The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
At a Glance
Stunning riverside location
Beautiful design as a blend of traditional Japanese and modern western influence
Fantastic ESPA Spa in the heart of Kyoto
Incredible attention to detail
Amazing choice of cuisine and stunning sympathetic restaurant design
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The best and most popular times to visit Kyoto are the climatically stable seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to November). The highlight of spring is the cherry-blossom season, which usually arrives in Kyoto in early April. Bear in mind, though, that the blossoms are notoriously fickle, blooming any time from late March to mid-April. Autumn is an equally good time to travel, with pleasant temperatures and soothing autumn colours, which usually peak between late October and mid-November. Be warned that Kyoto is crowded with domestic and international tourists during the cherry-blossom and autumn-foliage seasons.
Of course, you can visit Kyoto at any time of year, although the summer, from June to August, can be very hot and humid, and winter can be a little chilly for some people’s taste.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto or take a look at our itineraries to Japan
The property has an excellent location on the Kamogawa River, close to Kyoto’s downtown areas including Gion and Kawaramachi-dori and is one of the city's most desired abodes. Guest rooms offer stunning views of the river and the Higashiyama Mountains.
Located on the banks of the Kamogawa River the Ritz Carlton is Kyoto is amongst the best that the city has to offer. Sympathetically drawing inspiration from the river in design, the hotel seamlessly incorporates nature inside and out. With just five storeys the hotel blends beautifully into Kyoto's skyline and provides an oasis in this bustling and culturally rich city.
Based on traditional Japanese architecture, Ritz Carlton Kyoto has a fantastic blend of modern clean lines whilst still maintaining a fantastic sense of place. All rooms at the Ritz Carlton are extremely spacious and boast some of the largest in Kyoto with views over the Kamogawa River or Higashiyama mountains in the distance. Equipped with enormous twin or king sized beds, expansive bathrooms with double vanity areas and huge deep soaking tubs they provide the perfect place to unwind and relax.
There are two stunning restaurants serving both beautifully crafted Italian dishes and traditional Japanese cuisine. Alongside these there is a fantastic and incredibly stylish bar and lovely airy lounge where afternoon tea is served - an institution in Japan. To further the indulgence there is an ESPA Spa with seven beautiful treatment rooms, 20 metre swimming pool and sauna in which to relax and unwind.
The Ritz Carlton Kyoto boasts the largest rooms in Kyoto. Starting with Deluxe the rooms are open plan in design with floor to ceiling windows either facing the Kamogawa River or Japanese Rock Garden keeping the close connection to nature. Some rooms even have balconies overlooking the river providing even more space. Every bathroom comes equipped with a double vanity, huge bathtub and incredible rainforest shower. With a similar layout, the Luxury rooms are slightly larger and the Suites are wonderfully spacious with a separate living room and some boasting a large terrace or private garden. There are two tatami suites available in the traditional Japanese style providing a fantastic blend of tradition and modern western comfort.
The Ritz Carlton welcomes children and has a large number of rooms that connect to accommodate families.
There are two fantastic restaurants providing a mix of Italian and traditional Japanese cuisine. La Locanda offers exquisite Italian dishes expertly prepared utilising the freshest and most authentic ingredients where necessary shipped directly from Italy. The restaurant itself is a beautifully designed with a fantastic mix of intimate private dining areas and chefs table and more open plan dining. Nestled within the restaurant there is also a traditional tatami style dining area, for guests that want a truly unique experience and mix of old world Japan and modern western cuisine.
Alongside this, there is a light and airy Japanese restaurant, Mizuki, with the backdrop of a beautifully crafted stone wall and gentle waterfall. There are three separate areas to the restaurant with a sushi counter for guests who want to watch the expert chefs at work, a beautiful granite counter where freshly prepared Tempura is served and an open style kitchen where you can have your very own Teppanyaki experience.
For a pre dinner aperitif or night cap the sleek and stylish bar provides the perfect spot and for afternoon tea, a staple in Japan, the Lobby lounge offers a lovely light and airy atmosphere with an amazing selection of delicious sweet treats and nibbles.
As the centre of Japanese culture there is a wealth of historical and cultural sites to explore in Kyoto. To relax after days uncovering Japan's incredible and varied history, you can indulge in a spa treatment or two at the hotel's ESPA Spa where expert therapists are on hand to pamper and polish with relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. There is also a 20 metre swimming pool, sauna and fully equipped gym in which to unwind.
