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Wake up early in the morning and experience Zen meditation (zazen) at the historical Zen Temple. There are several places to do Zen meditation in Kyoto – our Concierge would be happy to arrange a morning trip for you.
Japanese Cultural Classes
Learn about authentic Japanese traditions and culture during your time in Kyoto. The Concierge can arrange an array of classes for you that focus on topics such as ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements), calligraphy and local cooking practices.
Kyoto is the spiritual home of the tea ceremony in Japan and continues to produce some of Japan’s premium teas. Some area temples and facilities serve matcha, or green tea, and offer authentic tea ceremony experiences that focus on immersing yourself in nature and calm surroundings. The Hotel’s Tea House also offers Kyoto tea ceremony experiences amid the 800-year-old garden.
Monko incense-smelling parties, at which you smell a fragrant wood aroma and try to distinguish the scent, have been a way to enjoy incense since ancient times in Japan. Experience the unique Japanese fragrances yourself with a monko ceremony, arranged by the Hotel at a nearby location.
Kyo yaki, Japanese pottery that has been made since the late 16th century, is created today in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto, home to Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. Explore the nearby pottery shops for a special Kyoto souvenir, or enjoy creating your own original pottery. The Concierge would be pleased to plan a pottery class for you.
Maiko & Geiko Ozashiki Asobi Experience
As described in the book Memoirs of a Geisha, the geiko (geisha) and maiko are beautiful, professional Japanese entertainers and a must-see during your visit to Kyoto. Ozashiki Asobi, a tea house hospitality experience, is a way to meet geiko and maiko, see them perform and even play traditional group drinking games for entertainment. There are also several places around the Hotel that offer traditional kaiseki dinners with geiko and maiko performances. Let the Concierge arrange a visit for you.
See the City with a Jinrikisha (Rickshaw) Experience
If you walk through the bamboo path in the Arashiyama or Higashiyama area, you’re sure to encounter friendly rickshaw operators. A ride on a classic rickshaw will take you to the best sites in Kyoto, or wherever you wish to visit. Most rides last 10 to 15 minutes.
Hozu-gawa River Boat Ride
The Hozugawa River Boat Ride is one of Japan’s most famous sightseeinging experiences – a picturesque, historic trip that spans 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Kameoka to Arashiyama. Enjoy nature’s beauty during each of Kyoto’s season. Have our Concierge arrange an experience for you.
Visit a Japanese Garden
Kyoto is home to exquisite gardens, and the Hotel’s 800-year-old ikeniwa, or Shakusuien garden, is one of them. But you can also experience others while visiting the temples and shrines in Kyoto, all boasting tranquil, beautiful landscapes during each of the city’s four seasons. Just ask the Concierge for suggestions.
Sake has long been an inseparable part of Japanese culture. The Fushimi area, approximately 15 minutes south of the city, is the heart of the Kyoto sake industry thanks to its pure, sweet spring water. Explore the narrow laneways, old canals, sake breweries and culture.
Flea Markets and Antique Shops
Kyoto is a place for treasure hunting. Flea markets are held every month at temples and shrines across the city. Small antique shops are scattered along Teramachi Street, Shinmonzen Street and Furumonzen Street. Simply ask the Concierge to create a list of notable shops for you.