24 hours at HOSHINOYA Kyoto

31 Aug 2018 in In immersion

Just one day in Kyoto? Discover our pick of the ancient capital’s must-do experiences!

geigi



3pm

You’ll probably arrive in Kyoto from one of Osaka’s two airports or at the central JR Station. Head straight for the western district of Arashiyama, where HOSHINOYA Kyoto awaits you.

3.45pm

Your hotel is reached via a short boat trip along the Oi river. But first, it’s time to explore! Leave your bags with staff at the mooring jetty and head across the iconic Togetsu-kyo Bridge.

togetsu-kyō.

Set against the ever-changing colours of the forested Arashiyama mountains, this wooden structure was originally built in the Heian Period (794-1185) and maintains a timeless charm. Little wonder that it’s a favourite location for historical films.


4pm

Thanks to its leafy setting, Arashiyama was the preferred retreat of the Imperial family as long as 1000 years ago. Today, the grandeur of the past fills its streets. The grandest monument of all is Tenryu-ji, a magnificent Zen temple founded in 1339.

kyoto-tenryu-ji

garden-tenryu-ji

Its sprawling gardens lend themselves to idle wandering with occasional pauses to contemplate the beauty of the surrounding mountains.


5pm

Exit Tenryuji on the north side and you’ll be just minutes from the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

Arashiyama

Walk along the paved path to enjoy the unique feeling of being cocooned by a thicket of towering bamboo stalks.


5.30pm

Time to head to your hotel. Just near the Togetsukyo Bridge, a wooden boat transports you gently upstream to HOSHINOYA Kyoto.

japanese-boat

oi-river

Lodged at the bottom of a hill with river views from every room, the resort is a haven of tranquillity. You’ll walk into the complex via a moss-lined path, which extends past water features into a Zen rock garden. Urban life couldn’t be further away.


6pm

After check-in, you’ll be guided to your pavilion. If you’d like to unwind before dinner, a deep Japanese-style bath awaits you in the bathroom – with complementary accessories to enhance relaxation.

japanese-bath


7.30pm

Time to eat. And how! Chef Kubota’s kaiseki creations are the ultimate take on Kyoto’s melting pot cuisine.

Ichiro-Kubota

kubota-kaiseki

You’ll taste the freshness of the seasons in every dish.


10pm

If you’re not too tired, head to the whisky bar for a nightcap. But, be warned, you have an early rise!




5am

Even if you’re not an early bird, it’s time to seize the moment! Staff will drive you to a nearby Buddhist temple, where you’ll join a small group for early morning meditation.

morning-temple

The ritual consists of energetic chanting followed by silent contemplation. It’s a unique experience, one that will stay with you for a long time. After the ceremony, you’ll sip green tea with the priest and congregation.


7.30am

Breakfast in your room. Whether you choose the Japanese or Western option, fuel up! You have a big day of sightseeing ahead.

breakfast

If you’re game, you can rent a kimono at HOSHINOYA Kyoto and discover the city in style. Why not go the whole hog and get your hair and make-up done as well?


8.30am

Your first stop is Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion, in eastern Kyoto. Built in the 15th-century as a complement to the Golden Temple (which is further out of town), Ginkakuji consists of a grand pavilion – which is surprisingly lacking in silver – and a handful of other buildings.

Ginkaku-ji

Make sure you take a walk through the moss garden and admire the immaculately-raked sand garden.


9.30am

Exit Ginkaku-ji and walk south along the Philosopher’s Path, a pretty canal-side walkway lined with cherry trees.

Philosopher’s Path

Unsurprisingly, it’s a popular spot in sakura season.


10am

The path takes you to Nanzen-ji, the head temple in an expansive complex of sub-temples and gardens.

Nanzen-ji

The imposing Sanmon entrance gate offers superb city views from its balcony. Beyond is the Hojo, the main hall, famed for its rock gardens. Stare at the rocks long enough and you may discern the tigers they are supposed to resemble.


11am

Head south-west via Maruyama park to Gion, Kyoto’s famed geisha district.

geiko-kyoto

Wander its streets, admiring the traditional machiya-style wooden townhouses and you may glimpse a geiko (the local lingo for geisha) or maiko (apprentice).


12pm

It’s just a short walk to Nishiki Market, where lunch awaits!

Nishiki

Known as Kyoto’s Kitchen, the market is home to food stalls where you can pick up anything from fresh sushi to takoyaki octopus balls.


2pm

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is your final stop, its entrance marked by a colourful pagoda. Set in the hills among forested paths, this world-famous temple boasts splendid city views from its wooden veranda.

Kiyomizu-dera

The big attraction is trying to navigate the 20-odd metres between 2 ancient stones with your eyes closed. If you succeed, you’ll supposedly be lucky in love!

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