What kind of ryokan is Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado?
I visited Kyoto for a business trip in mid-June, when the refreshing early summer was over and the rainy season had begun. Early in the morning, when the sky was covered with heavy clouds, I took the Shinkansen from Tokyo station, arrived at Kyoto Station around 8:00, finished work at 15:00, took the Karasuma subway line from Kyoto Station, got off at the first stop, Gojo Station, and walked about 5 minutes to the ryokan where I was staying for the night. It is about a 5 minute cab ride from Kyoto Station. If you were to walk from the station, it would take approximately 25 minutes.
To get straight to the point, like its sister ryokan, Yasaka Yutone Kyokoyado, located near Kiyomizu-dera Temple, it does not have the extensive facilities of a five-star hotel. Although it is a small ryokan with only 7 rooms, I loved the Kyoto flavor, sophisticated setting, courtyard, service, hospitality, and high quality bath amenities. I would say this is a wonderful ryokan for business trips, solo travelers, or couples.
If you step into a narrow alley from the main street, you will find that this area has become an ordinary residential area with few traditional machiya townhouses or old houses. 500 years ago, this area flourished as a political and cultural center and was a busy wholesale district with kimono wholesalers, but it is a pity that there are almost no signs of it now. Walking through such a residential area, I suddenly came upon an elegant machiya building. A brown curtain called noren hung at the entrance of the machiya building. On the noren was written Muromachi Yutone. Passing through the noren, I opened the lattice door, walked through the stone-paved alley, and entered through the front door, where a staff member greeted me with a smile.
This ryokan was renovated from the residence of a textile wholesaler built over 100 years ago. The machiya-style building was a splendid fusion of tradition and new facilities, with railings, stairs, pillars, and beams remaining as they were in those days.
After taking off my shoes at the entrance and entering the small lobby, I found a magnificent vermilion decorative cloth illuminated by indirect lighting, round wooden sofas, and a gorgeous long-haired carpet called dantsu on the floor. The traditional decorative fabric behind the sofas was said to have been given to the ryokan by the owner of a kimono wholesaler. From a window in the lobby, I could see a courtyard with a Kyoto-like feeling. There was an ancient well, stone lanterns, and bamboo fences, and trees were planted to remind me of the changing of the seasons. In spring, the plum blossoms, during the rainy season, the hydrangea, in summer, the whooping crimson flowers, in fall, the maple leaves turn red, and in winter, the bright red camellias can be seen. During the rainy season when I visited, the hydrangea flowers were also turning from white to blue.
After completing check-in procedures at the lobby, the staff escorted me to my room. This time, I stayed in a room called SHIRAAI, located on the second floor. When I entered the room, there was a window with a shoji door and a double bed on the left, and a closet and a shelf with a mini-bar on the right. From the window, I could see the tiled roof of the house next door. In the back of the room, there was a sofa and table made of bamboo and wood on a tatami mat floor. Looking up at the ceiling, one could see the sloping ceiling with magnificent beams. The interior was impressive, making good use of the cramped space of the machiya architecture.
On the double bed was a basket of fine bedding and towels, wrapped in the traditional Sanada-himo cord used for obi-definition of kimonos, as if it were a gift. Upon entering the bathroom, one could scent the aroma of hinoki cypress used in the hinoki baths. The washbasin had a sink with a beautiful blue lacquer coating.
After a while, the staff prepared coffee from a famous coffee shop in Kawaramachi, Kyoto, and chocolates from a popular chocolatier in Kyoto, so I relaxed on the sofa.
At this time, it was already past 16:00. Since there was still time before dinner, I decided to visit Nishiki Market, known as the kitchen of Kyoto, and Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine, about a 20-minute walk away. Nishiki Market has a history dating back about 1,000 years, and is lined with stores selling fresh fish, fresh foods, processed foods, and ingredients for Kyoto cuisine. On this day, the market was also bustling with locals and tourists. I walked through the 400-meter-long retro and colorful arcade street with great interest, eating the famous potato croquettes with chicken and green tea kneaded into them. It was exciting just to look at the stores because of the unique food culture and unusual ingredients that can only be found in Kyoto. I also decided to visit Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine, which is located in the arcade. It was just at dusk, and the many lanterns hanging in the shrine’s precincts were lit, creating a lively atmosphere typical of downtown Kyoto.
It was about 18:30 when I returned to the ryokan. I filled the hinoki bathtab in the bathroom with hot water and soaked in the hot water, relaxing with the scent of hinoki cypress and L’Occitane. I then changed into my yukata and headed to a dining restaurant on 1F around 19:00. Like its sister ryokan, Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado is a well-known gourmet ryokan, so I was really looking forward to dinner. I took a seat at the counter and was served nice kaiseki cuisine. It was elegantly seasoned with seasonal ingredients. I love Wagyu beef, so I ordered an additional sirloin steak at this time.
After dinner, it was still before 20:00, so I decided to take a walk around Koyakozushi, which is located just a short walk from the ryokan and still retains the atmosphere of a traditional downtown Kyoto, but looking out the window of my room, I saw that it had started raining earlier and it was a bit muggy, so I went to the library lounge on the first floor to relax and enjoy the view of the courtyard. Cozy furniture was arranged on tatami mats, and the alcove was decorated with beautiful yellow-green mountain hydrangeas and calligraphy hanging scrolls. As I sat on the sofa by the window, listening to the sound of rain and gazing at the subtly lit courtyard, I could hear frogs croaking in the tranquil space.
