We stayed in the Umesono room for 2 nights in January. Getting to the ryokan was pretty swift in a cab from the station; perhaps a 20 minute ride (approx. ¥1200). The location is a peaceful corner of Gion, next to the Shirakawa canal – the Umesono room overlooks the canal. It felt well placed for walks around the older quarters of the city.
We decided to have one [Japanese] breakfast and one kaiseki meal at the ryokan, leaving a bit of an opportunity to explore the restaurants of Kyoto. Both meals at the ryokan were an amazing experience on several levels (the food, the performance, and the presentation); Tomoko the Okami-san guided us through each course of the meal and it’s relevance to the season (their umeshu is home-made and definitely worth trying, and the black sesame ice-cream was easily the best home-made ice-cream we’ve ever had!).
The Umesono room was more of a suite; heated tatami floors, distinct separation of sleeping and dining rooms/areas, it’s own cedar bath (though it’s a little easier just to request that one of the two baths on the ground floor be prepared for you).
There are only 6 guest rooms at the ryokan, and each room varies in size and shape. They were fully booked during our stay, but the level of service was such that we never noticed any other guests and always felt we had the fullest attention.
The hospitality, Tomoko’s cultural insight, her knowledge of the city, the heritage of the tea-house and the dedication towards its tradition and operation, made the stay an amazing and unique experience.
- Also Known As:
- Shiraume Hotel Kyoto