6 Amazing Traditional Japanese Ryokan in Kyoto with Private Open-Air Baths Perfect for Couples!

Relax and take in the beautiful scenery of Kyoto in places like Arashiyama, Tanba, and Tango by staying in a gorgeous ryokan with private open-air baths! Not only does staying in one of these ryokan let you experience a totally different side to Kyoto, but you'll be able to leave the urban area of the city behind you in favor of delicious food and a private outdoor bath with an amazing view. Keep reading to find out about 6 places in Kyoto where you can do just that!



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1. Amayadori no Yado Ujousouan

Source: Relux|Amayadori no Yado Ujousouan

Facing the Japan Sea in the beautiful hot spring area of Yuhigaura Onsen, Amayadori no Yado Ujousouan is a ryokan exclusive for adults and comprised entirely of separate accommodations. The name “amayadori” means “shelter from the rain” in Japanese and it is quite appropriate due to the fact that this region – located in the most northern part of Kyoto Prefecture – is known since antiquity for being a rainy place. There’s even an old saying warning that “you might forget about bringing your lunch when coming to Tango, but you should never forget your umbrella.” Evening showers, drizzle, and seasonal rainfall are just a few of the expressions suitable to describe such romantic natural phenomenon. Take refuge from the rain with your special someone in one of the 5 different accommodations the ryokan has to offer.

Source: Relux|Amayadori no Yado Ujousouan

Enveloped in the quietude of nature, every accommodation is furnished with a bedroom, a Japanese-style room with tatami flooring, living room and, last but not least, a private rotenburo in the outdoor wooden deck. All rooms are spacious and make for a very comfortable experience. The opened area extending from the living room out into the wooden deck will certainly make you feel invigorated after a long trip.

Source: Relux|Amayadori no Yado Ujousouan

Surrounded by mountains on one side and the Sea of Japan on the other, the region of Tango is blessed with all sorts of delicious foods. At Ujousouan, you can enjoy a gorgeous kaiseki dinner (Japanese-style multi-course meal) comprised of the finest seasonal ingredients and seafood this region has to offer. During winter you even have the opportunity to try the delicious Matsuba crab (male snow crab), not to mention other local crabs found only here, such as the incredibly rare Taiza crab and Tsuiyama crab. Meals are served in private rooms inside the dining hall Amatsumizu. Enjoy this exquisite dinner with some local Japanese sake from Tango.

Source: Relux|Amayadori no Yado Ujousouan

The alkaline hot springs of Yuhigaura Onsen are highly regarded to the point of being called “Hot Springs of Beauty.” The water is smooth and said to bring a silky feeling and beautiful lustre to the skin. You can enjoy a bath looking at the starry sky in the privacy of your own room or in the spacious public rotenburo, where you can admire every little change the four seasons bring to the ryokan’s garden. After the bath, you are more than welcome to take a walk on the beach or make use of the reading room Kusamakura located in the garden.

Name: Amayadori no Yado Ujousouan

Address: 247, Kitsu, Amino-cho, Kyotango-shi, Kyoto 京都府京丹後市網野町木津247

For further information: https://rlx.jp/21351/

Price: From 43,700 yen per person (Price based on a 2-person booking for 1 night and 2 meals, including tax and service charges)

2. Taiza Onsen Sumihei

Source:Relux|Taiza Onsen Sumihei

Lying quietly amidst the mountains and the Sea of Japan in the region of Taiza, in the Tango peninsula, Taiza Onsen Sumihei is high-class ryokan with more than 150 years of history. Every room in this long-established inn has a magnificent view of the sea. Watching the sun set on the horizon from the comfort of your own room is nothing less than spectacular. When night comes and the sky is full of stars, you can relax with the sound of waves in this peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Source:Relux|Taiza Onsen Sumihei

“Peace by the sound of water” is the theme of the deluxe suite room “Kanami no Ma,” opened in 2014. Here you can take a soak in the outdoor bath amidst the nature of the Tango peninsula while listening to the soothing sound of a bamboo fountain. Colorful obi (kimono sash) made of traditional fabric from Tango adorn the walls of “Naminone,” a detached guest room for up to 6 guests that is perfect for a girls' trip. The Japanese rock garden featured in the room is inspired by the beaches of the peninsula and is bound to bring you peace of mind.

