Experiences

Local Gems: Our Guide to the Kyoto Area

Located in the centre of Kyoto’s temple district, our intimate, contemporary hideaway is grounded in the city’s ancient traditions. It’s the perfect place to discover Kyoto’s heart – including its hidden gems. Who better to draw up a local guide than our in-the-know staff? Tailor your itinerary with their picks; then explore, retreat and repeat.

Food detail

Where Our Chef Dines on His Day Off

– Nicholas Owen, Executive Chef

“My favourite spot to eat on a day off is Kuon, where they serve the most delicious keema curry noodles. Dashi (Japanese soup stock) is a rich ingredient topped with fried vegetables and served on the side. Add the dashi little by little to taste the noodles’ flavour while you take in the atmosphere of the old Machiya-style wooden house.”

a beverage sits on driftwood decor

Our Head Bartender’s Favourite Cocktail Spot

– Raul Navarro, Head Bartender

“I love heading over to nokishita711 gin & cocktail labo for a drink. Ask for a seat at the grass table, and you’ll be seated in the middle of a dry forest. I’d recommend the All Evil – a shiso gin cocktail with black sambuca, lemon juice and egg white.”

red and yellow leafed-trees line a walkway leading to a temple in kyoto

Where to Sightsee According To Our Guest Experience Officer

– Mataing Cheam, Guest Experience Officer

“I love sightseeing and collecting stamps from temples and shrines like Chishakuin Temple, which is within a five-minute walk of our Hotel. I’ve collected close to 70 stamps from all over Japan. Kyoto is such cosy town to explore by bicycle as well. Ask me for a route off the beaten track!”

a winter scene on a shopping street in kyoto

Where Our Fitness Team Leader Jogs in the Morning

– Alexander Wood, Fitness Team Leader

“Jogging along Kami River or by Kenninji Temple in the bustle of the Gion area is the best way to wander the city, especially if you’re a frequent jogger. Fushimi Inari Taisha is a unique location; by running through the thousands of Torii gates you'll pass on your way up the mountain, the atmosphere becomes more and more Zen the higher up you go. I recommended heading out early, when there’s less foot traffic, giving you clear paths to ascend!”

National Museum overlooks a lush green lawn in kyoto

The Best Art Museum According to our Bar Captain

– Megumi Yamamoto, The Lounge & Bar Captain

“If you want to touch the history of Kyoto and Japan, visit The Kyoto National Museum, within a five-minute walk from our Hotel. Their historic collection and the building’s main entrance are recognized as important cultural property from the Meiji era. If you want to avoid the crowd, especially when they do special exhibitions, head over in the evening on Friday or Saturday until 9:00 pm.”

Pass the baton

Our Concierge’s Favourite Boutique

– Nao, Concierge

“If you’re looking for something cool and contemporary, go to Pass the Baton in Gion. They sell antique accessories and kimono, and it’s just fun to see all the hand-selected secondhand goods. Go up to the second floor, and you can even enjoy looking down at the beautiful Japanese lanterns on display – marrying western and Japanese interior design styles. You can also try the shaved ice at the café if you want to relax before you bring your unique finds home.”

Walden Coffee Shop

The Best Place for a Cup of Coffee According to Our Coffee Meister

– Yukiko Shirai, Coffee Meister at The Brasserie

“Just a 20-minute walk from the Hotel is Walden Woods Kyoto – an artful, signless coffee shop near the Shosei-en Garden that serves single-origin roasts. I love grabbing a cup of light roast drip coffee to enjoy the flavour of the beans themselves, which come from Africa, Central America and South America. Make sure you snap a photo at the Thoreau-inspired floor-to-ceiling mural before you take a walk in the temple garden, which dates back to the mid-1600s.”

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