With a variety of sacred sights drawing in millions of visitors each year, Japan’s former capital has several luxury accommodation options, although few could ever claim to encapsulate the area’s history quite like The Westin Miyako Kyoto. Situated on a hillside in Keage, where Lake Biwa flows into Kyoto, the hotel offers a one-of-a-kind stay for anyone looking to experience the best of Kyoto, both past and present.

Ties with Nature

Setting foot in the lobby, guests will be met with smooth marble, lush greenery and sparkling ceiling art pieces that reflect an astounding level of design. This attentive nature is further displayed through the hotel’s staff members, who welcome guests with warm enthusiasm. While these aspects alone are enough to warrant a stay, it’s the traditional Japanese annex Kasui-en that sets The Westin Miyako Kyoto apart.

Set on the site of a villa previously belonging to Taisho-era Prime Minister Keigo Kiyoura, Kasui-en was constructed by renowned Japanese architect Togo Murano. Famed for his work in sukiya-zukuri, an elegant architectural style synonymous with the use of natural materials, Murano’s work at Kasui-en pairs beautifully with its surroundings. A waterfall, using water from the nearby Lake Biwa Canal, is not just a beautiful landscape feature, but also tells a story. When viewed in conjunction with the nearby stone garden, it depicts a scene of sake flowing into a cup.

Recently, architect Hiroshi Nakamura was tasked with preserving Kasui-en’s traditional beauty while also updating the structure’s interior to suit modern needs. Keeping the original designer’s vision in mind, Nakamura has aligned the rooms of Kasui-en with The Westin’s trademark level of luxury, while maintaining the original ambience curated by Murano many years ago. Today, the rooms of Kasui-en feature a fascinating mixture of the past and present. This includes private onsen baths plumbed directly into a natural hot spring sourced from Mount Kacho, a mixture of hardwood and tatami mat flooring, as well as stunning views of the Kyoto skyline.

Traditional Tastes

Upon arrival at Kasui-en, guests are immediately immersed in Kyoto’s culinary culture with a complimentary tea ceremony at check-in. From here, a variety of fine dining options ensure that there is something to suit all tastes.

In the main complex, a buffet boasting exquisite locally sourced ingredients is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at Raqou, while teppanyaki and French restaurants owned by world-renowned chef Dominique Bouchet offer further options.

For guests at Kasui-en, an elegant and intimate multi-course kaiseki dinner is offered within the annex grounds. Limited to one guest group per day, this feast serves traditional Japanese dishes in a contemporary fashion. An in-house sushi chef is also on hand to prepare sushi to your liking before your eyes, offering a level of unrivalled luxury during your stay.

Location, Location, Location

Ensuring that guests can experience the best of Kyoto both indoors and outdoors, a lush hiking trail on the grounds of The Westin Miyako Kyoto provides visitors with access to otherworldly nature right on their doorstep. This moss-laden trail marked by torii gates is also a prime bird-watching location.

Nearby, guests can stroll up and down the Keage Incline, a former railway track that carted boats from the Keage Boat Reservoir to the Nanzenji Boat reservoir. The 582-meter-long slope is lined with cherry blossom trees, making it an ideal hanami spot in spring. Venturing further afield, the picturesque Nanzenji Temple and its sprawling gardens are a mere 10 minutes away on foot.

Book your own luxury stay at The Westin Miyako Kyoto’s Kasui-en.