Destinations / Asia

10 Best Kyoto Ryokans with a Private Onsen

Kyoto is an ancient city known for its collection of UNESCO-listed sites, from well-preserved Buddhist temples and imperial palaces to Shinto shrines and centuries-old gardens. It’s a culturally-rich place where you can explore temples with iconic bright-orange torii gates, spot geishas and sample local specialties at traditional markets.

One of the best ways to experience Kyoto’s old-world charm is by staying at a traditional ryokan, a family-run inn typically nestled in a natural setting and boasting wood-panelled walls, bamboo blinds and Japanese scrolls. With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve found the 10 best Kyoto ryokans with a private onsen where you can rest and rejuvenate weary muscles after sightseeing.

Sakanoue Hotel Kyoto

Sakanoue Hotel Kyoto

Nestled on a quiet street in Gion, Sakanoue Hotel Kyoto offers easy access to nearby attractions, including the famed kabuki Minami-za Kabuki Theater. Admire the ryokan’s traditional architecture and carefully selected flowers, vases and hanging scrolls, then choose from the different room configurations that can accommodate up to five people.

Visit the tranquil on-site garden that changes with the seasons. After sightseeing, soak in your private onsen. The ryokan organises a special Kaiseki multi-food course with seasonal ingredients and includes steak and traditional Japanese sweets. Less than a five-minute walk away, the Yasaka shrine and Koudai-ji temple showcases Japanese culture.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The rooms’ wooden openwork carving adornments.
  • A menu of traditional delicacies that changes every month.
  • The Western-style confectioneries sold from the famous pastry shop, Jouvencelle.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: 255 USD – 388 USD
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 502 Washio-cho Gion Shimogawara Higashiyama-ku, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Arashiyama Benkei

Arashiyama Benkei

Boasting traditional rooms with private open-air onsens, Arashiyama Benkei sits in a tree-filled area near the Katsura River. You can choose from a variety of rooms that include tatami floors, futons, TVs and tea and coffee making facilities. There are separate women and men onsens or you can upgrade for a private in-room whirlpool tub with geothermal water. 

This family-friendly ryokan serves seasonal cuisine, including fresh fish and vegetables. Take a 10-minute walk to discover the otherworldly ambience of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove with the towering bamboo stalks lining a walking trail, then rent a paddle boat and soak up the sights along the river.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The sun-drenched private baths with healing waters.
  • The lush garden views from the Garden View Bath room.
  • A male and female bathhouse with outdoor areas.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: 316 USD – 1,578 USD
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Ukyo-ku Saga Tenryuji Susukinobaba-cho 34, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto Yunohana Resort Suisen

Kyoto Yunohana Resort Suisen

A cosy hideaway with a mountainous hot spring, Kyoto Yunohana Resort Suisen offers rooms with private open-air baths, individual air conditioners, air purifiers, kettles and tea sets. There are four different types of rooms with an open-air bath, from the Japanese-Style Double Room with a chic living room to the spacious Suisen Suite that can accommodate up to six guests.

Served in a private dining room, the resort’s Kyoto Kaiseki-style cuisine highlights seasonal ingredients. Afterwards, enjoy Ayurveda Therapy in the on-site spa. During the day, take a 30-minute bus ride to Sagano for a scenic Hozu-gawa riverboat tour or journey on the Sagano Romantic Train.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The Head & Deep Body Abhyanga treatment in Spa Raran.
  • Complimentary coffee, tea and other drinks available all day in the lobby.
  • Plush Simmons pocket coil mattress with a feather pad.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: 266 USD – 355 USD
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 6-3 Inoshiri Hiedanocho Ashinoyama, Kameoka, Japan

Togetsutei

Togetsutei

Nestled against the Origawa River, Togetsutei offers a serene atmosphere with easy access to riverside walks. The scent of incense draws you inside, where you’ll find two rooms with terraces and private outdoor onsens. Soak in your bath as you marvel at the scenic Arashiyama views in the morning light or watch the foliage illuminate at sunset.

Admire views of Togetsukyo Bridge, Ogura Yama and Otowaga River as you devour healthy food in the dining room. You’ll have easy access to Kyoto’s top attractions with the Saga-Arashiyama train station a 10-minute walk away. You can also stroll to Tenryuji Temple to explore its quaint teahouses and expansive gardens.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The souvenirs and Japanese treats sold in the lobby.
  • Freshly-brewed coffee at Togetsu Cafe next door.
  • The picturesque river views from private onsens.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: 396 USD – 1,119 USD
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 54 Nakaoshitacyou Arashiyama Nishikyouku, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Kasyouen Hanare Fuka Hotel

Kasyouen Hanare Fuka Hotel

An upscale spa overlooking the Sea of Japan, Kasyouen Hanare Fuka Hotel is a tranquil oasis where couples can relax. Unwind in luxurious suites offering ocean views and enjoy the traditional tatami floors, paper screens and short-legged tables. The second and third floor has ceramic ware baths, in addition to electric kettles, tea sets, Yukata (casual kimono) and slippers.

Relax in the lobby lounge or dine in the on-site cafe, then sip tea in the garden terrace. Enjoy dinner served in your room, then sing your heart out within the karaoke facilities. Take the Tanetsu Miyamai-Miyatoyo Line to Fushimi Inari to stroll under 10,000 orange torii arches and explore the 1,300-year-old temple.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The open-air bath and terrace with ocean views.
  • An on-site arcade and table tennis.
  • Pampering massages in the on-site spa

Star Rating: 4*
Price: 441 USD – 518 USD
Guest Rating: 8
Address: 247 Aminocho Kitsu, Kyotango, Japan

Arashiyama Onsen Saishiki no Yado Hanaikada

Arashiyama Onsen Saishiki no Yado Hanaikada

Arashiyama Onsen Saishiki no Yado Hanaikada is perched next to the Katsura River, less than a five-minute walk from the Togetsukyo Bridge. Tatami mats, TVs and mini fridges are found in every accommodation choice, while upgraded rooms also include private open-air onsens with natural spring water and views of Mount Atago.

