Feb 17, 2020
DON’T GET US STARTED on the zen of Japan’s ancient capital: from the towering trees to the handcrafted everything, the sense of tradition here slows the heart rate. Culinary-focused Park Hyatt Kyoto brings a new retreat— and sundry feasts— for all the senses.
In a town full of UNESCO World Heritage sites, you’ve got eye-candy aplenty. Let’s start with two famed temples: You’re staying right next to garden-filled Kodai-ji, which dates to the 17th century, and in walking distance of Kiyomizu-dera, which is dedicated to the diety of mercy and compassion and more than 1,200 years old. Come evening, head to Gion, the city’s famed geisha district and entertainment quarter. Here, Minami-za, Japan’s oldest kabuki theater, from 1610, is a major highlight.
Must-strolls in Kyoto include the iconic Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka, beautifully restored historic alleyways filled with speciality merchants and sweet boutiques. In Gion, action-packed Shijo-dori is the place to get your retail therapy.
One-hundred forty-two years seems about long enough to build up a following. Just ask the family that has been running KYOYAMATO, the traditional kaiseki restaurant that anchors this property, for seven generations. Before dinner, take in sunset from Soyotei, a storied teahouse from the Edo Era, where feudal warlords would secretly meet. Yasaka offers unpredictable teppanyaki with views of the pagoda for which it’s named; homey Kyoto Bistro serves locally sourced Japanese comfort fare on handmade earthenware; and bring on the drama at Kohaku, the intimate bar that highlights Kyoto whisky, sake and gin.
Are you ready to exhale? Park Hyatt Kyoto is a calming retreat tucked in the trees of the cultural capital’s Higashiyama Hills. This luxury guesthouse—there are only 70 rooms including nine suites, after all, in a lovely collection of low-rise buildings with a central Japanese garden— inspires quiet reflection, a place where your senses are imbued with the seasonality of life. Throughout, you’ll find fragrant tamo wood, original artwork, and the handiwork of local artisans, such as potters and printmakers, carrying on their craft as their forefathers have for generations.
See more at travelandleisuresea.com/hyatt