A historic property, Hiiragiya has hosted many a notable writer, artist, celebrity, and imperial family member since its opening in 1818. Operated by the same family for six generations, the ryokan is steeped in centuries-old tradition, etiquette, and service, with the aim of making guests feel at home during their stay. Rooms are spread across two buildings—the original with its classic style, and the newer, sleeker wing, where the color palette is a bit brighter and the windows and doors are more modern. Both feature updated amenities, however, including flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. Among the hotel’s other highlights are the kaiseki-style meals, during which kimono-clad guests enjoy course after beautiful course at low tables. Breakfasts and dinners are both included in your stay, and feature seasonal bites served in locally made lacquerware bowls and boxes.
Hiiragiya is one of Kyoto’s most elegant ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style inn. If you do manage to snag a booking at the 28-room, sixth-generation property, prepare for a memorable meal. Dishes such as simmered razor clams and bamboo shoots, yuba dumpling, and cod roe miso are plated on handcrafted Kiyomizu ceramics and elegant vintage lacquerware in your room, in which shoji-screened windows and sliding fusuma doors will transport you to another era. The Western- and Japanese-style breakfasts are sublime, but the thick, smoky bacon and strawberry preserves of the former are the perfect antidotes for homesickness.