Kyoto, Japan

At a Glance

  • One of the best tempura restaurants in Japan! Worth a visit even if you are not staying

  • Small Ryokan with an intimate feel

  • Central location in downtown Kyoto

  • Traditional Japanese architecture

  • Most rooms look onto beautiful gardens, designed in the traditional Enshuu landscape garden style

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

The best and most popular times to visit Kyoto are the climatically stable seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to November). The highlight of spring is the cherry-blossom season, which usually arrives in Kyoto in early April. Bear in mind, though, that the blossoms are notoriously fickle, blooming any time from late March to mid-April. Autumn is an equally good time to travel, with pleasant temperatures and soothing autumn colours, which usually peak between late October and mid-November. Be warned that Kyoto is crowded with domestic and international tourists during the cherry-blossom and autumn-foliage seasons.

Of course, you can visit Kyoto at any time of year, although the summer, from June to August, can be very hot and humid, and winter can be a little chilly for some people’s taste.

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Insider's View

The tempura dinners served here are fantastic but are served at set times so be sure to build this in around your time in Kyoto.

If you stay here for two nights, you will have a Kaiseki dinner on the first night and one the second, a Shabu Shabu dinner for a bit of variety.

Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Yoshikawa or take a look at our itineraries to Japan


Yoshikawa exudes the usual refined elegance you'd expect from a luxury Ryokan and has a wonderful location in the heart of ancient Kyoto. A stay here is a really authentic experience and guests must sample the fabulous Tempura cuisine.

Ryokans are traditional Japanese Inns designed and run to ensure guests experience the authentic Japanese lifestyle and hospitality. Built more than a century ago and operating as a Ryokan for 50 years, Yoshikawa’s creaky floors and narrow hallways add to the authenticity of the experience.

Notorious in Kyoto for its excellent tempura, breakfast and dinner are included in your overnight stay at Yoshikawa and will be served in your guest room. Traditionally dressed staff proudly deliver the welcoming and homely service whilst some of the best views over gardens in Kyoto are enjoyed.

Each tatami floor room offers leg wells under the tables, making dining easier for guests not used to sitting on the floor. There are also flat screen TVs and private bathroom facilities so comfort and tradition are artfully combined.

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The nine Japanese style rooms at Yoshikawa are all arranged around a pretty courtyard with a pond and have traditional tatami mat floors, paper shoji doors and comfortable futon beds which are discreetly tidied away each morning. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with western style facilities and a traditional cedar wood Japanese bath.


Children are welcome at Yoshikawa and a maximum of one child can share a room with their parents but there are no specific facilities available to families other than the exquisite geisha-like service and babysitting.


'Kaiseki' is a speciality of the chef and consists of many individual dishes all served beautifully on a large tray. There is also a tempura counter where you can select and watch your meal being created. Japanese and Western style breakfasts are available and all meals are served in the comfort of your room.


There are no activities within the ryokan but the front desk can happily arrange any help or advice for getting round and getting to know the city.



Evi-Elli La Valle (Staff)

When in Kyoto, whether you are staying at Yoshikawa or not, be sure to visit their tempura restaurant for lunch or dinner. It only seats around ten people and bookings cannot be made but it is open from 11am to 2pm for lunch and from 5-8.30pm for dinner and if there is a queue it is definitely worth waiting for! I went for lunch and you are given a tray with tempura sauce, rice and pickles and then as the chef cooks in front of you, he will delicately place it on to your tray. Fresh seasonal vegetables including Japanese mushrooms and a few things I have never seen before, fish and giant prawns are all cooked exquisitely and I do not think I can ever have tempura in England again!


Victoria Douglas (Staff)

Stepping into this ryokan I felt like I had stepped into the set of Memoirs of a Geisha. The creaky floors, low ceilings and tatami mat floors just felt so authentic. What I loved most, apart from the traditional style, were the pretty gardens in the centre of the ryokan, always ask for a room with the best garden view.