The next morning, when I awoke a little after 6:30, the rain had stopped, so I decided to take a walk to Higashi Honganji and Nishi Honganji temples, which were about a 20-minute walk away. I entered Nishi Honganji, which was almost empty of people, and saw the massive and gorgeous Karamon gate and the 400-year-old gingko tree, which I was told I could look at all day and not get tired of it. At Higashi Honganji, I was overwhelmed by the huge hall and Sanmon gate, which were so dynamic that they were stunning. The grounds of the temples were very spacious and I wanted to take my time sightseeing, but it started to rain, so I decided to wait for the next time.
Around 8:00, I returned to the ryokan and went to the same dining restaurant where I had dinner yesterday, took a seat at the counter, and had a Japanese breakfast. The menu included Kyoto-style obanzai, grilled mackerel, oboro tofu, and other standard dishes, but it was not enough for my gluttonous appetite.
After breakfast, I was going to go sightseeing, but when I looked outside it was raining, so I decided to make a cup of yuzu tea at the library lounge on the first floor and sit on the sofa by the window, looking out at the elegant courtyard while I got some work done. The courtyard looked different in the daytime than at night, and the beautiful green of the rain-soaked moss and maple trees looked even more vivid. It was still raining when I checked out at 11:00, so I took a cab back to Kyoto Station.
If I were to raise a fault, it would be that since this is a traditional machiya house building, I could sometimes hear the sound of guests’ footsteps going up the stairs and voices talking in the hallway. However, this ryokan is a traditional wooden building, so it could not be helped. The rooms are cramped, but very cozy. I also loved the library lounge on the first floor. I would like to stay again in a different season.
Finally, Yasaka Yutone Kyokoyado and Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado, are located in different locations but offer similar service, hospitality, food, and facilities. Also, both are machiya-style townhouse buildings, so you will hear the sounds of life from time to time. If you want to stay near Kiyomizu-dera Temple in the Higashiyama area, the former would be a good choice. If you want to stay near Kyoto Station, the latter would be fine.
Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda
Is the location easy to access?
It takes 5 to 7 minutes by TAXI from Kyoto Station and costs about JPY900. Most cab drivers do not know this ryokan, so it will not be easy to find. Cab drivers can confirm your destination by entering the phone number into their car navigation systems, so please tell them the address and TEL No. in Japanese below.
京小宿 室町 ゆとね
電話番号 075 342 6226
Alternatively, from the nearest Gojo Station, a 5-minute walk. Take Exit 2 to the ground level, and walk 300 meters, and you will see Aranvert Hotel Kyoto. Turn right at the corner, walk about 200 meters, and you will see a machiya-style ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) with a brown curtain on the right.
Also, the walk from Kyoto Station will take about 25-30 minutes. It is not that far from Kyoto Station, but it is a bit far to walk with luggage.
Then there is no parking at this ryokan. If you are visiting by car, please contact the staff in advance. Parking is expensive in Kyoto, just like in Tokyo, but they will tell you about cheaper coin-operated parking.
Rooms I would recommend?
If you are staying here as a couple, I would recommend a room on the first floor called “Usuzakura” which has a small garden inside.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities were taken care of including enough toiletries, yukatas, pajamas, bathrobes, a coffee machine with capsules, a Japanese tea set, etc. There were L’Occitane bath amenities and POLA skincare products in the bathroom. Also, a humidifier was placed in each room. Room service was not available. The free WiFi reception was good in the building. A PC was located near the reception desk for anyone to use. There is a convenience store nearby.
How about In-house Facilities?
This is not a universal design. If you bring someone with weak legs, you may want to request a room on 1F. There is no lift. There is no wheelchair for borrowing.
Then there is a small library lounge on 1F. Complimentary coffee, tea, matcha green tea, and sweets, etc. are available.
How about meals?
This is a famous auberge ryokan in Kyoto. The Kyoto-style kaiseki cuisine is first class. The meals are beautiful to the eye and each dish is carefully prepared. I was impressed by the delicate flavors of the abundant use of Kyoto vegetables.
There are many restaurants in the Kyoto Station area, but if you like Japanese food, why not try it for dinner and breakfast? It is well worth it.
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 prepare alternative food if you request on that day.
For breakfast, you can choose either Western or Japanese food. You need to inform us of this at the time of reservation.
All meals are served in a dining area. Dinner starts between 18:00 and 19:30. If you have dinner on the property, you need to check-in by 18:00. Breakfast starts between 8:00 and 9:00.
Check Availability and Pricing for the ryokan on Agoda
Info about Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado
|Style||Small Machiya-Style Ryokan|
|Check-in and out times
|Estimated Price||50,000 JPY for 2 adults per room|
|Contact to the ryokan||Fill the form in|
|Internet Connection||Free wifi in the ryokan|
|Facility Information||Wheelchairs are not available
Pets are not allowed
The parking lot is not available
|Location||Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado’s MAP|
|Access||5min by TAXI from JR Kyoto Station|
|Address and TEL||600-8437 199 Tokuman-cho,
Matsubara Sagaru, Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto
|Official Homepage||Muromachi Yutone Kyokoyado’s HP|
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
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