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Things to do in Japan

Gion Yoshi-Ima: a Kyoto hideaway with a sense of history

Not only is our ryokan in a beautifully preserved old part of Kyoto, but its interior also reflects traditional Japanese culture. …

Ms Makishima
Nakai-san at Gion Yoshi-Ima

Gion Yoshi-Ima, Kyoto

Not only is our ryokan in a beautifully preserved old part of Kyoto, but its interior also reflects traditional Japanese culture. There are tatami tearooms along with tranquil Japanese gardens, all of which can be slowly taken in from the guest rooms over bowls of authentic Kyoto food. I particularly love the way you can observe the changing seasons in the inner garden.

Sometimes guests are a bit nervous to begin with about the cultural differences between a ryokan and a hotel, but by the time they leave they’ve forgotten their initial discomfort. We get a lot of comments such as: comfortable, lovely, excellent, thank you so much, you’ve been so kind, etc. And obviously people appreciate being so close to so many of Kyoto’s best sights.

As for me, I get joy from the simple things in my work: from preparing the room and food before the guests arrive to sharing their excitement when they arrive and experience Japan’s culture and omotenashi hospitality for the first time. I was quite moved once when someone staying at our ryokan bought me a souvenir from a place they were visiting. To think that they were thinking of us during their trip made it feel that we were almost like a family.

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Alfred & Ms Makishima

A long-time employee at Gion Yoshi-Ima and resident of Kyoto, Ms Makishima embodies the Japanese spirit of hospitality: a welcoming character, dedication to her work, and joy in the everyday. Care and devotion is given to her guests and she is always on hand to attend to needs or offer advice to adventurous travellers.

Alfred & our Japan holiday experts

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