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Looking for the perfect ryokan for your Kyoto trip? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We know how overwhelming it can get to look for the perfect ryokan. Especially in Kyoto, there are so many amazing luxury ryokans to choose from!

To start off your search, we’ll be deep-diving into Sowaka Ryokan, one of the premier ryokans in Kyoto. From its history to its amenities, food, and more, we’ll be telling you everything you need to know about this ryokan!

History & Concept


You might be curious what Sowaka Ryokan’s name means. While “sowaka” sounds like it could be Japanese, the name of this ryokan actually derives from a Sanskrit word meaning “happiness” or “wellbeing.”

True to their name, Sowaka Ryokan strives to allow each and every guest to experience the utmost peace and coziness during their stay. Sowaka brands itself as a “luxury ryokan with modern comfort” and you can definitely see this shine through in their facilities and services.

Everywhere you look, Sowaka Ryokan is a shining example of the beauty of traditional Japanese design. With tiled roofs and sliding paper doors, this luxury ryokan looks like it came straight from a historical drama. The amazing design adds to the calming atmosphere of the place. You’ll surely have a nice and relaxing stay if you choose Sowaka Ryokan!

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One of the best things about Sowaka Ryokan is its location. It’s within walking distance of many of the must-see attractions in Kyoto, including Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, and Kodai-ji. Whether on foot or using public transport, it would be very easy to get around the area if you choose to stay in this ryokan. It’s right in the heart of the Gion District, one of the most scenic and charming places in Kyoto!

Despite its prime location, Sowaka Ryokan still offers a very peaceful stay for all of its guests. The team behind this luxury ryokan has somehow found the perfect pocket of serenity for this hotel to be built on. It’s the perfect balance between a convenient location and a quiet one!

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Ryokan Facilities


Aside from the rooms themselves, Sowaka Ryokan also has tons of other facilities for guests to enjoy. There’s a lobby lounge where guests can relax and mingle with each other during the day. At night, the in-house bar also opens! With a maximum seating of only 4, this provides an intimate space where you can end the night with some loved ones.

The bar serves delicious drinks using local ingredients, such as sake, shochu, and whiskey distilled right here in Japan.

There’s also a rooftop lounge where you can order drinks, relax, and watch the sunset. Aside from that, Sowaka Ryokan has lots of gardens within the property! These spots are perfect for relaxing and admiring the beautiful Kyoto views. Last but not the least, they also have a special room which you can book to experience a traditional tea ceremony!

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Sowaka Ryokan’s rooms come with their own private baths that will give you the full onsen experience. Designed in the traditional way using locally sourced wood and warm nutrient-rich water, the baths at this ryokan are absolutely perfect for relaxation. You no longer have to compete with other guests to try and get the best time slot. Here, the baths are exclusive for each room’s guests!

You can also choose between indoor or outdoor baths. Indoor baths provide more privacy, but outdoor baths offer amazing views of the natural Kyoto landscape!

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All of Sowaka Ryokan’s rooms are beautifully decorated, extremely comfortable, and very pleasing to the eyes. With floor-to-ceiling wicker lattice windows, lovely tatami mats, and tastefully curated furniture in warm earthy tones, this ryokan’s rooms are designed for maximum comfort. Sowaka Ryokan has 23 rooms, each individually designed with a unique character. Each room is also super spacious, with many of them having a nice garden view as well as access to a relaxing courtyard.

In each room, you can also find pajamas, socks, and slippers provided for each guest. Rooms also have their very own mini bars, with the drinks already included in your room rate!

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And finally, we can’t miss talking about Sowaka Ryokan’s cuisine. Meals are served in their very own restaurant known as La BOMBANCE Gion. At this fine dining venture, Kyoto cuisine gets upgraded thanks to the amazing work of the team behind award-winning restaurants La BOMBANCE Tokyo and La BOMBANCE Hong Kong.

From the preparation, presentation, and down to the taste, every aspect of each dish is very well thought out. Guests swoon at the level of care and consideration being put into every meal. We especially recommend the kaiseki-style menus since you get a wide range of dishes to try.

La BOMBANCE also switches up the menu pretty often so you can try different things depending on the day. Whether it’s for breakfast or dinner, Sowaka Ryokan is committed to serving delicious high-quality meals to all of their guests.

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We hope you enjoyed our review of Sowaka Ryokan! Which part of this ryokan surprised you the most? Tell us in the comments!

Sowaka Ryokan is one of the best places to stay in Kyoto. Its traditional beauty and modern charm combine to create an unforgettable stay for all of its guests. If you’re looking for a hotel that will absolutely complete your trip and make it even more memorable, then we definitely recommend checking out Sowaka Ryokan!

For more recommendations in Kyoto, make sure you also read our posts about the best luxury ryokans in Kyoto and the best tattoo friendly ryokans in Kyoto.

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