What is a Ryokan? Ryokans are the best way to experience Japanese culture and enjoy the true comforts of Japanese hospitality and service.
Hot springs have a very long history in Japan, and they are an intimate part of Japanese culture. There are over 3,000 "onsen" ,or hot springs, in Japan. Many can be found at the ryokans available on Japanese Guest Houses.
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, the richness of its past, traditional Japanese palaces, gardens…this picture of the city sounds idyllic. However, if you plan to visit Kyoto and the Kansai area during summer you will quickly learn that it is incredibly hot during summer.
When you come from a dry summer country such as France, like me, your whole body will make you forget about temples, garden… and ask you to find a cooler place to rest.
This cooler place exists; of course, you can stay in your air-conditioned ryokan’s room, but more seriously if you wish to enjoy your trip around Kyoto, I deeply recommend a day or two between Kurama Onsen, Kibune or another ryokan in Rural Kyoto.
Within less than one hour by train, you will arrive at the bottom of Mount Kurama covered by centenary Japanese cedars. Two pretty rivers embrace the mountain, bringing a cool breeze. Enjoy this cool breeze with my feet in the river was such a relief… It is surprising to be surrounded by nature so close to Kyoto.
Coming from a busy and hot city, Kurama and Kibune are an excellent choice for relaxation, especially if you decide to take a bath in the hot spring bath of the Kurama Onsen. The walk from Kurama to Kibune gives a chance to visit the Kurama-Dera Temple and discover the fantastic or mysterious Japanese cedar roots.
In Kibune, the attractions are the Kawadoko terraces; every restaurant in Kibune has its own Kawadoko terrace. This terrace of Japanese tatami mats is literally above the Kibune River. The Kaiseki lunch might seem overpriced however the experience worth every Yen. The river is running about 50 centimeters under the terrace refreshing while you enjoy your traditional Kaiseki meal. If you are lucky, you might see women wearing kimonos, giving the perfect harmony to this place.
From Demachiyanagi Station (出町柳駅) take the Eizan Railway to Kibuneguchi Station (貴船口駅) or keep on going to Kurama Station (鞍馬駅)
Now all you have to do is take a deep breath before going back to Kyoto…
Hyogo-ken Chijitoroku Ryokogyo 3-609
(Hyogo Prefecture Travel Agent License Number 3-609)
10-5-401-1-(2) Sakae-machi, Kawanishi-shi, Hyogo-ken Japan
Part of the Rediscover Group of Travel Companies Rediscover Japan Co., Ltd. (Japanese Guest Houses)
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