Ryokufuso Ryokan is a lovely traditional Japanese Inn located in the center of Kyoto, whose defining principle is to bring smiles to the faces of its guests.
I stayed in this wonderful Ryokan during my last visit to Kyoto and enjoyed everything it has to offer for its guests. Now I’m going to tell you what it was like for me.
My schedule in Kyoto was, as you would expect, quite hectic. There are so many things to do and places to see in a short while, so I sent my luggage ahead and spent a good part of the day sightseeing.
My final stop was Shijo-Dori shopping street, from which I made my way to Ryokufuso, where I would stay next. Since it was not located far away, I went and walked to it, and I was pleasantly surprised by the calm alleys surrounding it. There’s something about these Kyoto alleys that I find quite appealing.
As I arrived at the ryokan, I was greeted by the friendly staff who quickly helped me with the check-in and prepared my luggage that had arrived earlier.
You see, one of the strong points of this hotel which I can confirm personally is their approach to guests and their extremely friendly and helpful staff. It’s no wonder that the ryokan’s philosophy is to bring a smile to the faces of its guests.
During my entire stay, I always felt that no matter what request I had or what I needed help with, someone would be there to assist me with a smile on their face. And there’s no person that embodies this philosophy more than the owner, Ohno-san.
I had the pleasure of spending some time with him, and he told me a lot about the Ryokufuso, and its history, which I found fascinating. He was always ready to help me or explain something to me.
He was even there to greet me when I was leaving, along with other staff members. And when I got into my taxi and left for the nearby Kyoto Station, I figured out I had left something in the lobby. I told the taxi driver to turn and head back to the hotel. When I got there, I found Ohno-san about to get in his car and drive after me to return my belongings to me. He’s that kind of guy.
As the staff were completing the check-in, I had some time to take a look around the lobby. It was quite spacious and had a large storefront window that let a lot of natural light in.
Despite being a modern building, it still had some sort of traditional feel to it. It was decorated with many items, but the centerpiece was a large bird’s-eye view drawing of old Kyoto created by Hatsusaburo Yoshida, a famous Japanese artist.
All around the lobby, you can find many leaflets talking about all the interesting things you can see and do in Kyoto. There is also a coffee machine where you can get delicious freshly roasted specialty coffees and then relax on the large sofas.
I did that often! Additionally, there is a souvenir shop where a wide range of local arts and crafts is displayed and available for sale.
When the check-in was completed, the kind staff took me to see my room. It was a decently sized traditional Japanese room, the kind you would expect to see in a traditional Japanese hotel of this class.
There was a place for futons on the tatami floor, a table and chairs for relaxing next to the window, an adequate bathroom, a spacious closet, large sliding doors, and a place to leave your shoes. As you all know, shoes are not allowed in most Japanese homes and rooms.
As for amenities, everything that you would expect and need was there. Overall, it was a clean and nice place to stay, and I was satisfied with it.
I learned that in the hotel, there is a special room called Tenshitsukinuke, which is considered the crown jewel of the hotel. It has been recently renovated and boasts great views of downtown Kyoto. It is designated for one or two people and is quite spacious.
One of the highlights is a small garden located on a balcony.
Another one is a great wooden bath which enables you to enjoy a hot bath without going to the public bath. The bath is special because it is made of koyamaki wood, the best material for bathtubs in Kansai. You can feel and smell traditional Japan when you enter it!
While we are at it, let me tell you about the hotel’s large shared bath that’s located on the 6th floor, called the Daiyokujyo.
Those of you who have been following me know well how much I love to relax in a hot bath after sightseeing. This bath opens in the morning and is open until late in the evening. You can relax and enjoy the view of the mountains and the streets of Kyoto while taking a bath.
At night, the common space near the elevator is a nice place to rest after a bath before heading back to the room. This space has a beautiful view of Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower, and some nearby temples. It is a great place to relax after sightseeing across Kyoto, and I did so every night of my stay there.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a traditional Japanese hotel without offering some fantastic traditional food.
In this hotel’s large banquet hall, you can arrange breakfast and dinner. However, keep in mind that you do have to sign up in advance. For dinner, you need to give notice until noon of the same day, and for breakfast, until 8 pm the day before.
Traditional Japanese breakfast is served with a wide variety of foods such as miso soup, rice, grilled fish, tofu, etc. For dinner, a delicious Kyoto cuisine Kaikse, a Kyo-Kaiseki nine-course meal.
Everything is prepared with fresh local ingredients and includes appetizers, sashimi, steamed food, vinegared food, as well as some of Ryokufuso’s specialties.
I already mentioned how the ryokan’s location in the center of Kyoto is really good.
The immediate surrounding area is relatively calm, especially the alleys behind the hotel. Its central location and a short distance to the big Kyoto Station give it good access to most of the city and the surrounding area.
There are so many attractions close to the hotel that you can reach in no time. These include the iconic Kyoto Tower, the beautiful Shosei-en Garden, and the two large Hongan-Ji temples. They are called the Nishi Hongan-Ji Temple and Higashi Hongan-Ji Temple and are the headquarters of the two factions of the Jodo-Shin Sect, one of the largest Buddhist sects in Japan.
All in all, my stay here was a great experience, and thanks to the kind and friendly staff, I had a smile on my face the entire time, and I’m sure you will as well. If this seems like a place where you would like to stay, check out their website to learn more about what they offer.