Dominic Atterton (Staff)
Everything about the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is sleek and sultry. You descend into a world of slate and glass as you enter into the lobby. It is very cool and ever so slightly imposing. Service is however warm a friendly and you are soon put at ease by the brilliant team. The hotel's main selling point is its fantastic location with beautiful vies over the river and steps away from Kyoto's most popular districts. You can easily head out on foot for dinner or for drinks in the evening. In contrast to the dark interiors of the hotel's public spaces the rooms are bathed in light and most share the wonderful views of the river. I really loved the design with a contemporary Japanese feel, lots of blond wood and incredible bathrooms.
Kirsty Cowie (Staff)
As the most luxurious hotel in Kyoto, the Ritz - Carlton is where you want to stay! Located just a short walk from the downtown area of Gion this luxury property boasts stunning views of the Kamogawa River and it's impeccable service is bound to be a highlight of your trip. Equipped with the biggest rooms in Kyoto there are so many good things I can say about this five star hotel. While staying here I highly recommend you take advantage of their complimentary activities that will help further integrate you into Japanese life.
Blanche Sherman (Staff)
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is one of the most luxurious hotel experience available throughout Japan. The staffs attention to detail here is remarkable and everything on the service level happens completely seamlessly in the background. It is perfectly located to explore Kyoto's shops, bars and restaurants as well as some of the city's best temples and cultural sites. I would highly recommend getting a room with a view of the river and mountains beyond.
Victoria Reynolds (Staff)
Undoubtedly the best hotel in Kyoto, The Ritz Carlton is beautifully designed, with many rooms featuring private balconies with river views, spacious bathrooms and fantastic service. The Ritz Carlton is a great choice of hotels for families, with various inter- and outer-connecting room options available. The hotel features two restaurants, one Japanese and one Italian to choose from, although the hotel is easily accessible from the Gion district, where you can explore the bustling streets of Kyoto by night, where there are some fantastic bars and restaurants on offer to enjoy!
Sophie Wynn-Williams (Staff)
Certainly the most luxurious hotel in Kyoto, which is apparent immediately upon arrival, where you are warmly welcomed with first class service levels that cannot be faulted. I strongly advise to opt for a Luxury Room, as these boast fantastic views over the river and are really spacious with all mod cons. The Ritz Carlton has great facilities including two restaurants, a Japanese and an Italian, a pampering spa and pool area, and is within easy distance to the Gion district that comes alive with many restaurants and bars in the evening - a definate must for sushi lovers!
Sarah Rowan (Staff)
This is by far my favourite hotel in Kyoto, as it is effortlessly charming and chic. From the moment you arrive the service is incredibly attentive, warm and friendly. You will be whisked up to your room and assisted with anything you need to make your stay relaxed and fun-filled. The pool area is beautiful and it is great to relax here after a full day sightseeing. The Italian restaurant served a welcome break after an overload of sushi (if such a thing is possible).
Sophie Jones (Staff)
The hotel had just been opened for three weeks when I visited and it was stunning. The whole feel was so elegant with the perfect blend of old world Japan and modern luxury. The traditional Japanese design plays a key role throughout the hotel, being only three storeys high above the street level and with a really close feel to nature throughout the hotel with the river playing a key role in the design. It feels so fresh and open and really like an oasis in the heart of Kyoto.
A Day in Kyoto
Today, explore the gorgeous 'Silver Pavilion' and stroll along the Philosopher's Walk. Visit the Heian Shrine before taking a tour of Nijo Castle. End the day with some free time to explore Nishijin Textile Centre or the Teramachi.
Afternoon Tea with a Maiko
Get a glimpse into the cloaked world of the geisha as you take part in a traditional tea ceremony with a fully trained geisha or maiko. This ancient art epitomises the mystery and beguiling beauty of one of Japan’s most iconic traditions.
Ancient Nara Day Trip
Make a trip to Nara and visit the Deer Park, Todaiji and Kasuga Grand Shrine. In the afternoon, wander in the old town of Naramachi, with its charming Edo period architecture. If time permits, explore the ancient Gangoji Temple.
Cooking Sun Afternoon lzakaya Class
A three and a half hour cooking class in mid-town Kyoto learning the basics of lzakaya cooking. The class takes place in a beautiful small wooden townhouse, called a machiya.
Cooking Sun Morning Bento Class
A three-hour cooking class in downtown Kyoto learning the art of preparing a traditional Japanese bento meal, including classics such as sushi, tempura and miso soup. The class takes place in a beautiful wooden townhouse, called a machiya.
