Arashiyama Benkei is a traditional Japanese luxury ryokan that's been around since 1969, so it's quite new by Japanese standards. It's built in the sukiya-zukuri architectural style reminiscent of antique tea houses. It's a good example of authentic Kyotan style, and is one of the best in the city.
Located along the Katsura River in the western part of Kyoto, Arashiyama Benkei is a 25 minute train ride to JR Kyoto Station. It's a 15 minute walk from JR Saga-Arashiyama and Hankyu Arashiyama Stations but should you not wish to walk a free shuttle bus is available. Togetsukyo Bridge, Tenryuji Temple, The Bamboo Forest and Monkey Park Iwatayama are all within a 15 minute walk.
Arashiyama is one of the city’s premier sightseeing destinations so you will find a lot of visitors from Kyoto coming out each day. If you are there in the summer, make sure to take a ride on one of the traditional fishing boats on the river.
With only 10 bedrooms, each with their own individual charm, privacy is guaranteed. All rooms are Japanese-style and feature futon bedding with views of the Arashiyama mountains or the hotels lush garden. Free WiFi, a refrigerator and a safe come as standard. Free yukatas, robes and toiletries are available though unfortunately, some of the rooms have a shared bathroom - not really ideal for the price you pay.
No doubt the star of the show at Arashiyama Benkei is the cuisine - try out the 13 course kaiseki. The Ryokan comes with both indoor and open-air baths both are available for men and women. There is also a secluded open-air bathtub which you can rent privately for a charge. Kimono-clad staff members are on hand to ensure your stay is perfect.
The Arashiyama Benkei is not cheap but if you are looking for a quintessential Japanese experience, it is probably a good bet. Just be sure if you are spending this much money that you get a room with a private bath.Review updated May 11, 2017
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