One of Japan’s most indulgent and private hotels in easy reach of Kyoto’s 17 world heritage sites
Surrounded by forests and exquisite gardens, Aman Kyoto is a place of respite away from Kyoto’s bustling streets
The rooms are very spacious by Japanese standards and are light and minimalist in design
Suitable for couples and families with grown up children
Combines easily with Aman Tokyo and Aman-emu, or other highly luxurious properties in Japan
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.
Aman Kyoto is one of the years most anticipated hotel openings in Asia. Inspired by the traditional ryokan and onsen it has been thoughtfully designed making it one of Japan’s most luxurious hotels.
Back in 2014 Aman opened its first property in Japan with the striking Aman Tokyo shortly followed by the remote hot spring resort of Amanemu in 2016. Now three years later Aman has opened a new property in one of Japan’s must see cities, Kyoto. Tucked away in a beautiful enclave of the city, enveloped by nature, Aman Kyoto’s 24 rooms and two two-bedroom villas are surrounded by forests, manicured gardens and moss-covered pathways that meander through a series of platforms, pavilions and formal lawns. Though just moments from the heart of Kyoto and within walking distance of the iconic UNESCO World Heritage listed Kinkaku-ji Temple, the gardens and thoughtfully designed pavilions create a sense of seclusion and tranquil serenity.
A series of pavilions house the lobby, living and dining areas and the spa, four separate pavilions host the guest rooms, while the luxurious two-bedroom villas are to be found in two further pavilions. Inspired by the ryokan, the rooms are a contemporary take on traditional Japanese living, minimalist in their design with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding gardens. Muted, neutral tones, traditional tatami mats and light interiors showcase the work of local artisans and create a calming, meditative space. The highlight would have to be the rooms Japanese bathtub which are made using Hinoki wood, a type of cypress tree only grown in this part of the world making it sacred, it also happens to give off the most calming scent throughout the room.
The signature restaurant in the Dining pavilion crafts locally handpicked ingredients into Japanese haute cuisine and set menu experiences while the Living pavilion provides a sociable space in which to enjoy home-cooked Kyoto obanzai style cuisine and afternoon tea. Retreat to a secluded corner of the gardens for a picnic, or enjoy one of the many restaurants in Kyoto that lie just outside the grounds.
Wellness has become a key theme of Aman properties around the globe and Aman Kyoto does not disappoint. Within the spa you will find natural hot spring water baths to relax in and three private treatments rooms, the treatments draw on centuries of Japanese wisdom and a natural apothecary, including green tea, local sake and camellia oil. For a true Japanese treatment we suggest having a Shiatsu massage which aims to restore energy which will relieve stress and strengthen immunity.
The 24 rooms of the Aman Kyoto are spread across four Pavilions, nestled in leafy garden surrounds and offering garden or stream views, while the two separate two-bedroom villas look out over the treetops from their elevated position. Taking the traditional concept of the ryokan and giving it a contemporary, minimalist twist, the rooms are light, spacious and airy, with thoughtful design features and artisan craftsmanship. Rooms also have traditional features such as tatami mats and ofuro bathtubs which create a space that is indisputably Japanese.
The Pavilions of the property each house a separate area, creating a sense of gentle flow from one to the other and allowing the beauty of the gardens to take centre stage. In the Dining Pavilion, the signature restaurant showcases fine dining with local produce and sustainable ingredients, in a region famed for its gastronomic delights. The central fireplace and garden terrace of the Living Pavilion offers a convivial space for socialising and enjoying home-cooked obanzai-style dishes throughout the day, or afternoon tea. Drawing on Japan’s history of wellness practises and ancient traditions, the Spa crafts relaxing and healing treatments from natural spring waters and locally sourced apothecary.
The Aman Kyoto is a great base from which to explore the cultural riches and historic monuments of Kyoto. One of the country’s most intriguing towns, this ancient Imperial capital is a treasure trove of serene temples, maze-like alleyways and teahouses where geishas and their maiko perform ancient ceremonies for a privileged few. After exploring the town, forests and winding pathways of the gardens lead you back into the serene seclusion of the Aman Kyoto.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take part in a traditional Tea Ceremony and gain an insight into this ancient art form and key part of Japanese culture.
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.
Set at the foot of the symbolic Hidari Daimonji mountain, Aman Kyoto is just moments from the sights of Kyoto, once the Imperial capital. Set in 80 acres of forested gardens in the district of Takagamine, the property enjoys an almost ethereal sense of seclusion and tranquillity, yet is within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kinkaku-ji Temple.
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Kyoto, Kyoto & Around, Japan
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