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Reviewed 12 December 2012

We were invited by our good Japanese friends to share their favourite Ryokan in Kyoto. This was saved for our last night in the city and was certainly a cultural experience. To be clear, this is a very elitist experience! You are greeted and waited on hand and foot. We had a large suite with a private garden to look out on. We had a massage in our room, provided by two expert elderly ladies. We joined our friends in their suite for a private dinner. We were all properly dressed in kimonos with warm Japanese jackets. We were served by one young lady with various others assisting her as necessary. The entire multi-course meal was served by this young lady arriving each time on her knees. The supply of saki was non-stop! We returned to our room were futons had been prepared and we slept soundly!

In the morning we were served an excellent European breakfast in our room with newspapers etc. there is also good WiFi along with the original antique artwork.

It was a very special experience but be aware, this is very expensive and you also have to be a bit prepared for the extreme level of service which some might find too subservient by today's standards - but of course, that is the whole point, this is a cultural and historic monument!

Date of stay: December 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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10  Thank LighthouseAntibes
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 December 2012

Tawaraya is one of those special places that you encounter so rarely that it makes you go home and tell everyone about what you just experienced. It's the kind of place that transports you to a different time and place and allows you to experience a life very few have. Tawaraya is a perfection in Japanese hospitality and minimalist Japanese design. Tawaraya should be in everyone's bucket list.

Date of stay: January 2012
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
10  Thank Buddakhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 September 2012

Staying at Tawaraya is a unique and highly valued expereince, providing one with the delights of enjoying pure Japanese culture in luxury. The owners have tastefully inegrated modern necessities, like toilets, to indulge the traveler in comfort and ease. The attentiveness of the staff is something that cannot be bought. Although Tawaraya is very expensive, the genuine smiles and the kind of service offered is beyond excpetional. The staff noticed one of our party was limping a bit and hot compresses showed up at her door a few minutes later. Another day one of our party came back to Tawaraya and mentioned something about being a little hungry. Some delecious cookies and tea came to their room. I could go on about the service, how they really want to please, how they are so efficent, kind, thoughtful, kind of like staying with an ideal relative. The food is delecious, the japanese soaking tub, the garden outside your room, the linen sheets on the silk stuffed futons, the service, the great breakfast, the silence and good feeling in the room. Tawaraya is an expereince we will always cherish. We feel very fortunate the same family has taken such good care of this extraorindary luxury inn for 300 years.

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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9  Thank yarrl C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 May 2012

I had previously stayed at a modern Ryokan, so was looking forward to visiting this old one... But actually preferred the new Ryokan for comfort and space.

Food was good and excessive, service very sweet but with limited English.

Date of stay: April 2012
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5  Thank odeyw
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 May 2012

Stayed in a 1st floor room. Important because they have private gardens. Room was spacious with a delightful soaking tub that looked out onto the garden. Staff was attentive. Meals appeared precisely on time. Enjoyed a kaiseki dinner, Japanese and western breakfasts in the room. We enjoyed a delightful tempura dinner at a separate restaurant owned by the Inn and were escorted there by an Inn staff member, as it was a couple of blocks away. There were no real negatives. This is a historic property and challenging for tall westerners and there are few English speakers among the staff. Nonetheless, it is a far more genuine experience than one would encounter at western style hotels in Kyoto.

Date of stay: April 2012
10  Thank windance
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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