Source:Relux|Taiza Onsen Sumihei

The name Taiza comes from the name of Prince Shotoku’s mother, who took refuge in this bountiful region back in the 7th century. Here you can enjoy dishes prepared with a wide variety of high-end ingredients that usually are exclusive to luxury restaurants, such as Taiza crabs, awabi (abalone), uni (sea urchin eggs), and tai (sea bream). The chef is keen about using local ingredients from Tango, which include organic vegetables procured directly from farmers, rice cultivated using traditional organic methods, marine salt from Kotobiki-Hama Beach and even the soy sauce is made in the peninsula.

Source:Relux|Taiza Onsen Sumihei

Another pride and joy of Taiza Onsen Sumihei are their two rotenburo that present you with beautiful experiences throughout the year: flowers during spring, sounds during summer, autumnal winds, and harsh waves during winter. Take your time to relax and enjoy the view of the waves splashing in the beach, the colors of the sea at sunset and the starry sky at night.

Name: Taiza Onsen Sumihei

Address: 3718, Taiza, Tango-cho, Kyotango-shi, Kyoto 京都府京丹後市丹後町間人3718

For further information: https://rlx.jp/29183/

Price: From 33,680 yen per person (Price based on a 2-person booking for 1 night and 2 meals, including tax and service charges)


Source: Relux|Kyoto YUNOHANA RESORT Suisen

Located in the outskirts of Kyoto, Yunohana Onsen has been a famous hot spring region since antiquity and it is said to be where historical figure Akechi Mitsuhide healed a sword wound back in the 16th century. Inaugurated in 2013 and with a total of 13 guest rooms, Yunohana Resort Suisen is a secluded ryokan that focuses on offering great hospitality and food. This quiet inn is the perfect place to come with a special someone. Escape from the frenzy of the big city and come here to spend some quality time with your better half.

Source: Relux|Kyoto YUNOHANA RESORT Suisen

Finely designed with a modern touch, the Japanese-style twin rooms feature a private rotenburo and offer you 56 sq.m. of pure comfort. Here you can relax with your spouse or partner knowing that no one will disturb you. Soaking in the bath while listening to the chirping of birds and admiring the forest is a very invigorating experience. Every detail was taken into consideration so that you can have nothing less than a superb time here: beds use mattresses from the highly regarded Japanese manufacturer Simmons, toiletries are supplied by L’Occitane, and even the tea and coffee sets have a tasteful design .

Source: Relux|Kyoto YUNOHANA RESORT Suisen

As for the meal, a gorgeous-looking kaiseki dinner is served at the dining space in the comfort of your room. Every dish is carefully prepared by an experienced chef using the finest ingredients each season has to offer. Unbound by conventional standards, the chef adds his own personal touch and new ideas to traditional Kyoto cuisine dishes creating an experience that is bound to move and surprise you.

Source: Relux|Kyoto YUNOHANA RESORT Suisen

Visitors from all over Japan come to the region of Yunohara Onsen in search of the health benefits its hot spring waters provide. The water here has a neutral pH and it is very soft to the touch and easy on the skin, which makes visitors very happy. Besides the public bath, the hotel also has a rock rotenburo that you can rent for your private use and enjoy a soak amidst nature. After the hot bath, how about trying a traditional Indian body treatment called Ayurveda to improve your experience even more?

