best ryokan in kyoto and kansai

The Best Family-Friendly Ryokan in Kyoto and the Kansai Area

Last Updated: June 14, 2024
Written by Kay

Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is a top destination for domestic and international tourists, so it’s no surprise that staying at a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) is something that many people want to experience while visiting the city. After all, Kyoto is one of the best places to visit in the country to experience many traditional aspects of Japanese culture.

If you have kids, you might wonder whether you can bring children to ryokan in Kyoto. The good news is that yes, you can! There are plenty of kid-friendly ryokan that welcome families with children of all ages. Some of these ryokan also include private open-air baths or onsen.

To save you the work of trying to figure out where to find them, I’ve hand-picked some ryokan in Kyoto that I think are great for families, including those with babies and toddlers. I’ve also included ryokan in my favorite onsen towns around Kyoto in the Kansai region that you might want to consider visiting as well. 

Also, if you’re wondering what to do with kids in Kyoto, I’ve written an article packed with helpful information so give it a read!

I hope this helps make your trip planning to Japan easier! 

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Considerations When Visiting a Ryokan with Kids

When planning a stay at a ryokan with kids, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. 

  • Check what amenities the ryokan offers for small children. For instance, some ryokan provide basic necessities such as small toothbrushes, cutlery and plates, a potty ring, baby soap, etc. It’s always best to contact the ryokan and ask if you’re unsure about what child-friendly amenities they have.

  • Keep in mind that most ryokan have futon for bedding rather than beds. Personally, I prefer futon because I don’t have to worry about my child falling off the bed. Depending on the ryokan, you may be able to request a separate futon for your child, but it may come at an additional cost.

  • Be aware that some rooms may have decorative items that could be hazardous for children. Look around your room after you’ve checked in to the ryokan. If you’re concerned about your child breaking something or if you think it might be a hazard, don’t hesitate to ask the staff to remove these items.

  • Check whether they have food your child can eat. Some ryokan serve exclusively Japanese food and Japanese breakfasts in particular (think rice and fish) might not be something your child will enjoy. (My daughter loves it, though!)

By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and comfortable stay at a ryokan with your kids.

Now let’s get into the various ryokan in Kyoto! To help make understanding where to stay easier, the ryokan will be listed according to the area they’re located in Kyoto.

Best Family-Friendly Ryokan in Kyoto

My daughter near the Kamo river in central kyoto

I’ve compiled a list of the best ryokan in Kyoto for families and categorized them according to area — central Kyoto, Kameoka, Arashiyama, and Kyotango. Hopefully, this helps make it easier to find one that works best with your travel plans! 

Ryokan in Central Kyoto

Central Kyoto is the heart of the city and likely somewhere you’ll be staying for at least one night when visiting Kyoto for the first time. Many popular temples and shrines are located here as well as the Kamo River, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Nishiki Market, and other popular shopping streets.

Kyoto Nanzenji Garden Ryokan Yachiyo

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by KYOTO NANZENJI RYOKAN YACHIYO Hotel京都 南禅寺八千代 (@kyoto_nanzenji_ryokan_yachiyo)

The location of this ryokan can’t be beat since it’s in the center of Kyoto. Most of the rooms have their private open-air baths. They also offer meals for young children.

This ryokan allows babies to stay as well; however, I don’t know what (if any) amenities they provide for that age range.

“Authentic ryokan experience. The public bath was a unique experience for me and the breakfast exceeded my expectations.” -Terrance, Canada (See more reviews)

♨️ Check availability

 

Seikoro Ryokan

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This ryokan has a history of almost 200 years and has been beautifully maintained. It’s located in the Higashiyama Ward and next to the famous Kamo River.

Seikoro Ryokan comes with a public bath and breakfast and/or dinner options.

It is incredibly popular with guests and families with children in particular.

A wonderful and calm atmosphere with the most lovely staff I’ve ever experienced while traveling, a must try for first timers in Kyoto looking for a unique ryokan.” -Scott, UK (See more reviews)

♨️ Check availability

 

Kamogawakan Inn

Just a three-minute walk from Sanjo Station, Kamogawakan Inn is located right next to the Kamo River and near popular tourist spots like the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Shrine. There’s only one public bath in the building but if you don’t want to travel far and just want a taste of what it’s like to stay at a ryokan, then this is a good option.

The ryokan can also provide meals for children younger than three years of age upon request but I am unsure about amenities.

“Our stay was comfortable and the location is fantastic, only minutes away from Nishiki market, Yasaka shrine, and other popular locations within walking distance. Public transport was also nearby.” -Anon, US (See more reviews)

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Nishiyama Ryokan

Nishiyama Ryokan is a highly reviewed accommodation in an excellent location near the Kamo River and Kyoto Imperial Palace. The rooms are newly renovated and some have beds if you don’t want to sleep on tatami. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by NISHIYAMA RYOKAN (公式) (@nishiyama_ryokan)

 

The ryokan also has a laundry room and public bath. Breakfast options are also available for an additional charge.