  • A Day in Kyoto

    Today, explore the gorgeous 'Silver Pavilion' and stroll along the Philosopher's Walk. Visit the Heian Shrine before taking a tour of Nijo Castle. End the day with some free time to explore Nishijin Textile Centre or the Teramachi.

  • Ancient Nara Day Trip

    Make a trip to Nara and visit the Deer Park, Todaiji and Kasuga Grand Shrine. In the afternoon, wander in the old town of Naramachi, with its charming Edo period architecture. If time permits, explore the ancient Gangoji Temple.

  • Cooking Sun Afternoon lzakaya Class

    A three and a half hour cooking class in mid-town Kyoto learning the basics of lzakaya cooking. The class takes place in a beautiful small wooden townhouse, called a machiya.

  • Cooking Sun Morning Bento Class

    A three-hour cooking class in downtown Kyoto learning the art of preparing a traditional Japanese bento meal, including classics such as sushi, tempura and miso soup. The class takes place in a beautiful wooden townhouse, called a machiya.

  • Gion by Night

    Embark on a Gion district night walk either with the guide or on your own and if you are lucky, catch sight of the geishas' in beautiful kimonos as they go about on their evening activities.

  • Half Day Kyoto Exploration

    Visit Kiyomizu Temple and admire the outstanding architecture. Head to the 'pottery street' of Kyoto.

  • Kaiseki Dinner with Geishas

    Enjoy the height of sophistication in Japanese society, having a sublime Kaiseki dinner made up of many delicious courses, accompanied by entertainment from two Geishas whilst you enjoy your meal.

  • Maiko Performance and Traditional Dinner

    This evening, enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner and watch a performance by a Maiko, an apprentice of the Geisha.

  • Morning Cooking class in Kyoto

    While in downtown Kyoto, in a quaint little machiya, join in on a traditional Japanese cooking class.

  • Nara - The Ancient Capital

    Spend an afternoon exploring Nara, the ancient capital of Japan from 710 - 784, before the capital was moved to Heain-kyo (present day Kyoto), with its freely roaming herds of deer, ancient streets and spectacular temples.

  • Nishiki Market Tour with Sushi Making

    Experience the whole sushi creation process with this unique cooking experience, from an educational market excursion to mastering the art of sushi-making yourself.

  • Private Sushi Class with Nishiki Food Market

    Shop for ingredients at the historical Nishiki Market, while tasting different Japanese foods. Afterwards, head to the studio for a private cooking class, guided by experienced instructors, before enjoying your culinary creations for lunch.

  • Rural Arashiyama

    A guided day in Arashiyama district, located at the base of Kyoto's western mountains. Take a boat trip on the Hozugawa River before discovering Zen Buddhist temples and the famous bamboo grove, one of Japan's most iconic scenic areas.

  • Shopping in Kyoto

    Enjoy a shopping trip around Kyoto. Wander down the picturesque streets of Gian where you can visit local handicraft and pottery shops.

  • Tea Ceremony in Kyoto

    Take part in a traditional Tea Ceremony and gain an insight into this ancient art form and key part of Japanese culture.

  • The Art of Zen in Kyoto

    Spend a day discovering the traditional Japanese experiences of Zen meditation as you learn about the history of Zen before trying your hand at this spiritual form of meditation.

  • Tour of Western Kyoto

    Make your way to Western Kyoto and explore the beautiful bamboo forest in Arashiyama. Relax in a scenic train ride before taking a traditional raft down the Hozugawa River. Afterwards, continue the exploration of the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine.

Location & directions

Kyoto, Japan

Located at Matsushitacho, Nakagyo-ku in central Kyoto, close to the business district and central shopping district of Shijo-Kawaramachi, within walking distance from the Imperial Palace.

How to get there

12-hour International flight to Tokyo International Airport-Haneda, followed by a 2-hour Shinkansen (bullet train) journey to Kyoto. Yoshikawa is 15-minutes by car from the train station.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to Yoshikawa or take a look at our itineraries to Japan

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