Name: Kyoto YUNOHANA RESORT Suisen

Address: 6-3, Inoshiri, Ashinoyama, Hiedano-cho, Kameoka City, Kyoto 京都府亀岡市ひえ田野町芦ノ山イノシリ6-3

For further information: https://rlx.jp/23584/

Price: From 26,160 yen per person (Price based on a 2-person booking for 1 night and 2 meals, including tax and service charges)

4. Arashiyama Benkei

Source: Relux|Arashiyama Benkei

The region of Arashiyama has been cherished by the Japanese nobility since the Heian period (794-1185) and many of them have built villas here. Lying quietly by Oigawa River and with a privileged view of the Togetsu-kyo Bridge, you have Arashiyama Benkei. This Japanese inn has a prime location close to many tourist locations, such as the World Heritage Site Tenryu-ji Temple and the famous bamboo grove which is portrayed in many pictures of Kyoto. Here you can enjoy the cherry blossoms during spring, the green foliage of summer, the red leaves of autumn, and the beautiful snowy landscape of winter.

Source: Relux|Arashiyama Benkei

Each guest room is entirely furnished in a Japanese-style, creating a beautiful atmosphere that can only be found in Japan. The guest room "Matsu no Ma" includes two rooms of 12 and 6 tatamis mats each, and a wooden bathtub with a magnificent view. The Oigawa River runs flows right in front of this private hot spring, and you can even feel the cool breeze it creates.

Source: Relux|Arashiyama Benkei

The piece de resistance at Arashima Beiken has got to be the seasonal Kyoto kaiseki dinner. Eat to your heart’s content this marvelous dinner prepared with a plethora of vegetables unique to Kyoto, including Kamo eggplants, Kujo leeks, Ebiimo taro roots, Shogoin turnips, and a wide array of other high-quality local ingredients such as tilefish and amberjack from the port of Wakasa, and sea bream and conger eel from the inland sea of Seto. In the morning, have a light Japanese breakfast that includes yudofu (tofu boiled in broth) a famous dish typical of Kyoto.

Source: Relux|Arashiyama Benkei

The water from the hot springs in Arashiyama is very soft to the touch and has excellent properties said to make the skin smoother. Soaking in a hot spring that has so many beneficial effects will certainly make you feel brand new after a long trip. Besides indoor and outdoor public baths, the inn also has a rotenburo that you can reserve and use in privacy. Enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful nature of Arashiyama while taking a well-deserved and relaxing bath.

Name: Arashiyama Benkei

Address: 34, Saga Tenryuji Susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 京都府京都市右京区嵯峨天龍寺芒ノ馬場町34番地

For further information: https://rlx.jp/23375/

Price: From 32,235 yen per person (Price based on a 2-person booking for 1 night and 2 meals, including tax and service charges)

5. Sumiya Kihoan

Source: Relux|Sumiya Kihoan

Also located in the quiet region of Yunohana Onsen, Sumiya Kihoan is a ryokan that incorporates many nostalgic elements of the history of Kyoto in its architecture, especially noticeable at the impressive entrance gate made out of rammed earth and topped with a thatched roof. Regardless of the season, here in this out-of-the-ordinary place, you are sure to have a relaxing time enveloped by the rich nature of the hilly region of Tanba.

Source: Relux|Sumiya Kihoan

The inn offers 3 types of accommodations: “Yama no Iori,” which is furnished with a comfortable horigotatsu (sunken table) surrounded by tatami mats; “Kihoan,” which includes a private rotenburo; and “Yama no Terrace,“ which has a spacious wooden deck space and a private rotenburo. "Kihoan" accommodations come in 6 rooms, each of them differing in style, including one room following an old architectural style from Kyoto called Sukiya-zukuri and another which presents a contemporaneous view of a traditional Japanese house. Besides the Japanese-style rooms, you also have a Western-style room equipped with a Jacuzzi. Named “Honami,” the traditional Japanese house-style room is a unique accommodation with an area of 100 sq.m. and a footbath with water drawn directly from the source. Wouldn't you like to sit down with your loved one and relax your feet at the hot spring while talking and admiring the beautiful surroundings?

Source: Relux|Sumiya Kihoan

The region of Tanba is blessed with all sorts of nutritious food, including rice, black soybeans, and many types of vegetables unique to Kyoto. Sumiya Kihoan's chef is a master of Kyoto cuisine and prepares beautifully delicate dishes using only the freshest of local ingredients. Meals are served in the dining hall Zuika, a space that recreates the Japanese kitchens of old making use of nostalgic kitchen equipment, including a traditional Japanese cooking stove rarely seen nowadays. The house has a great lineup of Australian wines that pair perfectly with the meal.

