Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Fujiya Ryokan: The Best Budget Ryokan Close to Kyoto Station

If you want to stay in a ryokan close to Kyoto Station but don’t want to splurge, Fujiya Ryokan (藤家旅館) is a great cozy inn for you to consider. The homey ryokan is within a 5-minute walk from Kyoto Station and is filled with various amenities. Those who have stayed there enjoyed the hostess’s top-class hospitality. As a result, it has an extremely high rating on various accommodation booking platforms. Plus, it has a mascot cat you can pet when she patrols her territory.

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About Fujiya Ryokan

Fujiya Ryokan is one of the many traditional inns on Ryokan Street, off the main road in front of Kyoto Station. It is very well situated close to numerous restaurants, convenience stores, and, of course, the Kyoto Tower. The ryokan is just a couple of blocks from the bus stop of many bus and train lines, making it an ideal base for those interested in exploring all over Kyoto.

Despite its location, once you are inside the ryokan, the hustle and bustle are all locked out. Thus, there is no need to worry about being awakened at night by the outside noise.

The hostess, MS. Naitō, does a great job cleaning and maintaining the small inn. We absolutely love how she decorated the hostel. She is one of the friendliest, kindest, and most attentive hosts that we have ever had. If you are unsure about what to do and where to eat in Kyoto’s city center, ask her for recommendations! She speaks enough English that you shouldn’t run into any communication issues. If there is anything difficult you need to tell her, download one of the Translation Apps to your phone.

Note that all Fujiya Ryokan’s guestrooms are on the second floor. Like all traditional buildings in Japan, the stairs are rather steep. So, please be careful while walking up and down the stairs.

Tip: Fujiya Ryokan offers breakfast on the ground floor and can cater to the vegan diet. As the number of guests they can cater is limited, please inquire beforehand.

Services Offered by Fujiya Ryokan

  • Luggage storage service is available before check-in and after check-out from 8 am until 10 pm.
    • Please let the ryokan know if you need this service.
  • Breakfast can be arranged upon request at 1,700 yen per person.
  • If you hand wash your laundry, the ryokan can dehydrate it using a washing machine.
  • The ryokan can heat up food for you using a microwave.
  • Iron can be rented out.
  • Free WiFi is available. You will find the password at the reception at the entrance or the ryokan guide in your room.
  • The laptop, refrigerator, water server, and kettle in the living area are for the guests to use. Also, feel free to make a cup of instant coffee or tea while in the lounge. If you are bored, grab a book from the shelf!
  • Maps and other tourist brochures on the table are for you to take, too.

Our Room at Fujiya Ryokan

All rooms in Fujiya Ryokan are in authentic Japanese ryokan style but vary in size.

To save on accommodation, we stayed at the ryokan’s economy room, which fits up to two people. After all, we only needed a place to have a good night’s sleep. With the futon beds folded away, we had space to open our two medium-sized luggage and to stretch. A small laundry drying rack is also provided, perfect for our towels.

A tea set and two traditional confectionery prepared by MS. Naitō are on the low table. The setting was perfect to wind down our busy day. We also love the scroll on the wall and other decors on the shelf. Indoor Yukata (traditional bathrobes) were provided. Wearing one is a must when staying at a ryokan, and we are sure you will enjoy this fantastic experience.

The futon beds were softer than expected. Compared to other budget ryokans, the ones at Fujiya Ryokan were the most comfortable. Although the wall was thin, all guests stayed quiet during the normal sleeping hours. We wasn’t woken up at night during our stay.

Fujiya Ryokan’s Bathroom and Shower Facility

Like other small ryokans in Japan, the shower and bathing facility is shared among the guests. The ones at Fujiya Ryokan are exactly the same type of bathroom in a regular Japanese household. It has a washing area and also a bathtub. Unlike the ones in other countries, the bathtubs in Japan usually have a cover. This is because the bathtub is used by the entire family. The cover helps to keep the water warm enough to bathe.

But if you aren’t used to bathing, let MS. Naitō know. She will let you know when it is your term to use the showering facility.

Don’t worry about hygiene at Fujiya Ryokan. The bathrooms and sinks were spotlessly cleaned and modern. As there are less than 10 guestrooms in the hostel, you are unlikely to need to wait to shower or bathe.

Moreover, there is more than one choice of body gel, shampoo, and hair conditioner available in the bathroom. Face cleansing foam can also be found in the bathroom and the two wash basin units.

If the weather is dry, you are welcome to use the body lotion placed on the changing room’s shelf. Shelving foam and various facial products are also available for guests to use.

Fujiya Ryokan’s Mascot Cat

If you are a cat person, you will enjoy your stay at Fujiya Ryokan even more. Lily the cat is the inn’s mascot. She is incredibly sweet and friendly. When the entrance is closed, Lily is unleashed and starts walking freely to greet the guests. If you hear a bell sound, open your door, and she might come into your room!

Even if you don’t see her during your time at Fujiya Ryokan, her photos are at the entrance and the lounge space. If you are keen, ask MS Naitō if she knows where Lily is.

Our Experience at Fujiya Ryokan

We got to Fujiya Ryokan just before dinner time at around 6 o’clock. MS Naitō greeted us again with a smile and gentle Japanese hospitality. She showed us our room and told us everything we needed to know about the ryokan.

The weather was cold because we stayed at the ryokan at the end of November. While Lily had her fluffy coat, she also felt the cold. Thus, the laptop in the lounge was the perfect spot for her to stay warm. Thanks to the cold weather, we could enjoy your company whenever we wanted at night!

During our stay, we didn’t need to wait for showering/bathing or using the toilet or the bathroom sinks.

Because we booked the first Sagano Romantic Train of the next day, we checked out around 8 o’clock. MS Naitō was already up to collect our luggage and saw us out. It was Lily’s meal time when we returned to Fujiya Ryokan from Katsura Imperial Palace to pick up our belongings in the late afternoon. She didn’t mind us disturbing her eating and cooperated with MS. Naitō for us to get a nice photo with her!

In addition, we also saw the stray who is free to go anywhere she wants but also get fed at Fujiya Ryokan. You can refer to the last photo in the Instagram post above for the cute Tabby cat’s photo.

Discover the Hidden Gems in Kyoto to Enjoy Traditional Japan With the Least Crowd Level

While Kyoto remains the top tourist destination in Japan, the city is flooded with tourists. This means you can hardly appreciate the amazing Japanese culture and architecture that the country’s ancient capital can offer.

Fortunately, as soon as you travel outside of the city center, the level of crowdedness drops rapidly. So, how about checking out our article on The Top Hidden Gems in Kyoto that Is Worth Visiting for spots that will make your trip more memorable?

Click the photo for the hidden gems in Kyoto that are worth visiting!

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