Hoshinoya Kyoto

In my TOKU10 Preview, I selected HOSHINOYA Kyoto as my favorite Urban Resort in Kyoto - and for good reason. Kyoto can be problematic when it comes to finding the right accommodations. On one hand you have what many consider the the highest level of service and comfort in the world at the traditional ryokan or inns like Tawaraya and Hiiragiya, but they are not for everyone. On the other extreme you have Western-style hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto. The Hyatt gets high marks for taking an old business hotel and converting it into what feels like an intimate club residence in Kyoto. The rooms are small, but the interiors by the design firm Super Potato create a sense of warmth through the use of local Kyoto textiles and artwork created from traditional Japanese paper and other natural materials. It is hard to believe that they managed to get king size beds into the guest rooms and still have room to move around. My favorite part of the guest experience is the bathroom. There is only one sink (my clients demand two) and the steps leading to the shower and bath chamber can be treacherous, but they got the layout right with ample room to shower and most importantly to soak in a deep tub without half your body hanging over the edge. On top of this, the food at the Hyatt is excellent - at all of the dining establishments. This is why the Hyatt Regency Kyoto received my top mark for the Best Hotel in Kyoto.

Hoshinoya is a true escape from the hustle and bustle of modern day Kyoto. The moment you step on the boat at the Togetsukyo Bridge landing, you feel as though you have been given a special right of passage to play with the nobles of the Heian Period (794-1185). 

Arashiyama is historically known as the playground of the nobility and in some previous lifetime I must have been a friend or acquaintance of Lady Murasaki (author of The Tale of Genji) and Sei Shonagon (author of the Pillow Book). Their words ring so clear to me in their writings and as a "travel event producer" I too feel as though I am constantly watching the performance from the side curtain as the actors make their journey. Arashiyama has always touched me emotionally since my early visits in the 1970s and one thing that I have learned over the years of traveling is to honor that sense of comfort. For those longing to experience the magic of the Heian Period, I highly recommend a stay at Hoshinoya in Arashiyama. It is truly a destination where one can experience authentic Japan with modern comfort. 

If you would like more information about this new destination in Kyoto, click below for the resort Factsheet. The second document, HOSHINOYA Designers, looks at the many designers and artists behind the project. A Walk Around Hoshinoya is a link to the hotel's website with a special section on what you can do in the Arashiyama area surrounding the hotel. 

A Walk Around Hoshinoya
10 photo(s) Updated on: 10 Dec 2010
  • Traditional Japanese boat in front of Hoshinoya Kyoto.
  • Tani Room 110 with its sleek, contemporary beds on a slightly elevated platform for comfort and ease. The room also features a lovely sitting area with views of the gorge.
  • Shizuku Room 119 overlooking the river.
  • A quiet moment in your room after check-in...tea and Japanese sweets. Welcome to Kyoto.
  • The Hidden Garden at Hoshinoya.
  • Hoshinoya at night.
  • Hoshinoya Gate just above the boat landing.
  • Pond and terrace of the modern-style water garden in front of The Library and Front Desk to the left. The main dining location at Hoshinoya is located in the two story building to the right.
  • Walkway to a room reminiscent of an old alley in Kyoto.
  • Hoshinoya boat landing at the resort...about 10 minutes from Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama.
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