Help me find a nice ryokan
August 2, 2007 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Anyone have a recommendation for a nice ryokan that will deal with a solo traveler?

I plan on going to Japan for about 8 to 10 days next month. The bulk of the time will be spent in Tokyo, but I will spend a few days in the Kyoto and Nara area. The bulk of the time I don't really care where I stay, but I want to spend one night at a nice ryokan.

I know that many are reluctant to house single travelers, which I can understand, but I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge of nice ones that are amiacable to solo travelers. I'd take a Tokyo area recommendation as well, but I have it in my head that the Kyoto area might be better for this.

FYI, I've read previous questions, and I've gotten some good info on there for, but there is no way to search on "likes single travelers" on there that I could find.
posted by mrthotep to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend who enthusiastically recommends the Kimi Ryokan in Tokyo.
posted by that girl at 10:04 AM on August 2, 2007

I am relatively certain that she has traveled to Japan numerous times on her own and stayed at that ryokan.
posted by that girl at 10:06 AM on August 2, 2007

I was at the Kimi Ryokan a few years ago. It was clean, friendly, reasonably priced, conveniently located, etc.
posted by fnerg at 10:11 AM on August 2, 2007

(the Kimi is explicitly foreigner-focused, so not quite the traditional 'ryokan' thing)
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:25 AM on August 2, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah, the Kimi might be nice to stay in addition to a more traditional place, it looks like...
posted by mrthotep at 10:51 AM on August 2, 2007

I stayed at Ryokan Shigetsu in Asakusa both alone and with my husband. They were very nice and it is "foreigner-friendly traditional" if that makes sense. The super-traditional ryokan were WAY too takai for me, unfortunately. Ryokan Shigetsu's location is great for touring and the baths on the top floor are great (men's bath is fancier than the women's, though, and they don't switch them).
posted by chihiro at 12:22 PM on August 2, 2007

Tama Ryokan is in Tokyo and run by a native English speaker. Pretty basic actually, but conveniently located.

Three Sisters Inn-Annex in Kyoto is a reasonably nice place and right around the corner from Heian Jingu.

My best ryokan experiences were always out in the countryside though.
posted by adamrice at 12:29 PM on August 2, 2007

Re: Tokyo I think the Kimi's too cheap to qualify as a nice ryokan, like my suggestion, the Sakura in Asakusa (Kappabashi). It's central, clean, and gaijin-friendly, but in the eyes of this budget traveler, nothing special (except that it's affordable and convenient).

I'd ask the Welcome Inn people, specifying your price range; either once you're in Kyoto, or in advance.
posted by Rash at 1:16 PM on August 2, 2007

Best answer: I stayed at the Sumiya Ryokan in Kyoto and it was lovely. I went with my family though, but their information says they take single travelers.

The head um.. Japanese equivalent of butler and housekeeper spoke excellent English. You can choose to have a meal plan where they serve you breakfast (Japanese or Western) and a kaiseki dinner in your room or no meal plan. Their food is excellent.

They have a bathroom divided in 3. One section was the toto toilet and it had the most buttons I've seen at all the places I've stayed. Another section was the mirror/sink. And the last section was a stool and a bucket and a showerhead AND a private hot spring bath that they will draw for you. Soooo awesome.

When we took taxis from the Kyoto train station to the ryokan, the cabbies knew exactly where it is. They say because it is the oldest and the most famous in the area.
posted by spec80 at 1:43 PM on August 2, 2007

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