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Gion Ryokan Karaku

3.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

(From Taiwan) My sister and I traveled to Kyoto and stayed at Karaku for two nights. We enjoyed our stay at Karaku very much. Karaku is located in the Gion district and near Yasaka Shrine, which is about 5-minute walk to Karaku. We booked a Japanese-style room with two Japanese set meals included. The food is fresh and delicate. Facilities of the ryokan is well-maintained. Staff is nice and helpful. Highly recommended for travelers going to Kyoto and hope to enjoy a Japanese style stay.

Karakul Ryokan are very good location just 200 meters close to Yasaka Shrine,Park and 15mins walks to Kiyomizu-dera and during the night time just cross the road to Gion area, we are very happy, Yes, staffs and all room are good event we came with a medium group.

In a peaceful part of Gion area in Kyoto you´ll find this Ryokan close to public transport and nice dining in walking distance. This "Ryokan" has a small "public bath", not newly renovated, inside on first level (not the outside onsen if that´s what you´re looking for). The first thing we were informed about when we came was that they don´t serve breakfast or food, which I had read from other reviews that this Ryokan did. Good to know if that is what you would like from a ryokan experience. Rooms are spacious, matress on floors (found some extra in a wardrobe to use). I can´t compare to any other ryokan experiences so can´t say if there are any better more genuine ones, maybe in the country side if you do a better search than I managed to do. Clean rooms, small bathrooms (plastic camper van feeling) and service minded staff in the end of our stay.

As a 12 year resident of Japan, I have stayed at many ryokans, and this was one of the least impressive. Stayed with family visiting Japan and actually felt bad that they/we paid as much as much as we did for the place. I guess you are paying mostly for location, which is great. Was hoping for a lot more but as far as Japanese ryokans go, it wasn't overly impressive. The place was a big dated, the dinner and breakfast were average and the onsen wasn't all that great.

My teenage daughter and I stayed here for 3 nights in January 2016. It was perfectly located to experience the unique and beautiful area of Gion, but still so hidden our taxi driver couldn't even find it. An easy walk to Gion, the abundant shrines in the area and the local bus system which can get you anywhere you want to go. Extremely quiet rooms and very helpful and friendly staff, even if their English wasn't the best. Staff set up our futon bedding each evening which was surprisingly comfortable. Our room was huge for just the 2 of us. Being non-smokers I was a little worried when booking as it wasn't non-smoking. We may have just got lucky, but this wasn't an issue until the last night when a smoker must have moved in next door. Overall we loved the traditional ryokan experience and its relaxing onsen and would definitely stay here again.

We stayed here for a few nights as we wanted to have a "true Japanese experience". Upon arrival, we went to pick up our keys from the lobby. That was a smooth process. However, what wasn't when it came to asking question about the area. The receptionist's English was very limited but luckily I could speak Japanese. They gave us a map and explained in Japanese what to do in the area and where to go for tours. I do think it would be good to have staff that speak fluent English since there are Western tourists unlike myself that speak zero Japanese. We were taken to our room which was very cozy. Going into a Ryokan, you're expectations are supposed to be humbled as a Ryokan is supposed to be simple. And this one fully embodied that. Every day, we had someone sort out the futons for us which was very convenient. I tried out the Onsen they had it was a very good experience. it's definitely good for people that have never been to an Onsen before. The wifi was a bit of a problem since it wasn't reaching into our room as well. So I had to resort to sticking around the Lobby for long hours. But overall, I would definitely recommend this place to anyone that wants to have a unique experience. It's worth the price.

The ryokan experience was not bad, maybe too long (3 nights) although the Karaku hotel need a bit of renovation. Compared to what I saw in other Ryokan hotels (most of them fully booked) the Karaku looks old, the toilet and shower quite complicated to fit in. On the other hand the location is very good to visit and enjoy Kyoto.

Location was great for strolling around Gion. As far as ryoken go, I have no idea how it compares to others, but can definitely recommend starting your booking process early. We booked one day out and had very limited options, hence Karaku accelerating up the very very short list. The Japanese public bath experience was a joy. The room definitely felt basic but I think one needs a comparison in order to judge. Overall, I'm not convinced staying in a ryoken is a mandatory experience given how much it costs.

First off, the location is hard to find if your taxi driver is not well versed in the street names of Gion. If the driver has any issue, tell them to drop you off in front of the Yasaka-Jinja shrine. Then, proceed down the street and turn left. Being in the middle of Gion was an excellent centralized location. It felt as if you were in the Edo era and the ryokan was kept these traditions. We were greeted by a number of attendants upon our arrival and it made us feel so special. They did everything to make us feel warm and welcome. Definitely reserve a breakfast! I still cannot believe how accommodating the staff was! We got a room that was right in front of a beautiful shrine...a picturesque scene. The tatami mattresses were such a special treat and we also had a modern toilet, so we had the best amenities of both worlds. I would recommend this ryokan to anyone who enjoys warm hospitality and a traditional experience.

My wife was quite apprehensive about not staying in a "normal" hotel but I was adamant and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this ryokan. Staff went above and beyond from helping with our heavy luggage from their sister hotel to their hotel, to providing umbrellas by the door and all with a smile. The room was immaculate and the bed was surprisingly comfortable. I slept better here than at home! The bath (onsen) was well maintained and clean. Although the hotel may be tricky to find, I enjoyed the location as several temples,bus stops, and a park are within walking distance. I would stay here again in a heartbeat!

499 Minamigawa Gionmachi,Higashiyama-ku Kyoto Kyoto

Hotel highlights

  • Walking distance to Yasaka Shrine and Gion Corner
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • 24-hour front desk

Located in Gion, Gion Ryokan Karaku is adjacent to Yasaka Shrine and within a 10-minute walk of other popular attractions like Gion Corner. This 22-room, 3.5-star ryokan welcomes guests with conveniences like free in-room WiFi, free newspapers in the lobby, and a 24-hour front desk.


Local cuisine breakfast is offered for a fee each morning from 7:30 AM to 9 AM.


Guests can enjoy a TV and stay connected with free WiFi. The bathroom offers hair dryers, free toiletries, toilets with an electronic bidet, and slippers. Other standard amenities include a refrigerator, free bottled water, and a safe.

Property features

Guests staying at Gion Ryokan Karaku enjoy free WiFi in public areas, free newspapers, and a banquet hall. Self parking is offered for JPY 2000 per day. The 24-hour front desk has staff standing by to help with luggage storage and securing valuables. Additional amenities include a water dispenser and a gift shop.

Room options

Karaku Suite, Non Smoking

Twin 4 | Sleeps 4

Japanese Tatami Room with Twin Beds, Non Smoking

Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Superior Room, Non Smoking

Twin 4 | Sleeps 4

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

93.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 41 reviews

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*Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.