Opened on November 3, 2020, HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO is not your ordinary luxury hotel. Overlooking Nijo-jo Castle in Kyoto, the hotel is a revival of the land and the architecture that had been owned by the Mitsui family for around 250 years.
One of Japan’s most distinguished families that has grown from merchants to a giant conglomerate in the modern era, the Mitsui family has been the backbone of Japanese economy and has contributed to the growth and development of Japan’s culture and art. Even 75 years after the family let go of the property, the hotel captures the Mitsui family’s refined sense of beauty that has been kept alive for more than 300 years.
One of the symbolic structures is the Kajiimiya Gate, the gate that greets the guests when they first arrive. Originally constructed in Sanzen-in Temple in 1703, the gate was relocated to this place in 1935. This time around, the gate was refurbished by carpenters from Fukui prefecture specializing in temples and shrines and was first dismantled into over 1000 pieces. Every piece was then carefully checked and repaired with new materials and technology when necessary. For the most part, however, the original 300 year-old pieces were used to recreate the gate as it looked when it was first built.
The tenth-generation head of the family Takamine Mitsui, who had a keen interest in architecture, built Okushoin to entertain his guests. Today, the space was revived as “SHIKI-NO-MA” (Room of Four Seasons), fully constructed using hinoki cypress.
Numerous designs inspired by Katsura Imperial Villa and the mesmerizing fusuma artwork by Takafumi Asakura, an internationally renowned modern Japanese artist, add luxury and craftsmanship to the calm and tranquil space.
What is special about this hotel is not its success in reviving the old memories ― there are countless other places in Kyoto where you can enjoy old architecture. The real charm that makes this hotel one-of-a-kind is its fusion of antiquity and modernness.
The hotel incorporates the old into new designs while leaving a scent of ancient history within modernity, making it a uniquely comforting space for both Japanese and foreign visitors.
Four designers from Japan and abroad ― master designer Akira Kuryu, interior designer (guest rooms and reception) André Fu, landscape designer Shunsaku Miyagi and interior designer (restaurant and spa area) Yohei Akao ― worked together on the building plan and interior design. Visit the hotel to experience the “traditional-modern” architecture and feel the unique colors of the four designers.
HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO
284 Nijoaburanokoji-cho, Aburano koji-dori Nijo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan