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Ryokan Shimizu 2.0

Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Kinki

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • A 10-minute walk to Kyoto Station and Higashi Honganji temple
  • Traditional rooms with frosted windows, tatami mats, and private bathrooms
  • Two onsen hot-spring baths
  • Friendly, helpful staff with plenty of area recommendations
  • Free calligraphy workshops
  • Late night quiet hours ensure tranquil vibe
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • No breakfast or restaurant
  • Midnight curfew 
  • Tube-style TVs
  • Fee for parking

Bottom Line

For guests who want to experience a reasonably priced traditional Japanese inn in central Kyoto, Ryokan Shimizu is a solid choice. Rooms features tatami mats and futon mattresses spread on the floors plus private bathrooms. There’s no restaurant and breakfast isn't served, but the staff is quick with tips and directions to nearby eating spots. Two large on-site baths can be reserved for private groups, and the Higashi Honganji Temple is just a 10-minute walk away. Guests leave their keys at the hotel when going out for the day -- be aware that there's a midnight curfew, and the inn enforces a quiet policy in the later part of the evening. 

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Scene

Traditional ryokan with friendly, helpful owners

Ryokan Shimizu is in a charming, two-story, homelike building with a colorful flower garden in front. Inside, a wooden cabinet holds guests’ shoes, while slippers are spread out on the floor for wear inside the inn. Upon arriving, guests are often greeted with a cup of tea and an overview of the city as the owner points out places of interest on a map. Guidebooks are available for guests to read, and a rack holds colorful kimonos for guests to try on. Glossy wooden floors and lucky cat figures add to the Japanese charm. The lounge area has wooden tables and chairs, where guests can play games or take a calligraphy class. Most visitors are couples, though families and solo travelers also find their way here.

Location

In a central residential area, a 10-minute walk to Kyoto Station

Map of Ryokan Shimizu

Ryokan Shimizu is in a residential area of the city, between Higashi Honganji and Nishi Honganji temples (both take about 10 minutes to reach on foot). A grocery store shares the block with the hotel, and several restaurants are within a short walk. Kyoto Station, which houses a railway station, a shopping mall, a hotel, and a movie theater, is about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The hotel is less than a 30-minute ride on public transportation to the Gion Geisha District -- or a 15-minute drive -- and Pontocho, a vibrant and famous alley full of restaurants. Osaka International Airport is a 45-minute drive or a 90-minute ride on public transportation.

Rooms

Traditional Japanese rooms with private bathrooms

Ryokan Shimizu has traditional Japanese rooms with sliding doors, tatami mats, frosted shoji windows, and futon mattresses on the floors -- don't expect to find chairs or other typically Western comforts. Rooms have wood floors and light framed walls, and as with all ryokan, there is little in the way of decor or wall art. Spacious shower/tub combos and sinks with white vanities are located in entryways, while toilets are in small rooms of their own. All rooms have mini-fridges, electric kettles with green tea, and tube-style TVs. Hairdryers are provided, along with shampoo and body wash in dispensers. The inn's late-night quiet hours ensure that the hotel stays peaceful and tranquil, meaning there's little to no noise from neighbors in other rooms. 

Features

Two aromatic baths can be reserved for private parties, and free calligraphy workshops

There is no restaurant on site and breakfast is not offered. There are two large baths at the hotel that guests can reserve for private groups. The baths are prepared daily, with fruits or flowers providing aromatic enhancements, and showers are available for rinsing off. The staff offers free calligraphy workshops, and kimonos are available to try on. Bicycle rentals and parking are offered for a fee. Wi-Fi is free throughout.

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Address

646 Kagiya-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8317, Japan

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