Sumiya Kihoan Ryokan

Sumiya Kihoan Ryokan

What kind of onsen ryokan is Sumiya Kihoan Ryokan?

This is a quiet hot spring inn with a total of 27 rooms located in the mountains, with an impressive thatched-roof gate. There are some rooms with private hot springs. If you are an onsen freak, it’s one of the best in Kyoto.

After passing through the thatched gate, we were greeted by the staff and led through the gallery-like lobby to the library for check-in procedures. In winter, a fire is lit in the fireplace. Inside the building, you can see the owner’s antique furnishings and other items that he cherishes here and there.

On the bookshelf, there is a replica of the autograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono when they visited here in 1977.

The library at night is also very atmospheric, with a view of the garden lit up. They hold concerts on an irregular basis.

We had tea and snacks in the library as we went through the check-in procedures. It’s not fancy, but it’s a dignified inn, and we were able to spend a quiet time there.

We stayed here in June, and unfortunately, it was raining, but the view from the window was rather charming. 

Then the local food here is fantastic. The open-kitchen style dining room is also unique, reminiscent of an old-fashioned Kyoto kitchen. The first thing that jumped out at me when I walked in was the magnificent Kamado called “Okudo-san” in Kyoto dialect. Even before I took my seat, I was filled with anticipation as a foodie. Also, the wide variety of Australian wine was enough to make me lose my way, but I was very satisfied with the advice on the best wine to go with the food.

After dinner, we took the inn’s bus to go see the fireflies. Unfortunately, it was after it had rained, so there were only a few fireflies flying around, but that was more than enough to see the beautiful starry sky. This free tour is only available in June.

The location is a little far away from central Kyoto.  It takes around 20 to 40min from Kyoto Station. It is located in a more mountainous area than I had expected, but it is rich in nature and offers an extraordinary experience.

If I had to say a drawback, it would be that the view is nothing special. This is probably due to the fact that the inn is located on the main road.

Also, this is one of the great places in Kyoto for those who like hot springs, but it may not be convenient for those who are new to Kyoto and want to see the various temples and traditional gardens. It is only a 20-minute train ride to Arashiyama, so it is suitable for those who visit Arashiyama.

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Is the location easy to access?

Yes, it’s easy from Kyoto Station.  Free shuttle service is available from JR Kameoka Station or Torokko Kameoka Station.  You need to book it in advance.  It takes 20-30min by car.  Refer to the below time schedule.

*From JR Kameoka Station at 14:50, 15:50, 16:50, or 17:50.
*From Torokko Kameoka Station on the Sagano Romantic Train at 15:35, 16:35, or 17:35.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from JR Kameoka Station and costs around JPY2,000. *There is nothing around Torokko Kameoka Station. The whole area is rice paddies. There is no cab stand.

Most cab drivers know this inn, but they will enter the phone number into the car navigation system to confirm your destination, so you may want to show the address and phone number in Japanese below.

すみや亀峰菴
〒621-0036 京都府亀岡市稗田野町柿花宮ノ奥25番地
電話番号 077 122 7722

Rooms I would recommend?

If you are going to stay here, I would recommend a room with a private outdoor hot spring.  The spring quality is simply wonderful.  The private hot spring was larger than I had expected, and soaking in the plentiful spring water was a luxurious experience that I was very happy with.

Then, it seems that some rooms are facing the road.  If you are a light sleeper, your ear may catch some noise at night.  You might want to request a quiet room in advance when you book.

Then if you don’t want to sleep on Japanese mattresses in tatami rooms, you may want to book a room with twin beds.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, yukatas, a Japanese tea set, and herb tea bags, etc.  A humidifier was placed in our room.  There are PROVINSCIA bath amenities and DHC skincare products in the bathroom. Room service is available.  Free Wifi reception was good in our room.  In some rooms, the cell phone signal is weak. There was a computer at the front desk to use guests.

Then there are vending machines for drinks.  There is no convenience store nearby.  You may want to buy your necessities before coming here.

Then this is child-friendly.   The staff provides meals, tableware, and yukatas for small children if you request them in advance.

How about In-house Facilities?

There are wonderful outdoor and indoor communal hot springs.  The location is past the library on the second floor, down a lacquered corridor with a view of the tasteful garden, and up a staircase with a sign for an open cafe, where there are the communal hot springs. The sound of the rain, the murmuring of the river, and the chirping of the birds all blended together to create a truly calming atmosphere. In the indoor baths, there are two barrel baths hollowed out from thousand-year-old cherry trees, and the water temperature is slightly hot, with hot water constantly pouring in vigorously. They are open from 15:00 to 10:00 the following morning.

Then there is a dynamic outdoor private family hot spring.  If you are going to stay here, you may want to try it. The private family onsen is a 2-3 minute walk from the room along a gravel road in the mountains. A short walk along a lighted mountain path leads to a very large private outdoor bath. It was as if I had wandered into another world. I wouldn’t recommend it during the winter season because the walk to the hot springs is so cold, but try it during other seasons. It’s well worth it. It’s open between 15:30 and 22:00.  It costs 3,300JPY for 45min.  You need to book it in advance.

*Please note that if you have tattoos and want to use the communal baths, use the reserved private family bath, or book a room with a private hot spring.

Then this is not a universal design.  If you bring someone with weak legs, you may want to find other onsen ryokans.

Then there is a cozy library, a cafe, a spa treatment shop, and a souvenir shop on-site.
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How about meals?

Kyoto-style local food using lots of local fresh ingredients for dinner and breakfast was wonderful. All the meals were delicious, but I was surprised to find that the wild boar meat from Tanba was good.

Then if you love wine, don’t forget to order Australian wine. The wine I was looking forward to was delicious, and the sommelier’s explanation was interesting.

Basically, all meals are served in a dining area or a private room.  If you bring small children, they are served in your room.  Also, if you stay in a room with a private hot spring, you can request meals served in your room.

After dinner, some rice balls were offered for a night snack in our room.

*Please note that inform the staff when you book a room with meals if you have any food allergies or dietary needs.  They probably wouldn’t be able to offer alternative food if you request on that day.

Then you may want to book a room with meals.  There is no restaurant, cafes, and shops, etc, near the property.

My impressions

All of the staff were kind, and the word “hospitality” was perfect, making our stay very pleasant. If relaxation is your main purpose, the onsen ryokan is one of the best in Kyoto.

The staff seems to be very busy during busy periods such as Chinese New Year, late April and early May, weekends in October and November, and the New Year holidays. If you want to spend a relaxing time in a calm ambiance, you might want to avoid staying during the above periods.

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

Info about Sumiya Kihoan Ryokan

Style Modern Japanese Ryokan
Check-in and out times
15:00/11:00
Estimated Price 34,644 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact E-mail Fill the form in
Internet Connection Free wifi in the ryokan
Facility Information Wheelchairs are not available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
Location Sumiya Kihoan Ryokan’s MAP
Access Free shuttle service from Kameoka Sta.
or Torokko Kameoka Sta.
Address and TEL   Yunohana Onsen, Kameoka city,
Kyoto 621-0036  Tel +81-771-22-7722   
Official Homepage Sumiya Kihoan Ryokan’s HP

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

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