Want to learn the ways of the ninja? How about making your own chibi-maru lantern with a 10th-generation Kojima master, or experiencing the alluring ritual of wearing a traditional kimono? Our dedicated Concierge team opens the doors to some of the city’s most guarded and hard-to-access sites; or, let us create a custom guided tour to satisfy all your curiosities.
- A private zen meditation session led by the deputy head monk of Shoden-Eigen-in, located in the Kennin-ji Temple complex, is the perfect way to start the day.
- Take a scenic tour of Higashiyama and beyond, including visits to neighbouring temples, aboard our Four Seasons rickshaw.
Take Home a Piece of History
- With a history of emperors and samurais, Kyoto has long thrived as a centre of artistry, craftsmanship and tradition. Ancient techniques are still used to this day by the city’s skilled artisans to create unique keepsakes imbued with centuries of history. Head to the bustling Nishiki market, where you’ll find ancient ateliers like Fujiwara Aritsugu, one of Japan’s oldest and most reputed knifemakers. Founded in the 1560s, it was the supplier to the Imperial House of Japan and to this day still handcrafts swords, knives and utensils using centuries-old techniques. Wander Kyoto’s narrow streets and marvel at the traditionally made crafts, like metal netted baskets, delicate fabrics, bespoke dolls and fragrance-infused hand fans. Our Concierge will be happy to recommend hidden gems and must-see studios for specific items or simply wander and browse to your heart’s content.
- Unleash your inner ninja during an expert-led training session where you’ll learn everything from breathing and meditation techniques to the handling of your tool of choice: kunai, ninja swords, shuriken stars or fukiya blowdarts.
Make Your Own Chibi-Maru Artisan Lantern
- Lighting the city for more than 220 years, Kobishiya Chube is a Kyoto institution and one of the city’s most esteemed lantern makers. Its handmade creations have been illuminating temples, shrines and the estates of samurais and merchants for centuries. Today, its lanterns can still be found all over the city. Gain access into the intimate Kobishiya Chube atelier where the art of making lanterns retains age-old techniques. Witness artisans at work, handcrafting the lanterns as the Kobishiya Chube, tenth-generation lantern master hosts and teaches you the essentials to make your own mini lantern.
- The enigmatic charm of Geishas, or Geiko and Maiko as they are called in Kyoto, is known around the world. Few experience the magic first-hand, however, as its beauty lies largely in its elusive secrecy. Gain a thrilling insight into this captivating world with an evening of traditional entertainment in one of Kyoto’s historical Geisha districts, known as hanamachi (flower towns), and delight your senses with a Kyoto-style kaiseki dinner. Conversations and performances from Geiko and Maiko are accompanied by shamisen playing traditional music and old drinking games.
Learn More About Kyoto From Our Team
Unpacking List: Our Guide to the Kyoto Area
It’s not the things you take with you that define your journey; it’s the experiences you have and the memories you bring home. Explore our Front Desk Manager’s four sensory "souvenirs."