“Rooms are very spacious and clean. Excellent service by every staff member we interacted with.” -Tobias, Australia (See more reviews)

♨️ Check availability

 

 

Ryokan in Kameoka, Kyoto

Less than 30 minutes from Arashiyama and Kyoto Station, Kameoka is a great place to stay to enjoy nature and beautiful ryokan while not being too far from the city. It’s one of my favorite places to visit to see cherry blossoms (sakura) in the spring along the river. 

Kameoka cherry blossoms

Kameoka is also home to Yunohana Onsen, which is an onsen resort town in the mountains.

It’s a perfect place for people from Kyoto and other areas of Kansai to escape from the city and relax in one of the many onsen available.

Of course, there are lots of ryokan to stay at as well, including those that welcome children.

Ryokan Sumiya Kihoan

 
 
 
 
 
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This is a lovely and affordable ryokan that comes with the option to include a kaiseki dinner in the plan. Most of the rooms at Sumiya Kihoan come with their own open-air hot spring bath, making it perfect for a little one’s first onsen experience with the family. 
 
“This place was phenomenal and I have told everyone we know that staying here was the highlight of our trip to Japan.” -Adam, USA (See more reviews)
 
 

Syoenso Hozugawatei

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Syoenso Hozugawatei is a simple and cost-friendly ryokan that comes with the option of having dinner included. This ryokan also has several onsen baths.

Great location. The staff is very welcoming and attentive. The baths are awesome… Exceptional meal. It’s worth the cost.” –Laurent, France (See more reviews)

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Yunohana Tsukiya

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A moderately-priced ryokan, Yunohana Tsukiya has rooms with open-air onsen baths. The price includes breakfast and dinner as well as free alcohol and soft drinks between 3 PM to 10 PM. How great is that?

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Ryokan in Arashiyama, Kyoto

If you’re planning a trip to Japan or you live here, you’ve likely heard of Arashiyama and its famous bridge, Togetsu-kyo, and bamboo forest.

Arashiyama in spring with cherry blossoms

It can be crowded since it’s a popular tourist destination but the area, surrounded by lush green mountains, is quite beautiful and a must-visit destination nonetheless.

Hanaikada

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Hanaikada has several onsen baths as well as some rooms with their own private open-air baths. Make sure to contact the ryokan before your stay because they will provide amenities for your child, toys, and baby food!

One of the best parts is that this ryokan is located only 5 minutes by foot from Arashiyama Station.

“Incredible food, service, location, and baths. Both meals that we ate were absolutely delicious.  Staff were very kind and flexible.” -Isabella, Canada (See more reviews)

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Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Togetsutei

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Less than a 10-minute walk from Arashiyama Station, Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Togetsutei is in a great location when it comes to sightseeing.  All of the rooms have private onsen baths and they also provide meals upon request for children ages three and up.

“Beautiful ryokan and location; right next to Togetsukyo bridge and the Arashiyama Monkey Park.” -Jordan, USA (See more reviews)

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Ryokan in Kyotango

Kyotango, the northern part of the prefecture that’s a famous retreat for people living in Kyoto city. It’s especially revered for its hot springs in winter and beautiful beaches in summer. 

Kaikatei Hanagozen 

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This stunning ryokan welcomes guests of all ages and provides meals for children ages 4 and up depending on the plan you get.

There are several onsen baths in the ryokan and some rooms have private onsen baths. 

♨️ Check availability

 

Best Family-Friendly Ryokan Around Kyoto in Kansai

Thanks to Japan’s amazing transportation system, it’s incredibly easy to visit other areas of Kansai from Kyoto for a quick trip. Here are my picks for where to visit and stay with your family.

 

Ryokan in Osaka

Osaka is a lively prefecture but when you head to the suburbs, you’ll find lots of nature and relaxation awaits.

Ryokan Fushioukaku

Ryokan Fushioukaku is a great way to experience staying the night a traditional ryokan in a convenient location in Osaka.

Many rooms here have private open-air baths facing nature, although it’s important to note that it does not contain onsen water. They also provide numerous amenities for babies and toddlers such as baby soap, bottle sterilizer, toys, books, a bath chair, as well as an entire playroom for kids. The price also includes breakfast and, for an additional charge, dinner as well.

There’s late checkout at noon, too, so you don’t have to feel rushed. 

Beautiful onsens, delicious breakfast, and wonderful service.” -Stacy, USA (See more reviews)

♨️ Check availability

 

 

Ryokan in Arima, Kobe

I love Arima Onsen, a famous onsen town in Arima, Kobe. It’s not too big and takes two hours to reach by train from Kyoto Station, making it perfect for a weekend trip. This onsen town is especially lovely during autumn when the leaves change color.

