Kifune Kawadoko Ryokan: Hirobun | Reviews on Tripadvisor | Day Trip Meal

Welcome to the heart of Japan, where tradition meets tranquility. Nestled in the serene mountains of Kyoto, the Hirobun Ryokan offers a unique and immersive experience that will transport you to a world of Japanese elegance and refinement. This blog post will guide you through the enchanting world of Hirobun, from its rich history and cultural significance to its exquisite cuisine and luxurious amenities.

What is a Ryori Ryokan?

A Ryori Ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn that places a strong emphasis on food. The term “ryori” translates to “cuisine,” indicating that these establishments are renowned for their high-quality, traditional Japanese meals. Staying at a Ryori Ryokan like Hirobun is not just about having a place to sleep; it’s about immersing yourself in Japanese culture, particularly its culinary arts. Moreover, many ryokans, including Hirobun, welcome guests who want to experience their exquisite cuisine for lunch or dinner, even if they are not staying overnight.

History and Location

Hirobun, located in the picturesque village of Kibune in Kyoto, has been welcoming guests for over a century. The ryokan is situated just a short walk from the Kibune Shrine, one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan, making it an ideal base for exploring the local area. The ryokan is also conveniently located just a 30-minute drive from central Kyoto, allowing guests to easily explore the city’s many attractions.


The meals at Hirobun are a celebration of Kyoto’s culinary tradition, with a focus on seasonal ingredients and local specialties. When booking your stay at Hirobun through, you can choose your preferred meal course plan, allowing you to customize your dining experience according to your tastes and dietary preferences. However, even if you’re not staying overnight, you can still enjoy a meal at Hirobun. Just remember to make a reservation in advance to experience the exquisite cuisine. Here are some highlights from their menu:

Spring-Summer Cuisine (May to end of September)

  • Kawadoko Kaiseki: A traditional multi-course Japanese dinner that uses fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu includes appetizers, sashimi, grilled and fried dishes, and more. Prices range from 14,520 yen to 18,150 yen depending on the course.
  • Beef Shabu-Shabu:Thinly sliced, high-quality beef is briefly dipped in a flavorful broth and enjoyed with seasonal vegetables.
  • Beef Sukiyaki: A popular course throughout the year, it features carefully selected beef and a special broth that creates a rich, savory flavor.
  • Local Chicken Hot Pot: The chicken is cooked in a special Hirobun chicken broth, creating a clear yet flavorful soup.
  • Local Chicken Sukiyaki: For those who prefer a healthier sukiyaki option, this course features selected local chicken with a rich flavor.
  • Pike Conger Shabu-Shabu: A summer staple in Kyoto cuisine, the pike conger is enjoyed in a shabu-shabu style.

Autumn-Winter Cuisine (Mid-October to April)

  • Seasonal Kyoto Kaiseki: A traditional multi-course meal that changes with the seasons. Prices range from 12,100 yen to 14,520 yen depending on the course.
  • Boar Hot Pot: A rare delicacy sourced from the nearby mountains of Kibune. The boar meat is low in calories and high in protein, making it a nutritious winter dish.
  • Boar Meal: A lunch menu for those who want to try a little bit of boar meat. The meat is rich in iron and collagen, making it a healthy choice.

Hirobun Café (November to April)

  • Homemade Tofu Meal: Enjoy the natural sweetness and aroma of homemade tofu with a selection of seasonal dishes.
  • Rainbow Trout Sashimi Meal: Savor the rich flavor of large rainbow trout from Shiga Prefecture, matured to concentrate its umami.

Nagashi Somen (May to end of September)

Hirobun is the only place in Kibune where you can enjoy Nagashi Somen, a unique summer experience where noodles are sent down a bamboo chute with flowing water. You catch the noodles with your chopsticks and dip them in a flavorful sauce before eating. The Nagashi Somen is available from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and is not included in the meal course plan. The price is 1,700 yen (tax included). Please note that reservations are not accepted for Nagashi Somen. Guests are asked to line up at the local reception, where they will receive a numbered ticket in exchange for payment.

Please note that reservations are required for some dishes, and the content of the dishes may change depending on the availability of ingredients.


Hirobun offers a variety of rooms, each designed to provide a tranquil and comfortable environment for guests. The rooms are traditionally decorated, featuring tatami mat flooring and futon bedding, and many offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and river. For a truly luxurious experience, consider booking one of the special rooms with a private open-air bath.


Unlike many accommodations that can be booked through international platforms like or Agoda, reservations for Hirobun are available on, a popular Japanese travel booking website.

Hirobun also offers a special Day Trip Meal plan for those who want to enjoy a meal without an overnight stay. You can make a reservation for the Day Trip Meal plan here.

While the website does not offer English language support, this should not deter you from experiencing the charm and tranquility of Hirobun. With a little patience and the help of a translation tool, you can navigate through the reservation process with ease.

Google Chrome users can take advantage of the browser’s built-in translation feature to translate the webpage into their preferred language. For detailed instructions on how to change Chrome languages and translate webpages, you can refer to Google’s guide here.

Surrounding Attractions

Hirobun’s location in Kibune offers easy access to several local attractions. The Kifune Shrine, a historic site known for its water deity, is just a short walk away. The shrine is part of a three-shrine pilgrimage, which includes the main shrine, the inner shrine, and the Yui shrine. Each shrine offers a unique spiritual experience and is a must-visit for those seeking a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.

For hiking enthusiasts, the trail connecting Kibune and Kurama is a popular choice. The trail takes you through lush forests and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. At the end of the trail, you’ll find Kurama-dera, a Buddhist temple known for its spiritual energy.

Practical Tips for Visitors

While Hirobun staff are accustomed to serving international guests, it’s worth noting that not all staff members may be fluent in English. However, they are always ready to assist and make your stay comfortable. It’s also a good idea to learn a few basic Japanese phrases, which can enhance your interaction with the staff and locals.

When planning your visit, remember to book your stay in advance, especially during peak seasons.


A stay at Hirobun offers more than just accommodation; it’s a journey into the heart of Japanese culture and tradition. So, why wait? Book your Hirobun experience now and immerse yourself in a world of serene beauty and rich heritage. Safe travels!

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