The authentic Japanese-style ryokan offers beautiful views of the Arashiyama area and a complimentary traditional kaiseki Japanese course dinner with local ingredients. Only eight kilometres away is the glittering gold Kinkaku-ji temple, also called “Golden Pavilion” due to its top two floors covered in gold leaf, while the charming Arashiyama Yoshimura soba noodle shop is four minutes away on foot.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • Monthly dinner menus with seasonal ingredients, including yose-nabe with vegetables, meat and seafood.
  • The mountain breeze of Arashiyama found in the open-air bath.
  • Arashiyama tofu warmed up in soy milk in a bonito-based soup served for lunch.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: 192 USD – 239 USD
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: 57 Arashiyamanakaoshita-cho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Sumiya Kihoan

Sumiya Kihoan

Sumiya Kihoan is a tranquil hot spring hotel where you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Choose from a collection of elegant rooms with modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, mini bars and tea and coffee-making facilities. Looking for a romantic ambience? Upgrade to a room with a terrace, canopy bed, whirlpool tub and private open-air onsen.

Start your morning off right with breakfast in the on-site restaurant or book a pampering massage at the spa. For dinner, sample mountain vegetables, Tanba beef and freshwater fish depending on the season. Hop on the San-In Line to Nijo Castle, a 17th-century site that housed the first Shogun of the Edo period.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The soothing Ayurvedic oil massage in the day spa.
  • Oceanic fish and botan-nabe with boar meat served in winter.
  • Outside terrace with comfy chairs to relax after soaking in the hot springs.

Star Rating: 3.5*
Price: 660 USD – 698 USD
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Yunohana-onsen, Hiedano-cho, Kameoka, Japan

Garden Ryokan Yachiyo Hotel Kyoto

Garden Ryokan Yachiyo Hotel Kyoto

Located next to the historic Nanzen-ji Temple, Garden Ryokan Yachiyo Hotel Kyoto is a 19th-century inn offering traditional Japanese-style rooms. The rooms boast a mix of classic Japanese design and modern luxuries, including tatami floors, futons, smart TVs and tea-making facilities. For a Japanese Hinoki wooden tub, garden views and a spacious balcony area, stay in the Japanese Style Suite.

HotelsCombined visitors rave about the stunning views of the on-site ornamental Japanese gardens surrounded by lush foliage that changes throughout the seasons. Sit in the ryokan’s open-air dining area and admire the tranquil garden space. Make the short journey to the Kyoto Imperial Palace to walk through its scenic park and see where Japan’s Imperial Family lived until 1868.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The sukiyaki one pot meal with thinly sliced wagyu beef and vegetables served in the garden restaurant.
  • The communal bathhouse with hot spring pools.
  • Loaner bikes available.

Star Rating: 3.5*
Price: 172 USD – 1,213 USD
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: 34 Nanzenji Fukuji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Syoenso Hozugawatei

Syoenso Hozugawatei

Boasting tranquil hot spring baths and traditional Japanese guest rooms, Syoenso Hozugawatei provides thoughtful hospitality. There’s a large, shared bathhouse with whirlpool baths, while open-air onsens sit amongst lush greenery and a cascading waterfall. Families and couples can savour the private baths in the Type D rooms, which feature natural wood and traditional tatami mats.

Relax in the ryokan’s Resting Space, which puts on traditional Kabuki performances, spoil yourself at the on-site spa or sing your favourite karaoke songs at the lively dome-shaped lounge. Spend a day in the gorgeous Japanese garden at Tenryu-ji Temple, which offers one of the best examples of shakkei scenery in Japan.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • The elegant Western-style mist sauna.
  • An Evening Lounge designed for drinking, karaoke and after-parties.
  • A beautiful entry overlooking a maple-tree garden.

Star Rating: 3.5*
Price: 93 USD – 245 USD
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: 1-4 Hiedanocho Ashinoyama, Kameoka, Japan

Hiiragiya Bekkan

Hiiragiya Bekkan

Hiiragiya Bekkan is located on a tranquil street in the heart of Kyoto, where you can get a real sense of Japan’s ancient capital. The Japanese inn preserves the serenity of a bygone era in its 14 rooms, which include two meals per day and traditional wood baths. You can also upgrade to a room with a view of the Japanese garden.

Enjoy seasonal cuisine highlighting a variety of Japanese flavours, textures and colours, then kick back in the rock garden. Take a short walk to Gion and get lost in its maze of willow-lined streets, where you can visit antique and crafts shops and spot elaborately dressed geishas shuffling along on wooden sandals.

Most Charming Ryokan Features

  • In-room dining served on local ceramic pieces known as Kiyomizu-yaki.
  • Rooms with garden views.
  • Seasonal Kyoto-style “Kaiseki” dinners.

Star Rating: 1*
Price: 336 USD – 482 USD
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Gokomachi Nijo Sagaru, Nakagyoku, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Location

Experience Centuries-Old Traditions and Alluring Hot Springs

A captivating blend of historic sites and memorable cultural experiences, Kyoto offers you the chance to experience centuries-old traditions of Japan at glittering gold temples, bamboo forests and tea ceremonies. Make the most of your visit to Kyoto by staying in an intimate ryokan with a private onsen, on-site spa, multi-course meals and easy access to historic sites.

Which Kyoto ryokan with a private onsen is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Charity De Souza

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.

Charity De Souza
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.
Posted on Categories Asia, DestinationsTags ,

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