Accommodation Kyoto Planning

Natural Luxury in Daily Life – Ryokan Tori Review

Ryokan Tori

Address: 602-8453 Kyoto, Kyoto, Kamigyo-ku Sasaya cho 3-639, Japan

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It was on my bucket list to stay in a Ryokan while Jayden and I travelled on our first trip. There was no better place to try authentic Japanese hospitality than in Kyoto. The only thing I feared was that it was going to cost a lot of money to stay one night. When I did my initial researching most places were averaging around $500 a night and I honestly couldn’t afford that.

Ryokan Tori Review - Ryokan Anime Gif

Luckily I came across Ryokan Tori! This quaint and charming Ryokan is located about halfway between Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji and was well within our budget – only $250 for one night! I know that this is still more than I would usually pay, but when in Kyoto you have to do as the Kyotoites do. If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto then check out my Budget Travel Guide to One Week in Kyoto.

Ryokan Tori Review - Inside the Main Hallway

The Room

The room was much more spacious than I expected and was a welcome relief after so many tiny hostel rooms. We had a large wardrobe to put away our luggage, along with a small clothes rack to hang up our jackets. The super comfy and fluffy futons were so inviting after a stressful morning of trying to navigate postage at a Japanese Post Office.

The Ryokan manager, Satako-san, was extremely attentive and helpful with our check in and getting us set up in the room. We were utterly exhausted and she immediately made us cups of tea and put out our bed (even though it was 3 in the afternoon!). 

We enjoyed lounging around in our yukata robes, sipping on green tea and staring out onto the cute little Kyoto street.

Ryokan Tori Review - Inside our room
Ryokan Tori Review - Wall hanging
Ryokan Tori Review - Inside our bathroom

The Bath

One of the main reasons we picked Ryokan Tori was that it had a private bath that Jayden and I could share. We booked a time to use the bath (around 7pm, we were the first ones to use it) and I swear this bath had healing powers. 

The Bath Room was grandiose with dark granite and wood trimmings. The Bath was even more luxurious and deep, accommodating to two people. They had botanical shampoo, conditioner and body wash to prepare yourself before heading into the deep tub. 

I could have sat in that bath for hours and never got out! My feet were swollen and my body ached from our previous week of walking all around Osaka. This bath made me feel brand new and refreshed. After feeling so utterly tired, I was ready to hit the town and try out Menbakadaichi aka Fire Ramen which was only a 15 minute walk from the Ryokan.

Ryokan Tori Review - Japanese bath
Ryokan Tori Review - Jayden and I in our yukatas
Ryokan Tori Review - inside the Bathroom

Around the Ryokan

What I loved about when I was walking around the Ryokan was that it was so apparent that time, love and attention was taken into creating this place. Every flower was perfectly positioned, slippers always prepped and ready at the front door, the utter stillness and quiet inside the hotel. It was a treat for the eyes everywhere you turned.

My favourite was the little zen garden in the middle of the Ryokan. Even though it was tiny it commanded such serenity, listening to the water drop from the bamboo and the leaves rustle in the breeze. 

Ryokan Tori Review - Inside the Ryokan
Ryokan Tori Review - Jayden walking up the stairs
Ryokan Tori Review - Traditional tea ceremony
Ryokan Tori Review - Ikibana
Ryokan Tori Review - Zen garden
Ryokan Tori Review - Zen garden
Ryokan Tori Review - Zen garden

Breakfast Time

Guys you know me and my love of food and I was so damn excited to try a traditional kaiseki breakfast! We were served in the dining area downstairs, sitting on the floor next to a little round table. There was only one other couple in the room which made it an enjoyable and intimate experience.

First we were served pure matcha tea that had been prepared during a traditional tea ceremony we witnessed earlier. Then each little dish was presented on a gorgeous tray and it looked way too good to eat. Even though kaiseki portions are small, it makes you enjoy them slowly and appreciate every flavour. At the time I wasn’t vegan so I did eat fish and egg and it was delicious. I wonder what they would serve someone that was vegan? I’m sure it would be just as delicious!

Ryokan Tori Review - the main dining area
Ryokan Tori Review - Matcha green tea
Ryokan Tori Review - drinking matcha green tea
Ryokan Tori Review - Kaiseki breakfast
Ryokan Tori Review - kaiseki breakfast
Ryokan Tori Review - Jayden enjoying breakfast

The Service

Ryokan Tori was in a really great location to all the main sites in Kyoto. We did have to catch a taxi from Kyoto Station to the Ryokan because it would have been difficult to hop on a bus with all our luggage. When we arrived at Ryokan Tori we were cheerily greeted by Satako-san who showed us around the whole place, and took all our luggage upstairs and prepped our bed.

The ryokan catered to all our needs and was very helpful with our trip. Satako-san had all-day Kyoto bus passes in reception to purchase, which was very convenient and saved us a trip to the conbini. There were also bikes you could rent from the ryokan and spend the day exploring with them. Best of all they had a luggage forwarding service which we used to send our stuff to our next accommodation, no stress and worries about what to do with it all while we were sightseeing.

We had an absolutely wonderful time at Ryokan Tori and I would love to go back and have a longer stay. We felt so cared for during our stay and felt rejuvenated for the rest of the trip. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Kyoto I would recommend this!

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