Filled with the origin of Japanese culture THE HOTEL HIGASHIYAMA by Kyoto Tokyu Hotel

  • TEXT
  • Shinobu Nakai
  • Seiichi Saito
  • share:

  • It is bustling with people during the day but quiet enough to hear bugs chirping at night. In this Awataguchi area of the Higashiyama District in Kyoto, “THE HOTEL HIGASHIYAMA” opened on July 7,2022 on the site of the old Awata Elementary School.

    According to one theory, Awataguchi was founded during the Nara Period and prospered from the Heian Period as one of the main stops on the road to the eastern part of the country. In addition to being home to a group of swordsmiths, it is where the production of Awata-yaki pottery began, and overall, it developed into a cultural hub. At the hotel built in this historical location, there are opportunities to experience the culture, history and traditions of Kyoto while staying as a guest.

    “The hotel is ideally located for visiting famous temples such as the Shoren-in Temple and cultural venues such as the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art. In addition, the Lake Biwa Canal and Kyoto City Zoo are within walking distance. While enjoying a relaxing stay, I hope guests will use the hotel as the starting point for sightseeing and experiencing daily life in Kyoto,” says the hotel’s General Manager Terue Ogawara

  • When approaching the front entrance to the hotel, guests will first see a large Nishijin-ori textile extending from the first floor to the lower level around the open entryway. Woven into the textile are the school emblem and illustration of the old Awata Elementary School. The textile’s refined elegance will instantly draw guests into the cultural beauty of Kyoto. The lobby floor houses exhibits of Awata-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki tea ware, and a store selling traditional crafts including bamboo crafts, metalwork and karakami paper is located adjacent to the lobby. The hotel’s great respect for Kyoto culture is immediately evident.

  • The important of the hotel is “green tea”. Including the tea ceremony’s spirit of hospitality to others, the hotel offers opportunities to experience the beauty and traditions inherent in green tea during the stay as a guest. Representative of this is the tea & bar “Sarei produced by Gion Tsujiri” located adjacent to the lobby (Gion Tsujiri: a long-established Uji tea brand). Here, guests can enjoy the finest quality bottled green tea and compare freshly brewed gyokuro, sencha and hojicha green tea. The tea, that guests can drink in a garden, has a genuine tast of Uji tea.

  • The guestrooms overlooking the torii gate and central garden of the Heian Jingu Shrine incorporate the essence of both Eastern and Western culture. Overall, there are a total of 26 types of guestrooms from superior to suite. Each room is supplied with its own tea box, and by following the provided instructions on how to brew delicious tea, guests can brew their own tea using the provided teapot and cups.

  • At the reservation-only private spa named after green tea, guests can relax while being encompassed by green tea fragrance emanating from the tea incense burner.

  • In the morning, the restaurant “Nana-no-Ichi” located on the lower level serves a hearty breakfast. “In addition to Western food, we also offer Japanese food made using locally produced tofu and yuba. I hope our guests will enjoy the diverse foods and flavors developed during Kyoto’s long history,” says head chef Naoki Kadofusa. During lunch and dinner, guests can also enjoy Kyoto-French cuisine and finger food, further increasing the restaurant’s appeal. Take a break from reality while staying at the hotel. In addition to the outstanding accommodations, the hotel offers excellent opportunities to experience much of the Japanese culture found in Kyoto, including crafts, tea and cuisine.