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    Tawaraya Ryokan

How to Book

We don’t believe in off-the-shelf packages - we tailor-make holidays.

  • Tell us what you want to do. Whether you have detailed plans or just a vague idea, get in contact – we have knowledge, ideas and expertise.
  • We build a tailored itinerary. Once you’ve received it, we can answer any further questions and refine it until you are completely happy.
  • Book it. When you are satisfied with all the arrangements, we ask you to complete a booking form and pay a deposit, at which point we start confirming everything.

Different Snow is a fully bonded tour operator, which means we automatically take responsibility for your whole holiday, offering you 100% financial security.

There is no lobby, there is no dining room, there are no bellmen, and there is no spa at the Tawaraya, the nearly 300-year-old ryokan in Kyoto that is, by common agreement, the greatest of all the traditional inn's in Japan. It is the oldest and still the finest of Kyoto’s ryokans.

It has been run by the Okazaki family ever since it opened; perhaps that’s the secret to Tawaraya’s long-standing reputation for unfaltering service, deeply luxurious wabi-sabi rooms and exquisite private gardens that allow you to forget the chaos of the city in a heartbeat. From the Edo period, through the Meiji period aristocrats and daimyo frequented the inn and previous guests have included presidents, royals and film directors. Charlie Chaplin adored The Tawaraya, as did Steve Jobs - we're certain their experience of the hospitality was identical, irrespective of when they stayed here. Service goes above and beyond that of which is expected - guests who stay at Tawaraya will come to understand true Japanese hospitality, and will feel more like royalty than customers. 

The austere rooms enjoy mellow lighting, one-off antiques, and soothing Japanese baths made of fragrant cedar. Dinners are kaiseki, served in the comfort of your room as is tradition; many courses of delicate meat, fish and vegetables, perfectly balanced and prepared with the attention to detail of the very best restaurants.

There are no rough edges at Tawaraya. There are almost no edges at all. There is only silence, peace and tranquility. 

  • Onsen
  • Television
  • WiFi (free)
  • Bath Tub

You would not recognise this as a ryokan from outside - you need to be taken to it. We will provide you with instructions to give to a taxi driver from Kyoto Station. Down an unassuming backstreet, The Tawaraya is nonetheless central - not far from the main shopping districts. A three minute walk will get you to Karasuma Oike Station, on the Tozai & Karasuma subway line.

An indicative cost per night, which would include exquisite food, would be circa ¥110,000 (£640) per room per night.

Click on a floor plan below to open it in a new window:

  • Onsen
  • Television
  • WiFi (free)
  • Bath Tub

You would not recognise this as a ryokan from outside - you need to be taken to it. We will provide you with instructions to give to a taxi driver from Kyoto Station. Down an unassuming backstreet, The Tawaraya is nonetheless central - not far from the main shopping districts. A three minute walk will get you to Karasuma Oike Station, on the Tozai & Karasuma subway line.

An indicative cost per night, which would include exquisite food, would be circa ¥110,000 (£640) per room per night.

How to Book

We don’t believe in off-the-shelf packages - we tailor-make holidays.

  • Tell us what you want to do. Whether you have detailed plans or just a vague idea, get in contact – we have knowledge, ideas and expertise.
  • We build a tailored itinerary. Once you’ve received it, we can answer any further questions and refine it until you are completely happy.
  • Book it. When you are satisfied with all the arrangements, we ask you to complete a booking form and pay a deposit, at which point we start confirming everything.

Different Snow is a fully bonded tour operator, which means we automatically take responsibility for your whole holiday, offering you 100% financial security.