2 Days of of REAL Japan
For those of you who just stumbled upon this post, I am 100% Japanese. I lived in Japan my whole life (35 years), and have never experienced this much of authentic, modern Japanese experience in my life. Our hotel, The Ritz Carlton Kyoto played a large role on our Kyoto experience.
Traditional / Modern
In Kyoto, most people expect to see the Traditional side of Japan. On the other hand, in Tokyo where we live, people like to see the Modern, innovative side of Japan. The Ritz Carlton Kyoto definitely presents a perfect balance of traditional and modern Japan, with a twist of the Ritz Luxury.
The Trad-Chic Entrance
Traditional-Chic. If you wanna go authentic traditional, it’s a whole different story. We really liked the traditional, but stylish / chic entrance.
I don’t know what it is about kids being so hyped when they see water. It’s cute. Until they try everything just to get their feet in there.
Inside the Ritz Kyoto
Everything is simple, luxurious and spacious like the rest of the Ritz hotels.
This time we stayed at the Luxury Room with the view of the Kamogawa River.
We got connecting rooms with my mother-in-law, so we may have photos of the room next door mixed in this post.
The room had treats for the children, and a small activity called the ritz kids program. Your kids can go around the hotel with a sticker book, you can collect stickers from the hotel staff during your stay.
Kids are fascinated with stickers…
Speaking of activities,
List of activities you & your kids can enjoy
- Ritz Kids Night
- Balloon Art
- Origami Art
- Ritz Kids Treasure Hunt
are all FREE!
Make sure you make a reservation when you book the hotel, because spots will be filled fast. We actually couldn’t participate in the Treasure Hunt because we didn’t know about it! The Ritz Kids Night is when the Ritz Staff will look after your children so that you can enjoy a time of peace and quiet with your significant other. How amazing is this?
Other activities for Families
- Handmade Soap Workshop
- Japanese Sweets (Wagashi) Workshop – ¥3,500 per person
- Sushi Masterclass – ¥3,500 per person
- Sticky Fingers (Patisserie Workshop) – ¥3,500 per person
- Dassai premium Sake tasting
- Sake tasting
For Fitness Lovers
- Run Kyoto – Free
- Cycle Kyoto – Free
- Hike Kyoto – Free
- Warm-up Excercise
- Samurai Experience – ¥10,000 per person / ¥5,000 per child (5 or under)
- Kyoto Tandem Bike Ride – Free
- Art of Kyo-Karakami Paper Craft – Free
- Japanese Wrapping Art (using furoshiki) – Free
- Kimono Experience – ¥7,000 per person
- Kyoto by Rickshaw – ¥17,000 per person
- The Last Smaurai – ¥8,000 per person
- Your Own Zen Garden – ¥4,000 per person
- Morning Chanting Experience – ¥10,000 per group
- Japanese Harp Experience – ¥8,000 per person
- Tosenkyo (Fan Tossing Game)
There are so many to choose from, but make sure to check the official website for a more updated list and time slots.
Balloon Art and Origami
These two were the only available activities so our kids participated. Usually the parents do not have to chaperone the kids, but we did because we wanted to get pictures. And we’re glad we did because…
The balloon / origami experience was held in the Ritz Carlton Suite
We explored the Ritz Carlton Suite while the kids made balloons and origami
My wife’s happy place (aka SPA and Swimming Pool)
Children over 4 are allowed in the swimming pool.
My wife HATES swimming caps, so it’s my job to look after the kids here. You are required to wear swimming caps in the Ritz swimming pool even if you don’t plan to put your head inside the water. (Beds are ok without it, thank god).
The Morning Buffet
You can choose Japanese style or Buffet Style Breakfast. With picky eaters like our kids, our better option is the buffet. Yes, they like to take the food themselves with their tiny hands holding a gigantic plate, but the odds are better than having food that they weren’t in the mood for show up after 20 minutes of waiting.
Choose your favorite Egg Dish!
Your breakfast will come with an egg dish. It’s kind of hard to read the menu here, they have
- Scrambled Eggs
- Fried Eggs (Sunny Side Up)
- Boiled Eggs
- Poached Eggs
- Eggs Benedict
I regretted ordering Hard Boiled Eggs when I saw what my wife had ordered
Don’t get me wrong, the boiled eggs were delicious.
Breakfast on the 2nd Day
I am VERY Japanese when it comes to food, especially breakfast. If mornings were up to me, we would have Japanese Style breakfast every single day.
I know arguing with my kids to get Japanese breakfast (in a different restaurant) was impossible, so I tried to talk them into going to the Japanese breakfast, but epically failed.
Miracles do happen
A staff that overheard my failed presentation offered to bring the Japanese breakfast up to the buffet. This, is what I call perfect hospitality.
What is so special about this is the rice cooked with donabe pot, see this post for a more detailed explanation.
The bottom layer looks like this
You can enjoy the “Ebisugawa-Tei” a truly traditional Japanese style home of Denzaburo Fujita.
When it comes to Hotels and any kind of accommodations, Location is really important. Right? The Ritz Carlton Kyoto is located along the Kamogawa River, and not only it is accessible to many popular shrines and temples, but it is great to have your morning run or just walk around the riverside.
My boys enjoyed playing there, and one of them managed to fall in the river and get his only pair of shoes soaked. Good Job!
You can also see what the Hotel looks like
The Ritz Carlton has definitely changed in a positive way after experiencing The Ritz Carlton Kyoto.
What was really surprising and amazing at the same time, was that the hotel was fully booked when we went, but we never really ran into other guests during our stay. It felt like we had a lot of space and privacy even though we visited during the busy season.
That alone, I think is something people would expect from a luxury hotel, and they were very much successful. On top of that, all the staff were extremely good at handling kids. Everybody seemed quite young, but the way they interacted with the kids surprised me a lot.
I can’t find anything negative to say about our stay (Remember, this is not sponsored by the Ritz. This was a private vacation).
Maybe you guys want to hear something negative, but honestly, I cannot think of one just now.
Hotel Name: The Ritz Carlton Kyoto
Phone #: 075-746-5555
Closest Train Station:
Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae Station – Kyoto Shiei Chikatetsu Tozai Line
Casual / Luxury: Luxury
Budget (How much we spent): ¥200,000 / 2 Nights (rate of 1 room)
Nursing Room: None
Baby Friendly?: 3/5
Family Friendly?: 5/5
*This post was NOT sponsored by
*Please leave a comment if you have questions, comments, or updates.