Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ohara Onsen Ryokan

In May we stayed at Gyozanen an onsen ryokan (traditional Japanese style inn with hot springs). The hot springs were wonderful, the traditional Kyoto style food delicious and the staff friendly and helpful.

I stood on the steps of the Sanzenin Temple and took this picture of the small shopping area at the bottom of the temple and roadway up to our ryokan.

Look up to see the outside of the Gyozanen Ryokan. It's sign is on the left.

Entrance of the Gyozanen Ryokan.

Seating area in our room. The rest of the room was traditional Japanese style.

Noren curtain at the entryway of the dining area where we had breakfast. Dinner was served to us in our room.

The dining area has a lovely view.


YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

Would love to spend a few nights in a ryokan in Kyoto -- or just about anywhere in Japan! How does one go about arranging to stay in a ryokan? Do they have English language speaking staff? Also... aer the toilets and bath facilities traditional Japanese style or...???

sbk said...

hi ytsl,

Gyozanen in Ohara was recommended by a friend who had stayed there with her parents and adult siblings.

The Kyoto Tourist Information Centre at the Kyoto Train Station is a wonderful resource for maps, walking tours etc, hotels both Western and traditional Japanese. Kyoto is such an international tourist destination that there are signs in English. The Info Centre makes hotel reservations too. We asked for a ryokan (inexpensive) near the station, they called, gave us a map and we walked there and checked in. The husband/wife owners didn't speak English but we managed. The room was simple, very very clean, with a western toilet and we were happy. We went the week after Golden Week so there were less tourists.

You can Goggle ryokans too but I think local tourist info centers have more listings.

The Ryokans charge per person, the Onsen Ryokans are more expensive and you have to get naked when using communal(usually same sex) baths.