rooms are heated, so when you move to another place, you feel cold. It can’t be helped. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any soundproofing, so you can hear the sounds and voices of the rooms next door. Then you may find it a bit inconvenient to use the furniture and interior as it was then. The owner probably wants to preserve as much of the original ambiance as possible.

Therefore I would not recommend this place to people who are staying in a Japanese inn or Japanese-style room for the first time. On the other hand, if you have stayed in ryokan several times before and are interested in traditional Japanese architecture and gardens, this is the place for you.

The price range is the same as that of a 5-star hotel, but the facilities and services are different. The value offered here is different, so please be aware of that before you stay here.

The property would be great for couples, families, or small groups, but not families with small children.  *A minimum age requirement of 13 applies   Unluckily, the property wouldn’t accept solo travelers.

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Is the location easy to access?

Yes, it’s easy if you take a taxi from Kyoto Station.  It takes 20min by car and costs around 2,500JPY.  The location is perfect if you love Kyoto.  It’s not great access to public transportation, though.

Most of the cab drivers in Kyoto may know about the building itself, but 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.

〒606-8314 京都府京都市左京区吉田下大路町59-1
電話番号 075 771 6125

Rooms I would recommend?

We stayed in a room on the second floor because we wanted a room with a view of the garden and the mountains of Kyoto, but if you are staying in the spring, early summer, or fall, I would recommend a room on the first floor. In the spring, you can enjoy the various flowers in bloom, in early summer the beautiful green of the trees shines, and in the fall, you can enjoy the changing leaves of the maple trees at close quarters. It is truly a luxury to be able to view the historic garden whenever you want.

Then there is no room with western beds.  If you don’t want to sleep on Japanese mattresses in tatami rooms, you may want to find other ryokans.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

All of the amenities are taken care of including minimum toiletries, yukatas, and a Japanese tea set.  Room service is not available.  The free WiFi reception was good in our room.  It seems that some rooms have no wifi reception.  If you need to connect to the internet, inform the staff when you book a room.

How about In-house Facilities?

There were some private family baths which you can use for free when we stayed.  You need to book them in advance when you check-in.  They are open between 17:00 and 23:00.

There is also a cafe on the premises. It is built in a German style. The café regularly hosts concerts, cultural activities, and art exhibitions, and is frequented by locals.

Then this is not a universal design.  If you bring people with weak legs, I wouldn’t recommend it.  There is no lift and there are some steps on-site.  There is no vending machine for drinks.  There is no convenience store within 5min walking distance.  You might want to buy your necessities before coming here.
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How about meals?

This is one of the well-known auberge ryokans.  It may be challenging for the western palate, though.  The food is authentic.  All meals are served in a banquet hall on 1F.  Dinner starts between 17:00 and 19:00.  Breakfast starts between 8:00 and 9:00.  *Please note that if you order meals, you need to inform staff by 5 days before.  Also, inform the staff when you book a room with meals if you have any food allergies.

Then, as far as I know, there is no restaurant within 10min walk distance around here so you need to go to the Gion area by taxi.  There are many options for meals in the Gion area.  It takes just 5min by taxi and costs less than 1,000JPY.

My impressions

There are many buildings in Kyoto that were owned by the Imperial family, but this is probably the only place where you can stay overnight. For those who want to taste a mansion where the art of Japanese culture is concentrated, stay here and feel elegant. It was a special space that was simple in appearance, yet had a high level of elegance.

Then the best season to stay here would be in spring or fall.  You can view a stunning traditional garden while chilling out in a room.  It will be your best memory.

Nearby are the Ginkakuji Temple, the Philosopher’s Path, and Shinnyo-do Temple, all of which are dotted with famous Buddhist temples, making sightseeing convenient. If you love Kyoto, this is the perfect location for you to explore the area and feel like an old aristocrat. You will discover something new.

Have a nice trip!  Welcome to receive any questions about the ryokan from the below space.  Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Booking.com or Agoda

Info about Ryokan Inn Yoshida-sanso

Style Auberge Ryokan
Check-in and out times
Estimated Price 150,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact E-mail
Internet Connection Free wifi in some rooms
Facility Information Wheelchairs are not available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
*Need to book it in advance 

Location Ryokan Inn Yoshida-sanso’s MAP
Access 20min by TAXI from Kyoto Station
Address and TEL 606-8314 Kyoto Sakyo-Ku Yoshida
Shimooji-cho 59-1  
Tel +81 75-771-6125
Official Homepage Ryokan Inn Yoshida-sanso’s HP

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

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