If you’re looking for a relaxing place to stay in the countryside, but within easy striking distance of Kyoto, you’ll be very happy at Ohara Sanso, up in the quaint village of Ohara.
This place calls itself a minshuku (Japanese B&B) but it’s more like a ryokan. It’s in a very picturesque part of Ohara, which is a lovely little village in the mountains north of Kyoto. It’s about 10 minutes’ walk from the bus stop. There’s good hiking and strolling about, as well as some nice temples, including the lovely Sanzen-in. You could certainly base yourself here to explore Kyoto, as long as you didn’t mind a 40-minute bus ride to and from the city each day.
The rooms are standard mid-range ryokan rooms. The highlights are the outdoor baths and the excellent country-style food they serve here for breakfast and dinner.
So, if you want to check out the Japanese countryside and don’t want to travel too far from Kyoto, this is an excellent choice for a night or two.
Name in English:
Minshuku Ohara Sanso
Name in Japanese:
17 Oharakusao-cho, Sakyo-ku
Internet: free wifi access
Non-smoking rooms: Yes
13min walk from Ohara bus stop, 17 or 18 Kyoto Bus, from Kyoto Station
Official site: (English)
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- Get travel insurance for Japan - World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)