Entrance (lounge) (Photo: Mai Shoji)

Westin Miyako Kyoto

The Kasui-en annex of a masterful hotel

Entrance (lounge) (Photo: Mai Shoji)
Mai Shoji   - 2 min read

Many people acknowledge the Westin Miyako Kyoto as one of the best hotels in the area. But most have not seen the inside of the hotel's annex, Kasui-en, which was fully renovated in July 2020. Kasui-en is based on the 1950 'Sukiya' style designs of architect Togo Murano, whose meticulous techniques fully connects with nature and landscape.

From corridors to stair handrails, to the position of window panes, Murano was famous for 'making craftsmen cry' due to his finicky demands. And there are plenty of details in the villa with its 12 luxurious guest rooms, each having a semi-outdoor hot tub made of Japanese umbrella pine and cypress - perfect to enjoy the natural hot spring water from 1,000 meters beneath Mt. Kacho. All rooms are built with a precise calculation to enjoy the best scenery of Kyoto.

The rooms are filled with Japanese aesthetics and artwork, yet are equipped with beds, not futons, in consideration of inbound guests. There is a library lounge where guests can freely read in the composed ambience or choose books to take to their rooms. In-room kaiseki dining can be pre-ordered in a special overnight package, and restaurants in the main building are only a few minutes walk.

Upon arrival, your dedicated in-house landlady welcomes you with a tea ceremony or gives you a glimpse of ikebana flower arrangement. Non-guests are able to take a walk up to the entrance, to soak in the breathtaking white sand courtyard garden and the healing sounds of the waterfall.

If you want to experience the principles of Japanese architecture, this is a must-see. And if you are a ryokan Japanese inn beginner scared to try authentic culture where language barriers may become a problem, this venue will make you feel safe while indulging in the best of Japanese beauty. You are sure to enjoy the peaceful minimalistic allure in sync with the natural habitat of each season.

Getting there

There is a free hotel shuttle from Kyoto Station or a 2-minute walk from Keage Station (a 15-minute trip from Kyoto Station).

Mai Shoji

Mai Shoji @mai.shoji