I’ve written an article about Arima Onsen with kids if you want to know more! 

arima onsen in kobe

Arima Onsen is famous for having two types of onsen, Kin no Yu (金の湯) and Ginsen (銀泉). Kin no Yu onsen water is a brownish-gold color (my daughter calls it “orange juice”) while Ginsen is clear.

motoyu Ryuusenkaku

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This ryokan caters to kids of all ages. There’s a baby room with a sanitizer for bottles, a kid’s corner with books and toys, and also a pool and a mini-golf course. motoyu Ryuusenkaku even offers homemade meals for infants as young as 4 months old! 

If you book the Family Suite, you can have your own private onsen bath with Arima Onsen’s special Kin no Yu onsen water. Some plans also include dinner that features Kobe Beef.

♨️ Check availability

 

Ginsuiso Choraku

I went to Ginsuiso Choraku with my family for an onsen day trip and loved the food, onsen, and service.

They prepared the cutest little bento box for my daughter, which she gobbled up. She also enjoyed the different onsen, especially the open-air ones. 

“Everything was wonderful. I got the best experience ever in Japan. The room was so nice with good view, living area, powder room. All the staff were really nice too. I’ll recommend this to my friends and family when I think about Arima Onsen.” -Wiiwanwan, Thailand (See more reviews)

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Arima Spa Hyoe KOYOKAKU

Arima Spa Hyoe KOYOKAKU

My family stayed at this beautiful and spacious ryokan in the mountains of Arima during our first visit to this onsen resort town. Arima Spa Hyoe KOYOKAKU is located up a small hill but the walk isn’t that bad and it’s quite easy to get to the heart of Arima Onsen and take in all the shops.

There are several types of rooms, including those with open-air onsen baths, and you have the option of having dinner served in your room. They prepared the cutest dinner and breakfast sets for my daughter and overall we had a fantastic time.

♨️ Check availability

Make sure to read my article about Arima Onsen with kids! It’s a place not to be missed! 

 

Ryokan in Kinosaki Onsen, Hyogo

Kinosaki Onsen is another one of my favorite onsen towns in Kansai. It’s located about 2.5-3 hours away from Kyoto, so it’s a bit of a journey but worth the trek in my books. (And this is saying something coming from a 10+ year resident of Japan!)

The atmosphere is the epitome of an onsen town with beautiful willow trees and small shops lining the river as well as onsen (of course). I find that there’s something really special as well about putting on yukata from a ryokan and then onsen-hopping through the town, and at night it’s purely magical.

It’s also one of the few places where many onsen allow people with tattoos! 

And the crab… Oh, the crab is so good.

I’ve written about my experience visiting Kinosaki Onsen with my family, so definitely give it a read. 

We stayed at Ryokufukaku when my daughter was four years old and it was one of the best ryokan I’ve visited. It’s clean and well-maintained and the crab was amazing. (My daughter got a seafood-free kid’s meal but she ended up liking the crab even more!) 

My daughter also got a toy when we checked out! 

I only have one small complaint about the ryokan, which is that the shared onsen baths in the ryokan were a little too hot for my daughter. She stayed inside for a little bit because she loves onsen but even I found it piping hot. Thankfully, we had an open-air onsen bath in our room that was just the right temperature so we shared that as a family.

Note that there are a lot of factors that might cause the onsen water to be hotter than usual, so just because the shared baths were hot for us, that doesn’t mean it will be hot when you go. This is just something to keep in mind.

Guests get a pass as well to explore seven onsen in the area, which you absolutely should use. However, if you have a baby, this might be challenging so it might be best to take turns if you’re visiting with your partner. One of you can stay at the ryokan with the baby while the other visits the onsen baths.

Note that some of the onsen baths can be very hot, as mentioned earlier, due to several factors so check the temperature before putting your child inside.

I’ve written an entire article about my family’s trip to Kinosaki Onsen and stay at Ryokufukaku so make sure to give it a read!

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湯楽 (Yuraku) Kinosaki Spa&Gardens

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This award-winning ryokan provides baby bath chairs, baby soap, and other amenities for those with little ones using one of their three private onsen baths. You can also enjoy meals in your room to help make the stay as stress-free as possible.

Like other ryokan in the area, you get a pass from here to visit seven other onsen in Kinosaki Onsen for free.

♨️ Check availability

 

Ryokan in Shiga Prefecture

Kyoto’s neighbor to the east, Shiga Prefecture is most famous for Lake Biwa (Biwako). And get this — it takes less than 10 minutes by train to get from Kyoto Station to Otsu Station, which is in the southern part of Lake Biwa! If you want to visit the east side of the lake, it’ll take about an hour by train to Hikone Station. 