Gion by Night
Embark on a Gion district night walk either with the guide or on your own and if you are lucky, catch sight of the geishas' in beautiful kimonos as they go about on their evening activities.
Half Day Kyoto Exploration
Visit Kiyomizu Temple and admire the outstanding architecture. Head to the 'pottery street' of Kyoto.
Japanese Home Cooking Class
Get a taste for Japanese culture and cuisine as you’re welcomed into the home of an instructor and taught how to cook a handful of traditional dishes in a private class.
Kaiseki Dinner with Geishas
Enjoy the height of sophistication in Japanese society, having a sublime Kaiseki dinner made up of many delicious courses, accompanied by entertainment from two Geishas whilst you enjoy your meal.
Maiko Performance and Traditional Dinner
This evening, enjoy a traditional Japanese dinner and watch a performance by a Maiko, an apprentice of the Geisha.
Morning Cooking class in Kyoto
While in downtown Kyoto, in a quaint little machiya, join in on a traditional Japanese cooking class.
Nara - The Ancient Capital
Spend an afternoon exploring Nara, the ancient capital of Japan from 710 - 784, before the capital was moved to Heain-kyo (present day Kyoto), with its freely roaming herds of deer, ancient streets and spectacular temples.
Nishiki Market Tour with Sushi Making
Experience the whole sushi creation process with this unique cooking experience, from an educational market excursion to mastering the art of sushi-making yourself.
Private Sushi Class with Nishiki Food Market
Shop for ingredients at the historical Nishiki Market, while tasting different Japanese foods. Afterwards, head to the studio for a private cooking class, guided by experienced instructors, before enjoying your culinary creations for lunch.
Private Tour of Nara
Today venture outside of Kyoto and explore the ancient city of Nara, the capital of Japan in the 8th century, with a plethora of historic sites to see.
A guided day in Arashiyama district, located at the base of Kyoto's western mountains. Take a boat trip on the Hozugawa River before discovering Zen Buddhist temples and the famous bamboo grove, one of Japan's most iconic scenic areas.
Suitable for both older families and couples, this guided Samurai Experience offers guests the chance to learn more about this ancient art. Learn the skills required to draw, sheathe and wield a katana, the traditional swords used by samurai.
Shopping in Kyoto
Enjoy a shopping trip around Kyoto. Wander down the picturesque streets of Gian where you can visit local handicraft and pottery shops.
Tea Ceremony in Kyoto
Take part in a traditional Tea Ceremony and gain an insight into this ancient art form and key part of Japanese culture.
The Art of Zen in Kyoto
Spend a day discovering the traditional Japanese experiences of Zen meditation as you learn about the history of Zen before trying your hand at this spiritual form of meditation.
Tour of Sake Brewery and Tasting in Kanazawa
Take a tour of one of Kanazawa's key industries, Sake brewing. Have the chance to watch the process from start to finish which uses the same unchanged techniques that have been utilised for centuries.
Tour of Western Kyoto
Make your way to Western Kyoto and explore the beautiful bamboo forest in Arashiyama. Relax in a scenic train ride before taking a traditional raft down the Hozugawa River. Afterwards, continue the exploration of the iconic Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine.
Japan in Ultimate Luxury
Tokyo, Yamashiro Onsen, Kyoto, Ise Peninsula
from £12400 pp inc flights & transfers for 12 nights
- Awaken your mind to all that Japan has to offer on this 13-day trip
- Enjoy an incredible private dining experience with Geisha in Kyoto
- The Japanese bullet train makes travelling around Japan a simple and pleasant experience
Highlights of Japan
Tokyo, Kyoto & Hakone National Park
from £5700 pp inc flights & transfers for 7 nights
- The Bullet Train, otherwise known as the Shinkansen, has maximum speeds of 240-320 km/h
- Chance to visit one of the most fast pace and dynamic cities in the world - Tokyo
- Stay in a ryokan to experience traditional Japanese hospitality
Tokyo, Takayama, Kanazawa & Kyoto
from £8900 pp inc flights & transfers for 10 nights
- A fantastic combination of classic cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto, with some time off the beaten track destinations, giving a great feel for what Japan is all about
- Stay in a traditional ryokan, a truly authentic experience
- Visit the historic cities of Takayama and UNESCO protected Shirakawago in the scenic Kiso Valley
Location & directions
Ritz Carlton Kyoto is located on the banks of the Kamogawa River the Ritz Carlton in Kyoto.
How to get there
12-hour International flight to Tokyo International Airport-Haneda, followed by a 2-hour Shinkansen (bullet train) journey to Kyoto.
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