Source: Relux|Sumiya Kihoan

The mineral-rich hot spring flows profusely here and its soft water is said to help alleviate hormonal imbalance issues. Every private room draws water from the same spring source. The public bath is separate for men and women and has an indoor and outdoor option. In the outdoor bath, female guests have the chance to soak in a wooden bathtub made out of the trunk of an 1000-year-old cherry tree. At the end of the walking path beautifully lined by trees, lies the private rotenburo where you feel as you found a secret hot spring in the middle of the forest.

Name: Sumiya Kihoan

Address: 34, Saga Tenryuji Susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

For further information:https://rlx.jp/28631/

Price: From 25,920n per person (Price based on a 2-person booking for 1 night and 2 meals, including tax and service charges)

6. Monjusou

Source: Relux|Monjusou

Located in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture, Monjuso is nestled just next to Amanohashidate, one of the Three Most Scenic Views in Japan. The architecture of this quintessential Japanese building was designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Yoshimura Junzo, who was also responsible for the design of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The inn was precisely engineered so that every room would offer a view of the beautiful pine covered sandbar that is the symbol of Amanohashidate. Monjuso is perfect for sightseeing due to its prime location just a few minutes' walk away from many tourist spots, such as Amanohashidate View Land and Chion-ji Temple, one of the three most famous Buddhist temples in Japan dedicated to Manjusri Bodhisattva, the Buddha of wisdom and awareness.

Source: Relux|Monjusou

At the deluxe suite room “Kaze no Midori,” you are presented with two large windows from where you can admire both the Amanohashidate sandbar and the flowing canal that connects the opposite sides of Miyazu Bay. The room is furnished with a Japanese-style room with tatami flooring, a living room, a bedroom and a spacious rotenburo with an amazing view. After the bath, you can sit in one of the chairs in the wooden deck and enjoy an unobstructed view of the region.

Source: Relux|Monjusou

Meals are served at the ryokan’s restaurant MON. Featuring a large glass window from where you can observe the sea, it seems as if you are having your meal inside Amanohashidate when you eat at the restaurant. The main feature of MON are the dishes prepared in the stone kiln. Reaching to temperatures up to 500℃, this stone oven is used to cook marvelous dishes using fresh ingredients, such as local fish and vegetables, and Tango-gyu beef (a brand of wagyu beef from the Tango peninsula). Enjoy a Kyoto-style kaiseki dinner prepared with a variety of high-quality seasonal ingredients that include seabream during spring, oyster during summer, Matsutake mushrooms in autumn and, last but not least, Matsuba crab during winter.

Source: Relux|Monjusou

Known as “Hot Spring of Beauty” in Japanese, the hot spring water of Amanohashidate is highly regarded for its milky properties and the soft and moist feeling it gives the skin. Your skin will be smooth as silk and you will feel delightfully warmed after a relaxing bath here. Both indoor and outdoor hot springs offer a beautiful view of the garden. After the bath, you are more than welcome to have a cold shiruko (sweet red-bean soup with pieces of mochi) offered by the ryokan free of charge (4:00 pm - 6:00pm).

Name: Monjusou

Address: Amanohashidate-gan, Miyazu-shi, Kyoto 京都府宮津市天の橋立海岸

For further information: https://rlx.jp/21211/

Price: From 25,920n per person (Price based on a 2-person booking for 1 night and 2 meals, including tax and service charges)

Enjoy Kyoto As A Couple!

What did you think about the rooms with private rotenburo introduced in this article? With its beautiful sea coast and green mountains, Kyoto offers much more than you ever imagined, right? Make sure to use this article to choose a ryokan of your liking and enjoy a relaxing time with your special someone.

(Translated and republished with permission from:Relux Magazine)

*The prices writen in this article are from the time of writing and may differ from the current prices. 

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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