Shiga prefecture torii gate on Biwako

So why not take a trip to Shiga and stay at a ryokan with your family while enjoying Lake Biwa?

Biwako Ryokusuitei

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Located about 20-30 minutes from Kyoto Station, Biwako Ryokusuitei is an award-winning ryokan. It offers a special Welcome Baby plan that includes baby food and amenities such as diapers, wipes, baby soap, and formula. This plan is available in Japanese only on their website but if you don’t know Japanese, you can contact them directly to inquire about it before booking.

They offer a special kid’s meal for older children as well. 

The price includes breakfast and/or dinner, and some rooms have onsen baths that overlook the Lake Biwa. They have karaoke booths as well, which would be a fun experience with the family.

Traditional Japanese room with a beautiful view. Love the onsen and the atmosphere of the whole hotel.” -Chun, UK (See more reviews)

♨️ Check availability

 

This is another award-winning ryokan. It has stunning and spacious rooms and serves food local to Biwa, including Shiga’s Omi beef. Some rooms also come with their own open-air onsen bath.

Biwako Hanakaido uses water sourced from Ogoto Onsen, a hot spring located west of Lake Biwa that’s believed to help with fatigue, skin problems, and pain. Only nine ryokan in the area have onsen baths using water from Ogoto Onsen.

A mere 30 minutes by train from Kyoto Station, the location is quite convenient as well. The ryokan also offers pick-up from Ogoto Onsen Station.

mazing room with a great view of the lake! Beautiful and relaxing onsen tub. Excellent food served by courteous staff.” -Darion, USA (See more reviews)

♨️ Check availability

 

Yumotokan

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Another ryokan using water from Ogoto Onsen, Yumotokan has several beautiful onsen baths and some rooms come with open-air baths as well. There’s even a suite, Akane-no-Ma, that has a bath overlooking Lake Biwa. The rooms come in Western and Japanese styles as well, which is great for those who don’t want to sleep on tatami.

They also serve luxurious seasonal meals made using local ingredients. 

 

“Best place I have ever stayed. Highly recommended. Will book again.” -Dong, Australia (See more reviews)

 

♨️ Check availability

 

Ryokan in Wakayama 

Wakayama is another one of my favorite places to visit in Japan. It’s filled with beautiful nature, ranging from sprawling green mountains to the sparkling Pacific Ocean. 

If you want to know more about traveling in Wakayama with kids, read my article about Shirahama and my article on Kumano Kodo. 

Senjojiki in Wakayama

It takes about three hours to get to popular tourist destinations in Wakayama by train or even by car. If you’re staying in one place, then transport isn’t such an issue but if you want to travel around a bit, I recommend using a car.

Yado Musashi

Yado Musashi is located in Shirahama, a beautiful place to visit in Kansai, not only famous for its lovely beaches but also its onsen. It’s also close to Adventure World, a massive zoo, and plenty of other activities for kids.

This baby-friendly ryokan provides lots of amenities for little ones, such as high chairs, yukata, as well as a stroller you can use in the building.

They have a special plan for those traveling with babies called 「赤ちゃん連れ旅行おすすめプラン (Akachan tsure ryokan osusume plan)」. Make sure you ask about that plan before you book so you will be provided items like baby wipes, baby shampoo, and baby food.

♨️ Check availability

 

FAQ About Ryokan in Kyoto

Where is the best area to stay in Kyoto?

This entirely depends on what you want to see! Staying near Kyoto Station or Kawaramachi might give you the best access to the heart of the city and is very convenient.

If you have more time in the city, such as more than three days or so, I also recommend trying to stay in areas off the beaten path such as Kameoka or even venturing to nearby Lake Biwa, which isn’t as crowded but still has plenty of nature, shrines, and temples.

Can my child go inside onsen at the ryokan? Is it safe?

Depending on your child’s age, they can have a dip inside of public onsen. I’ve written an in-depth article about visiting onsen with kids so please have a read! If you have further questions, please contact me and I’ll do my best to address them.

Wrap-up: Family-Friendly Ryokan In and Around Kyoto 

Kyoto and the rest of the Kansai region are a must-visit if you’re traveling in Japan, and staying at a family-friendly ryokan makes the experience all the more special. Ryokan are truly something I love about Japan and cannot be found anywhere else in the world! My daughter is a huge fan as well and always asks when our next ryokan adventure will be.

I’ve also have an article about family-friendly ryokan in Tokyo, so please give it a read if you’re interested!

I hope this article has helped you narrow down where to stay with your family and that you have a wonderful and memorable stay at your ryokan. 

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Hi! I'm Kay

I’m a long-term Japan resident and parent who loves writing and traveling. My goal is to help parents from around the world navigate living and traveling with kids in Japan.

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