HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO garden
TRAVEL
2020.12.02

Reviving old Kyoto’s architectural masterpiece as a hotel

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.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO reception
The artworks inside the hotel and its rooms are not merely decorations but a part of the unique atmosphere to this hotel. The photo shows an installation by Yukiya Izumita at the hotel reception.

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.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO Kajiimiya Gate
Built in 1703, the Kajiimiya Gate has been refurbished every 30 to 50 years. A munefuda, a tag affixed to the inside of buildings, from the previous refurbishment in 1935 is displayed inside the hotel, showing the details of the reconstruction. Inside the gate is a cul-de-sac, and to the left is the hotel reception. This cul-de-sac is called kaneori, a traditional Japanese style of architecture.

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.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO SHIKI-NO-MA
Taking in the waft of hinoki cypress as you step inside will make you feel refreshed and energized.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO SHIKI-NO-MA
HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO’s garden is depicted in ink on fusuma sliding doors.

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.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO spa area
A mesmerizing corridor of lights leading to the spa area reminds us of torii gates to Shinto shrines.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO Onsen Suite
Two Onsen Suites are located on the basement floor. Spreading across more than 100㎡, each room has a private bath with natural Kyoto Nijo hot-spring water pumped from 1000 meters underground. Many of the room decor and furniture use cherry blossom trees, with numerous art pieces adding color to the interior.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO Nijo Suite
The view of Nijo-jo Castle from Nijo Suite.

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
Tel. +81(0)75-468-3100
www.hotelthemitsui.com

 

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